Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending two enjoyable and thought provoking events. Shanghai is increasingly making a great effort to organise these type of events giving the city’s population the opportunity to share ideas and broaden horizons. The number of events like this seems to be growing… or am I just getting to know the city more?
On Sunday, I went to a talk by author Marjorie Liu as part of the Shanghai Literary Festival. If I am honest, I was feeling a tad delicate after a few too many drinks at Dada the night before – but the host of the event , Peter Aspden, was really funny, interesting and it was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Whilst I’m not so sure about fantasy or paranormal fiction myself, her stories about writing Marvel Comics were really interesting and surprising. I left feeling refreshed, and knowing more about the world of fantasy novels than I thought possible!
On the Saturday I attended BarCamp Shanghai. For those not in the know, BarCamp is a user-generated conference. As the delegates arrived we were presented with a white board (or in our case white A4 sheets of paper celotaped to a wall) with a schedule of blank time-slots, waiting to be filled. Those who want to take a slot in which they can present to the conference about any subject, but entrepreneurship, social innovations and techie subjects are the order of the day.
There were some great presentations, especially my first session, about selling your start up to Google, and a presentation about strategies for winning rock-paper-scissors! I had thought about giving a presentation on my experiences in Shanghai but didn’t quite feel prepared enough, and as it was my first Barcamp, next time next time! It struck me that whilst there were lots of attendees, with a good mix of local and foreign, there weren’t many people willing to present. I don’t know if this was because people felt intimidated by the potential of having a large audience, or if they didn’t realise that they would be expected to contribute. I hope in the future, more people turn up willing to talk (including me!).
The event was held at W+K Shanghai offices, which – as you can see from the photos below – comes complete with a very comfortable red dragon.