Camp 2014: Session Ideas

Wikis > Camp 2014: Session Ideas

The Art & Science of Smoking Pigs (Moshe Tamssot – @Tamssot )

Join us for an immersive multi-sensory BBQ experience. All Smoke. No Mirrors. We’ll be serving up some Liquid Pig BBQ Rib Tips, as we discuss BBQ culture and process. Saturday at 5 PM in the High Fidelity Room.

Liquid Pig Pull Experience  (Moshe Tamssot – @Tamssot )

Around 11 PM, we’ll be handing out surgical gloves, and letting ORD Campers loose on an 11 pound pork shoulder. If you thought the African Serengeti was a dangerous place, just try to stand between a Paleo follower and meat. Of course, there will be plenty of Liquid Pig BBQ Sauce for dipping’ and lickin’ 🙂


A Plea for a Rational Approach to Using Personal Data for Public Good

So I have a plea – and some ideas – for why we need to figure out how to do this and how we might be able to make it happen. I’ll use a case from here in Chicago’s STEM and out of school time community as grist for the mill…Hoping to get feedback, ideas, debates and possibly come out with a People’s MOU for data sharing…

-Gabrielle Lyon


If you’ve been to ORD Camp before, you know there’s usually a booze talk; if you haven’t been before, now you know. 🙂

This year, we are planning a discussion of the effects of the barrel aging process on bourbon, followed by a tasting of unaged “white whiskey” as well as young, middle-aged and older stuff. Justin is also planning to barrel-age a cocktail to show how that turns out.

We’ve started a spreadsheet of what we’re bringing; feel free to add to it. While we will be focusing on bourbon for the talk, you’re of course welcome to bring any other barrel-aged liquors you think might be of interest to the crowd.

– Andrew Huff, Scott Robbin, Justin Massa & Bill Hammack


Open Source Art?

Art vs artisan vs hacker vs crafter vs maker. Artists draw from the world around them. Should inspiration stop there, once their work is completed? Artist inspiration is a continuum, is it not? So where do you draw lines (no pun intended) as to what is original? Can human artists really create something original, when science says creation is a sum of everything one has experienced? Is art inherently “open source”? When, if ever, is it OK to “hack” a physical creation (for example, making a 3D printer version of a sculpture?). What is the future of art in a technology-based world–how will it evolve and adapt?

Consider an overpriced piece of furniture/jewelry that is being mass-manufactured overseas at a fraction of the price. If that item is used as an inspiration for something custom made, and having a local Maker produce it, then that keeps jobs and cash in the local economy. Sort of like China-ing China, by bringing production back to our shores. Is this an idea that people can get behind, and put their money where their mouth is? How do makers feel about having to compete on price?

What about a local maker who comes up with a design that becomes mass-produced? Does this mass-production devalue the art?  Is the maker “selling out” or instead making the world a better place by helping to bring art to the masses?

-Rebeca Mojica (+RebecaMojica) & Moshe Tamssot

How to Use the Web to Sell or Show Off Your Stuff

You may think that getting the right people to understand your product or service is as easy as a few tweets, a Facebook page and maybe a fundraising campaign. 

Not so fast, Jack.

We are going to go thru a practical lesson in how web marketing and social media work hand in hand, how to use various tools to drive traffic and awareness to your site – and why putting all of your eggs in one basket isn’t the best idea.

This will be a collaborative chat, with questions and WTFs welcome throughout. 

Bring your questions, real business issues and ideas!

Session taught be a former OG Orbitz/PR agency/Motorola digital marketing person who has one of the funkiest names you’ll see in print.

-Blagica (blah-gee-tsa) Bottigliero


Should pRogramming be the 4th R?


 There’s a lot of talk about computing education, but sometimes it feels like people are letting the idea of coding stand in for something more fundamental. We’d like to have an ORDCamp conversation about how people become techno-fluent.  Here are a few things we could talk about. Let us know if any of this gets your synapses firing.

  •  What do people mean when they say “X should learn to code?”
  • What do people mean by the phrases “computational thinking” and “computer literacy?” Can it be taught to non-programmers?
  • Are there games and activities that can help people (young and old) get comfortable with these things without screens and electricity? 

Bonus: we wanted to start with some personal stories about how either you did get drawn into learning tech and feeling comfortable in that world, or ways you have felt blocked trying to get started. If you have a minute to put a story in our Google form, you’d help give us a great jumping-off point for the session.

