BIL Conference Vancouver this weekend!

Posted on March 19, 2014


BIL conference

BIL conference

You’ve heard about TED. Have you heard about BIL?

BIL is the quirky, populist, unconference known as the ad hoc analogue to TED. Open to the public and fully participant driven, our yearly gathering features a wild mix of technologists, scientists, artists, hackers, and those with a passion for community awareness, social entrepreneurship, and innovation. BIL emerged from a community of people who aspire to change the world for the better- everyone is on equal standing and we meet to share ideas, problems that need solving, and discoveries we are excited about with a quite diverse national and international crowd. Our attendees are our speakers and our speakers are our attendees and in true unconference style, attendees are responsible for shaping the conference itself through their participation.

BIL is organized and observed by the participants. BIL emerged from a community of people who aspire to change the world for the better. It’s a place for passionate people to come together, energize, brainstorm, and take action! Everyone at BIL shares a common trait: BILders are the everyman thinkers and doers of today and for tomorrow.

BIL started as an unaffiliated satellite to BIL is an open, self-organizing, emergent, arts, science, society and technology conference. Anyone can come, and anyone is able to offer a talk. Because this is an un-conference, no one receives special treatment, everyone is encouraged to participate where they can, whether that’s clean up, set up, getting coffee, listening, AV work, blogging the conference, registration etc. Everyone makes BIL happen!

BIL is the alt-TED Unconference that not-incidentally inspired the birth of TEDx; I was told that the original TED team saw the success of the BIL Unconferences, just across the street from TED, and knew there was an untapped market at a lower price point than TED’s reported $7,500 admission. Admission to BIL is pay-what-you-can, and they do have substantial costs to cover, and the speakers are excellent and international in scope, so consider the value when making your donation. Here’s the registration link. And here’s the very active Facebook page; here’s the Facebook page for the Vancouver event.

From the official site:

BIL is Saturday and Sunday, the 22nd and 23rd of March at the 560 Event Space [on Seymour near Pender]. There is a pre-party Friday night and a bigger party Saturday night. Details about those two events will be announced shortly.

The times for the conference portion of the event are 8AM to 6PM both Saturday and Sunday. The talks start at 10AM, but setup and installation of art & exhibits begins at 8AM.

The cost of this event is whatever donation you can afford, be it $5 or $2,000. If you’re not sure if this event is for you or not, show up and check it out. If you like what you see, then help support it.

If you’re interested in volunteering and solving problems, check out the wiki. We can always use a few more hands (and heads).

Unconferences have no set schedule, don’t pay speakers, and don’t aim to make a profit. They are a great way to bring the power of awesome ideas to the maximum number of engaged people at once; and let me make this clear, you WILL be engaged. Participants (as opposed to attendees, which are what conferences have) are expected to pitch in and volunteer, even step up to speak.

If you’re interested in speaking, either get yourself on the wiki or show up bright and early to fill your name out on the giant chart. Slots are filled when they’re filled, and if you’re not there to put your name down, you lose out.

God only knows what I’ll be doing on Friday and Saturday, I just know I won’t be the one staffing the registration desk at 8am. That does not happen. 8 am does not happen for me.

I do know what else I will be doing, and that’s this talk:

You are the Revolution

You are the Revolution

Lorraine Murphy

Anonymous and the Tools of Revolution

From Arab Spring to the Ukraine, Anonymous and allied hacker groups have been active participants in cyber-revolution. This talk will explore the various tools they’ve used and the ways in which these have had an effect on the political outcomes and peoples’ day to day lives during times of revolution.
Lorraine “raincoaster” Murphy is founder of raincoaster media, specializing in transformative social media training, as well as President Emeritus of Social Media Club of Vancouver, and has been a professional blogger, digital reporter and social media trainer since 2002. She specializes in teaching beginners and those with barriers to internet use, and in social media for social change. Her journalism focuses on Anonymous, WikiLeaks, and hacktivism. She was in charge of Web and Social Media training for the Fearless City project, and her students there included citizen journalist April Smith and poet Henry Doyle.

Her flagship blog,, has been studied as part of the New Media curriculum in three universities, and the comments thread on her Mummified Fairy post has been called “one of the most beautiful things on the internet.” She once got into a flamewar with the nation of Albania, and won. She conducts workshops in the transformative use of social media on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and blogs regularly to many different sites.