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Hack the Knowledge Lab: Technology, Creativity, Social Organisation

A weekend gathering for collaborative and creative reflection. February 3/4/5, 2006.

Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University, North West England.



FeedbackLab2 - please post your thoughts and comments here!


Adopt a session during the weekend

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Accommodation Options


Original Callout


You are happily invited to the second Knowledge Lab, which is a follow-up event to the (sadly titled?) “Making Global Civil Society” that took place in Lancaster, November 4/5/6. It is hosted at and with the support of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) at Lancaster University.

This page summarises what was discussed during the planning meeting Saturday Dec 10 2005, and offers a basic structure/content for the upcoming (second) knowledgelab in February (Hack the Knowledge Lab: Technology, Creativity, Social Organisation - a weekend gathering for collaborative and creative reflection, February 3/4/5, 2006, Lancaster University).

The planning and organisation of this event is now happening both on this wiki and on a mailing list, which we encourage you to subscribe to: See the archives for prior postings.

The mailing list grew out of the first KnowledgeLab weekend in November. During that weekend, it was strongly felt that we should be more experimental with the general format of the upcoming "Hacklab", at the very least radically reduce the number of presentations, and lengthen the discussion time available for each topic.


Continuing the experimental Knowledge Lab project, this weekend will be a conference without presentations or key note speeches. The aim is to bring together a variety of people - waged and unwaged thinkers, students, activists, hackers - from all over the world for intense discussion sessions rather than serial monologues

FRIDAY: general welcome & introduction; introduction to the 4 1/2 streams running through the rest of the weekend.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY: both days will be divided into 4 STREAMS taking place in 4 different rooms, plus a 1/2 stream (the KidzStream!) taking place in the soft-seated corner of the foyer. Everyone is encouraged to take responsibility for the 1/2 stream, even if only for a little while!

All streams share the same lunch and dinner breaks, but are otherwise NOT time-bound to one another.

STREAM 1: POLITECHS (democratisation of technology/politics in technological civilisation)

STREAM 2: HACKING CONSCIOUSNESS (hearts, minds & technology)

STREAM 3: PROPERGANDER ((autonomous) media & communication: distribution and circulation)

STREAM 4: HACKLAB (techie skill transfer)

Apart from the hacklab (a series of hands-on workshops), each stream consists in a number of facilitated sessions on a particular subject (see below for some proposals). Sessions are long-ish discussions (up to 2-3 hours?) around a set of questions, issues or statements (to be circulated in advance, maybe incl. a series of useful texts to be read prior). There will be no formal presentations, but the idea is that people with particular experience/knowledge of the given subject will aim to ensure vibrancy of discussion and relevance of information imparted - without extinguishing other people's points of views and contributions!

The idea is for each session to collectively draft some sort of "output" - this could be a simple list of main points summarising the discussion, but could of course be more creative (such as editing audio recordings for publication online), and would ideally also identify further questions regarding the subject (rather than attempt to provide answers) with a view to encourage further thought and action, maybe even spawn writings, research, or other projects. The "output" will be "publicised" on the wiki and ideally on posters or similar during the course of the weekend.

Live web-streaming and recording facilities for the discussions will be set up. As part of the hacklab we are hoping to provide a media sharing server, so bring your hard drives, CDs and DVDs with documentaries, music and more to share and take new stuff home with you to screen or redistribute.

There will be a plenary/feedback session Sunday lunchtime to wrap up the whole event.

Involvements & Skill sharing

Anybody is welcome to attend the weekend, get involved in the discussions, and take part in the workshops. HOWEVER, YOU NEED TO REGISTER TO ATTEND AS THE EVENT IS LIMITED TO 100 PEOPLE, SO PLEASE GET IN TOUCH NOW: n.moeller AT

If you'd like to take a more pro-active role during the conference, you might want to ADOPT a session - that is, prepare it in advance (suggest questions, main issues, reading material etc and propose the length of the session), arrive prepared for discussion themselves, attend it, and participate passionately in the debates and in the drafting of the "output". For proposed sessions see the emerging programme. For a little more on what it means to adopt a session see AdoptingSessions.

We also still need people to FACILITATE sessions - ideally a session should NOT be adopted and facilitated by the same person(s). Facilitators are usually best if experienced in their task, and will be called upon to facilitate not only discussion, but also the drafting of the "output".

Any which way, please get in touch.

Costs & Practicalities

Unwaged persons: free

Unfunded students/low-paid persons: donation

Funded students/Lancaster university staff: £20

Academics/waged persons: £65

This contribution is for the whole weekend and includes Friday and Saturday dinner, Saturday and Sunday breakfast and lunch. All food will be vegan and predominantly organic.

Shared accommodation is available on the floor of the very spacious and friendly Quakers' Meeting House, it is free, but please bring sleeping bag and mat. Get in touch if you have any special requirements, and again, please let us know in advance if you're bringing a child.