International Summit for Community Wireless Networks: August 12-15, 2010 in Vienna, Austria

Those of you involved in building Community Wireless Networks likely have heard of Sascha Meinrath’s International Summit for Community Wireless Networks. He started the event a number of years ago  when he was still at UIUC, and its the still the best place to meet and work with community network organizers from around the world.

This year, the Summit is truly going international: its moved to Vienna, Austraia! NYCwireless will be there, and so should all of you. Check out the press release:

The New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, Tech Gate Vienna, the CUWiN Foundation, and the Acorn Active Media Foundation are pleased announce that the annual International Summit for Community Wireless Networks will take place in Vienna, Austria from August 12-15, 2010.

Internet access is increasingly important to all facets of civil society. Since the first National Summit for Community Wireless Networks in 2004, tens of thousands of community and municipal broadband initiatives have been deployed around the globe, but many communities are being left out of this communications revolution. “The global coalition of developers, communities, industry, and advocates working together over the past decade has created one of the most disruptive and far-reaching technological innovations of our generation, yet few know about it and fewer still have taken advantage of this opportunity,” says Sascha Meinrath, director of the Open Technology Initiative and the Summit’s founder. “The International Summit for Community Wireless Networks is the nexus around which this movement swaps notes, strategizes, and organizes its agenda for development and implementation of ubiquitous, affordable broadband networks.”

2010 marks the first year that this group of technologists, entrepreneurs, government officials, academics and engaged citizens will convene outside the United States, a critical step to broaden and deepen international involvement in what truly is a global movement. Participants will learn from each other’s examples, exchange strategies and anecdotes, and build partnerships that strengthen alliances among projects.

Vienna possesses a rich and diverse mix of established technology companies and start ups, new media organizations, researchers and cultural producers as well as a remarkable number of institutions of higher learning. Not only is Vienna well positioned among the top international leaders in the information economy, the city is also home to FunkFeuer, one of the most advanced community wireless networks in the world. FunkFeuer is highly respected internationally for its technical and social innovations, its many collaborations with university researchers and artists, and the scale and scope of its network. The Summit will provide an opportunity to expand upon FunkFeuer’s successes and spread best-methods for developing sustainable metro-scale wireless mesh networks.

The International Summit for Community Wireless Networks focuses on how wireless networks can better serve their target populations, the policies needed to support broader deployment of community wireless systems, and the latest technological and software innovations in the field.

More information on the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks, including a call for proposals, registration, and other logistical information, will be available in the coming weeks at www.wirelesssummit.org.

We look forward to seeing you in August!

ANNOUNCE: City Centered: A Festival of Locative Media and Urban Community (in SF)

Our good friend Kari Gray is helping to create a technology arts festival in San Francisco this year called “City Centered: A Festival of Locative Media and Urban Community“. Kari originally contacted us about Spectropolis, our Wireless Arts festival from a few years ago, wanting to create something similar out on the west coast. What her team came up with is significantly and impressively more than Spectropolis was, while keeping the core goals of wireless technology and community engagement (leave it to a San Franciscan to one-up us on these concepts!).

There’s an open call for projects, and we think everyone should submit something to the festival. NYC has a lot of innovative, creative, artistic nerds and nerdy artists, and more representation of our great city in SF can only be a good thing!

Recent exhibitions, festivals and conferences across the US and in Europe have taken wireless networks, public space, locative media and urban environments as sites of intervention, creativity, and critique. Formulated within the emerging context of networked urbanism and mobile media, City Centered: A Festival of Locative Media and Urban Community will focus upon dynamics of the shifting, locative, cartographic and social space of the city. It is organized by educational, arts, community-based and civic organizations and asks how locative media can act as a platform and venue for community-led expression.

From within San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, this festival will celebrate the rich possibilities that art and technology offer for urban communication of place and place-based media. City Centered focuses on the use of locative media and wireless technologies for site-specific and neighborhood-based interventions. Artists, designers, architects, community and cultural workers –people, places, and devices — will meet for four days of street-side celebration, public exhibitions, a symposium, and workshops. The festival seeks new work aligned with the themes of creative mapping, urban storytelling, sentient space, body awareness, local history, contested spaces and gaming.

The festival’s main goals are:

  • to promote creative public use of free wi fi and open networks in the city of San Francisco
  • to encourage meaningful collaboration between artists and local organizations in connection with wireless networks
  • to introduce site-specific locative media art to urban places