 Some things we’ve found interesting, maybe fodder for the conversation:

MozFest 2013: Playing the CS Unplugged Orange game 


  • Joe Germuska @JoeGermuska
  • Sandor Weisz @Santheo



We’re thinking sometime Saturday afternoon a few brains will be ready to explode from over stimulation. Rather than doing a session on crime-scene-cleanup, we thought it’d be more ORDalicious to teach/try out some techniques that can help us Western-Intellect-Rules-All types to chill.the.fuck.out. and remember that our bodies are not *only* a tripod for our minds. 

We’ve got 7 different techniques we’ll “demo” (from breathing to meditation to stretches, etc.) and are TOTALLY OPEN to anything else people want to suggest/try with the group. Know that whoever attends this session will be the chillest people to eat dinner with on Saturday night. You shall know them by their contended demeanor, good posture and flushed cheeks. 

– Jennifer Brandel (@JnnBrndl) + Christen Carter (@BusyChristen)


I entered the CE retail world in the late 90s.  My predecessors tell stories of practically having to bribe corrupt buyers to get placement.  No doubt the next generation will be selling to a retail environment that looks much more like Amazon and Google, more self-service, analytic and systematic.  As one manufacturer’s sales rep recently said to me “we went from being good at donut trays to being good at analyzing spreadsheets and HTML”  But big retail, for the most part, remains a very personal and relationship based environment requiring a different temperament and set of skills from the more creative disciplines of product development and digital marketing.  Likewise, mass retail remains the place where fortunes are made (and sometimes lost) with a speed that e-commerce can rarely duplicate.  

In this session we’ll tell war stories from getting the SkipDr onto shelves at over 25,000 storefronts including Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Costco and ultimately selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of product there.  We’ll talk about going from the first million dollar kickstarter to retail with LUNATIK and what the world looks like today as LUNATIK and HALE expand into retail.  Shawn Smith will talk about specialty retailers (gift, etc).

A one hour session, it goes without saying, is not nearly enough for any kind of how-to session, but in this (hopefully entertaining) storytelling session, we hope to give a feel for what that world is like, what the stakes are and a bit of the color so you can understand if this is for you and your company.

@JoeBorn- SkipDr, HALE Devices

@GillianRode- LUNATIK

@Shawnimal – @Shawnimals & @resketchbook


Q: Do you need a sexy, slick platform? 50 engineers? Expensive, premium content? 

A: Nope. 

Peer 2 Peer University is a hub for social learning on the web. In this chat, we’ll walk through the design process behind the following learning communities, and collaboratively create our own. 

Vanessa Gennarelli (@mozzadrella) (@p2pu)



Roth Mobot Laser Dome FortI had a dream the other night that I was at ORD Camp and I was crawling around inside a massive fort that we were all cobbling together out of various supplies and found materials (an appropriate metaphor for ORD Camp in general). I was so happy in the dream — discovering new twists and turns and secret chambers; not knowing who I was going to bump into, and always happily surprised when I did.

A huge collection of my formative memories revolve around building forts. Pillows, blankets, tables, and chairs while indoors, trees, bricks, trashcans, fences, snow, ice, the earth itself (big into summer-time tunneling) while outdoors.

Patrick McCarthy (@RothMobot) (#ORDfort)



The journey of converting a 100+ yr old church into a home.  We had no idea what we are getting into when we started, but knew it would be cool when we were done…

It was an interesting process both from a policy standpoint (had to fight with zoning for 2.5 years) and design.  I put together a rough outline and it feels like something people would find interesting at ORDCamp, but as I always tell entrepreneurs, you have to ask the market!!

  – Troy (@TroyHenikoff) 



Justine Nagan and Jennifer Farrington will build on Justine’s wildly popular quilted potholder session from last year with a Friday night session for ORDcamp tee-shirt customization. Two sewing machines, scissors, iron on letters and numbers, plus you and your t-shirt. Feel free to BYONotions.

-Jennifer and Justine



I’m planning a session about John Cage, chance operations, listening and stories. All are welcome but to participate bring your iTunes, Spotify, etc. – wherever your digital music library lives.

[It won’t actually be very quiet.]

-Julie Shapiro (@jatomic)



Last year I did a basic primer on the variables of making coffee, Chris McAvoy roasted some coffee, and many of you brought coffee and a bunch of different manual brewing tools to demo. We brewed, we drank coffee, life was good. This year I’d like to:

  • Demo Manual—the coffeemaker I’m launching—as well as let folks try it out
  • Do a tasting of various coffee from around the world to explore how coffee origin affects flavor profile
  • BYO brew device redux: we can break-out and demo them for each other. Or use them all weekend to stay caffeinated. 
Add your name and devices you’ll bring here: [Name – stuff // Craighton – Manual prototypes, Chemex, v60, kettles, burr grinder, cups // ]
-Craighton Berman (@craightonberman/@fueledbycoffee/@overextract)
– Aaron Silvers (@aaronesilvers) – Aeropress, as I could use some tips to rock it better.



