Urbit Event Series

Worker(s): ~naplet-hildec Reward: 6 Stars WIP

Note: this project is incremental and intended to be delivered in multiple phases, as follows.

Phase I

Description: Kick off developer calls

Timeframe: November-December 2020

Grant requested: one star

Additional required budget: None

Deliverable: an introductory series of 3-4 developer calls for the Urbit community. Calls will happen weekly or biweekly and be hosted on Zoom or a similar platform. They can also be streamed to an Urbit channel, where community members can watch and post questions in real time. Each call will feature a different developer, invited to discuss a different part of the Urbit application stack, such as:

Note: the goal is to kick off an ongoing, self-sustaining event series. To that end, one of my goals will be sustainability: ensuring that everything is documented, that accounts/credentials are shared, and that others know how to organize and host these calls going forward. Another goal is that the calls result in a series of well-produced, high quality videos that can form the cornerstone of a new, community-contributed knowledge base to be hosted on the new Urbit.org.

Scope of work: In consultation with Tlon and other community members, develop messaging for the event and finalize a list of topics and developers to speak at each call. Speak to stakeholders to understand what did and did not work with the previous round of developer calls. Announce the calls to the community, and request community feedback on topics/developers/questions. Prepare a list of questions for each call. Communicate with developers ahead of each call to prepare for the event, share a preliminary list of questions, etc. Host (emcee) each call, introducing the developer, asking questions, and relaying questions from community members. Record each call and post/share the recordings after.

Phase II

Description: Town hall

Timeframe: December 2020

Grant requested: two stars

Additional required budget: 0-$2,500 (depending on software used, and whether we can send gifts to attendees) Deliverable: a one-off, 2-3 hour “town hall” event that will be appropriate for both a technical and a non-technical audience. It will feature a keynote (topic to be determined, but perhaps something along the lines of “State of the Network”), a panel discussion, and two other brief talks, one of a more technical nature, one of a less technical nature (community or design). It may be hosted on Zoom, or it may be a good opportunity to test more sophisticated conference software such as Hopin. It will be more interactive than the developer calls, with a format that allows community members to chat with one another.

Scope of work: In consultation with Tlon and other community members, finalize a list of speakers and topics. Work with the speakers to review their presentations and decks. Test and manage conferencing software, and host a “dry run” event for speakers. Host the event itself, introducing speakers, and moderating a panel discussion. Record the event, and share recordings of each talk after. Write a 2-3 page blog post recap of the event, including audio/video highlights.

Phase III

Description: UrbitCon

Timeframe: Q1 2020

Grant requested: three stars

Additional required budget: $10,000-25,000, additional address space to grant to other community members who help organize and execute the event

Deliverable: A one day virtual summit, this will be the first public Urbit conference, and we’ll aim for participation on the part of all core contributors and a large portion of the global community. It will take place over ~8 hrs, scheduled so that people in different timezones can participate live in at least a portion of the event. In addition to opening and closing keynotes, there will be 8-12 additional talks covering topics including tech, design, community, hosting, building a business on Urbit, mission + vision + values, and governance. The entire community will be invited to submit applications for a speaking slot. We’ll invite one or two guests from outside the community to deliver a keynote (examples: Riva, Balaji, E. Glen Weyl, Douglas Rushkoff, Richard Stallman, Niall Ferguson, John Gilmore, Stewart Brand). There will also be an art component, to be determined. We’ll recruit sponsors to cover as much of the cost of the event as possible.

Scope of work: Act as project manager for the event. Consult with Tlon, community members, event staff/volunteers, and speakers to finalize event schedule and budget, and plan event logistics. Review applications for speaking slots and develop process to allocate speaking slots. Recruit guest speakers. Work with speakers to review and prepare talks and decks. Design the event agenda. Design sponsorship packages and recruit sponsors. Host and emcee event itself. Work with production company to record all talks in high definition, edit recordings, and share them after the event. Ensure that the event produces a high-quality, on-brand knowledge base of material on “all things Urbit.” Work with artist to plan the artistic component of the event. Post event recap, along with recordings.

Who am I? I work full time for a blockchain project called Spacemesh in a hybrid role as a core developer, and as an evangelist/community organizer. I previously worked as an Ethereum core developer 2017-2019, and during my time working on Ethereum, I helped organize a number of community events, online and offline, around the world. I've attended dozens of technical conferences and hackathons. I also co-founded a blockchain co-working space and community based in New York and have hosted dozens of events as part of that community.


Phase I: Developer calls

1 stars An introductory series of 3-4 developer calls for the Urbit community. See Details for more information and scope of work.

Phase II: Town Hall

2 stars A one-off, 2-3 hour “town hall” event that will be appropriate for both a technical and a non-technical audience. See Details for more information and scope of work.

Phase III: UrbitCon

3 stars A daylong virtual summit, the first public Urbit conference. See Details for more information and scope of work.