Words & Photos by Cheats – Follow the Cheats Movement Blog on FB
It’s called the Bill Conference but it is truly an unconference. Compelled by the free-flowing format and the recent attention these events are getting in RVA, I broke out the Cheats Movement camera yesterday for Bill Conference 2 at 804RVA.
Attending the event, I must say that organizers Wren Lainer and Sam Davies have a great concept. Speakers sign up at the start of the conference, they speak about whatever topic they want, and audience can ask questions at any time. Bill Conference was open to all speakers and topic. That alone truly made Bill a “unconference.”
I enjoyed the presentation that I was able to see (I had to break out early): Casey spoke about Healthcare transparency, Adam spoke about the power of language and using it to work with autistic children, Andrew spoke about the challenges of making a video game, and Bryan about using Yoga, Meditation, and running to fight anxiety and depression.
All of the speaker were very interesting and knowledgeable about their topics, they all spoke from 1st person experience. Like most conferences, the best part of Bill was meeting new friends, creatives, and fellow bloggers. I enjoyed the time I spent speaking to other Richmonders on our breaks.
One half of the Bill Dream Team Wren Lainer
Moving forward, I think events like the Bill Conference and TEDxRVA have the potential to make a lasting affect on RVA’s future. I’d like to see them work together – I think a presentation from the TEDx organizers at the Bill Conference would be have been awesome – and in turn – Sam and Wren presenting their unconference platform on the TEDx stage would have been a great fit and well received at TEDxRVA.
Overall, diversity was a challenge for both events. I would have like to seen more people of color participating in both TEDxRVA and the Bill Conference. I understand these thing take time and there is no magic bullet to curate a truly diverse event. Nevertheless, there has to be a better way to have these wonderful events marketed to communities that do not normally attend, and do not have access.
With that said, I love the energy and vibe of the Bill Conference. Hopefully, I will have the guts to present sometime in the future.
Adam speaking about his work with autistic children
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