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BarCamps are participatory workshops and follow a similar methodology to Open Space Technology (OST): a topic or theme of discussion is agreed upon in advance while the discussion itself unfolds organically, unconstrained by a pre-set agenda or formal process. The process is driven by participants themselves and seeks avoids the restrictions of standard conferences/meetings imposed by organizers.

Problems and Purpose




Participant Selection

Participation is open but there are a limited number of places in any one workshop. All participants must be active participants willing to contribute, no observers [1].

Deliberation, Decisions, and Public Interaction

BarCamps make specific use of information and communications technology (ICT) to relate information to participants and those that cannot attend in-person. As well, BarCamps require that each participant give a presentation although these are meant to be conversational in tone. BarCamps are unique in that they heavily encourage participants to speak or post (online) publicly about the experience and information presented or discussed. While the BarCamp may only be attended by a fixed number of participants, the knowledge exchanged therein is made public to encourage ongoing dialogue. 

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects


Analysis and Lessons Learned


Secondary Sources

[1] BarCamp (2009) The Rules of BarCamp, available at:

External Links





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