A beyond the basics session exploring the next iterations in crowdfunding: from enthusiast to launching your own campaign, from concept/prototype to growing a community around your project/product, or from successful campaign to taking it to a more widespread market, whether that’s independent fulfillment or mass retail. 

– Anne Petersen (@apetersen)
– Joe Born (@joeborn)
– Shawn Smith (@shawnimal)
– Anyone with experiences to share!



I would love to facilitate, host, contribute to, be part of, walk in on, open a github repo for a discussion on how open source can not only free the world, but actually help people find monetary value that matches their societal value. I’ve been able to do this with several projects over the past couple of years through community efforts that were organized as campaigns. I’d love to learn from others about how they’re creating sustainable movements in/with/through open source, and I’m happy to share what’s worked and what hasn’t from my perspective. Add your name/twitter handle below if you’re interested.

Ideally, Saturday afternoon, 4pm-ish (best to give a little free time before dinner but not run into dinner). 

– Aaron Silvers (@aaronesilvers)

Interested/attending: Karl Fogel (@kfogel), and, if their responses in the mailing list thread are to be believed, Alex Gaynor, Chris diBona, Joe Walnes, Jim Blandy, David Chelimsky, Stel Valavanis, Code4Ever, Brian Fitzpatrick.



For the past two years I’ve been building out a personalized learning platform for iPads in elementary and middle schools throughout the country. Coming from the tech world, I’ve been pretty surprised by the diversity of what’s going on in schools and how quickly these institutions are changing. I’d love to lead a discussion about what we think schools will look like in 1, 2, 5, 10 years down the line – what technology they will use and how that will affect student experiences. Open topics include:

  • Current: iPads, Chromebooks, expansion of Wifi (I can give a demo and tell some stories about where we are now)
  • A few years out: Google Glass, smaller tablets, maybe some 3D printer (although I think Jeff ‘s talk will cover that one)
  • Down the line? Nanobots, who knows what else? I’d love to hear from you all about what you think is happening now that will change the way students learn.

– Luke Shepard @lukeshepard, — please email me with feedback or if you’d like to co-present



With the help and support of my administration and Computer Science Department, I’m building a big-ass maker lab at Lane Tech High School called the Lane Tech Innovation and Creation Center, and teaching a course on making and design (among other things) to roughly 100 kids a day, 5 days a week, for 40 weeks. When I say “I’m building…” what I really mean is “You and I are building…” Same for the teaching part. We want to teach the students how to research, design, prototype, engineer, build, and see their innovative ideas come to life. I need you ORDcampers and your vast insight and expertise to make this happen. Items for discussion include space design, logistics, curriculum, resources, guest workshops / talks and…ummm…everything. 

– Jeff Solin ( / @jsolin) + Jeanne Marie Olson ( / @jmochicago) as temporary sidekick
– Aaron Silvers (@aaronesilvers)





While it’s impossible to be 100% anonymous or secure online, you don’t need to be a security professional to make it hard for the bad guys to invade your privacy or compromise you. Topics can include anything from avoiding phishing scams, to using PGP, to setting up full-disk encryption and storing the unencrypted parts on your person. Additionally, we can have a PGP key-signing party.

– Nick Piepmeier ( / @pieps)


Using only gears, spring and lever — driven by a hand crank — the machine pictured below does Fourier synthesis and analysis: It can either add a series of weighted sines or cosines or it can take a function and decompose it into the proper set of cosines or sines that approximate it. If this interests people I’d be happy to bring tons of photos, current footage of the machine in operation (drafts from a video series in production), page proofs of a coffee table book that describes the machine. I cannot, though, bring the machine. The machine has a Chicago Connection: It was built there by a small company, and it was designed by Albert Michelson of the UChicago — in fact it has a connection (slight) to Michelson’s work measuring the speed of light.  

-Bill Hammack( / @engineerguytwit)harmonic analyzer



I’ve been following David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology for around 9 years (in 2009, I got to meet him in person in Chicago!); I’d love to talk about this way of thinking about and prioritizing one’s commitments (if you’ve ever heard of “Inbox 0” – that’s one of many GTD tactics).

For those new to GTD, we can give an overview, discuss tips for implementation, and common misconceptions and pitfalls. In a nutshell, GTD is a way to get control of all the things you need to get done by getting it out of your brain and into a trusted system. From the What is GTD? web page, “The only “right” way to do GTD is getting meaningful things done with truly the least amount of invested attention and energy.”

Part of what I love about it is that you don’t have to buy a certain kind of planner, or device, or software. It’s a methodology that can be applied using a paper and pencil or the latest technology. Whatever works! Over the past 9 years I’ve gone from PC to Mac, hacked together my own setup using iCal and Mail, and used various combinations of OmniFocus and Evernote. If there are other experienced GTD practitioners/enthusiasts, it’d be cool to do an Ignite-style tour of other people’s setups to see the many ways in which GTD can be implemented in real life.

Meghan Wilker ( | @irishgirl)


Let’s invent & fabricate a lock!

For years I’ve wanted to teach people the basics of lock engineering, then collaborate with them to conceive and create a new lock. With the fab lab running during ORD, and the enthusiasm and cleverness of the attendees, I think we could make it happen.

The plan would be to spend 20-25 minutes just banging through the evolution of the mechanical lock. I’ll show you some cool stuff that you’d likely not come across elsewhere, like Norman’s amazing ball-bearing sidebar lock:

 the Norman lock

We’ll then use the rest of the session time to brainstorm the features of our new lock. It could be anything, from the incredibly practical “Let’s create a bump-proof lock!” to the whimsical “It should open with a key that mimics the skyline of Chicago!” I won’t list other examples as it was always infuriating when my teachers in school would list examples that would have been awesome to come up with on my own had I been given the opportunity.

Ideally, the session would be one of the first slots on Friday evening, to give plenty of fab lab time to actually construct the thing. Last year on a whim I started working with some of the fab folks to make a model of a dial combo safe and I’d say we easily got 90% of the way there in just a couple hours, so, with some planning and effort from a team, I think we could absolutely have this thing functioning and ready to present by the end of Camp. What do you say? Wanna make a lock?


 Maintenance-free Gardening

Sub-irrigation planter build

Or how I turned regular gardening tasks into one-time builds.  A How-to on sub-irrigation planters and PID loop controlled seed starting mats.

Doug Bradbury – @dougbradbury

 Interested! >> @shawnimal





 Audio Fun

I’ll have a sound system on hand with mixer, mics, various effects, devices, laptop, tablet, MIDI hub, more, all for you to play with and learn. Many others have chimed in and will bring more input toys, MIDI devices, sequencers, acoustic instruments, drums, etc.. We will be set up pretty much the whole time with both toys to play but ALSO to record any jam sessions that inevitably will break out. -Stel


 I have a music recording and post-production studio… in my pocket!

Is this the future of music creation/consumption?

This is an open floor panel, to share experiences (good and bad), app/devices recommendations, ideas and wishes about the powerful and creative uses of music production/processing/mangling/playing/composing using smart phones and/or tablets.

Also, it is a not-so-secret way to capture good ideas to create new apps!

This is not limited to portable devices, but to the trend of having very powerful tools that used to cost a lot of money or require a big powerful computer and now they are “inexpensive” and sometimes “online tools”.

Some ideas to discuss:

–    is it really possible to produce an album with a portable device?
–    Portable device + real instruments: capturing the analog world.
–    Virtual instruments
–    Interfaces: capture motion/image/gps?/Etc into sound.
–    Toy apps -> real instruments

Music consumption:
–    Media players: how do people “consumes” music
–    Music quality: mp3/aac/lossless/ high fidelity, super high fidelity, super super super high fidelity…: does it really matter?

Other random things:
–    Can the lessons learned in the music apps be used in other industries? (yes!)
–    Is any this profitable?
–    Portable devices become more and more powerful… what can we do with that?
–    Technical challenges with current portable devices: battery life, connecting instruments, small screen, crappy hardware, etc.

Ricardo Garcia (rago)  (@ragomusic)

 Fun with Sound Measurement and GPS !?

Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets can be extremely accurate sound measurement devices. That capability, coupled with GPS, and internet creates a powerful (but, as yet, under-utilized) platform.

Let’s think together about cool applications that can be made with this platform.

One area that could be fun to think through is using mobile-gathered data to assess/report how noisy a restaurant/bar is (Zagat recently named this the #1 complaint for diners). I will demo a mobile app that I just put together in response to this problem. I might even include some sweet demos of how the auditory system breaks down in loud situations. 

Come all, but especially if you are interested in sound, data, restaurants/bars, gamification, improving urban life, doing good, facilitating conversation

Andy Sabin, @Andy_Sabin


The Craft of Beer

Discussion and exploration of the art of crafting beer, a mix of history, process, exploration of ingredients, and of course, tasting!

Owen Johnson @owenjohnson



  • No categories


Comments are closed.