1-3 March 2019

City, University London

Where Sparks Fly


None really, but an interest in alternative Social Networks would make this session really interesting.

Session details

There is an urgent need for a new model for social networking.

The age of shareholder profit-driven, advertising-led platforms is starting to feel outmoded, especially given Facebook's technical limitations and the growing fears about misuse of information.

The future of social networking and community building is actually quite simple. It must lie in a smarter business model that is free of algorithms and sponsored posts and doesn’t harvest and exploit data. It should be a model that values its members and looks to empower and engage them.

Campfire Convention was founded and is led by social entrepreneur Pete Lawrence, the man behind pioneering record label Cooking Vinyl in the 80s, and Big Chill festivals in the 90s, which had a thriving forum and online community even before Facebook. 

Pete has built a track record in galvanising and inspiring communities and his vision for the future of social networking is very much based upon working collectively for conscious social change from the grassroots upwards. ‘What can we build together for the common good?’ rather than ‘What’s in it for me?'

The network was built in Drupal 7 from 2016 to 2018. It is now being ported to the Open Social Distribution on Drupal 8. Lessons learned are being integrated and a leaner model is being adopted as well as potentially being adapted to meet the needs of like-minded communities and groups such as Extinction Rebellion.

This session will explain the ethos and ideas behind Campfire Convention, the technical challenges we have faced in this exciting project and how society and the Drupal community can benefit individually and collectively from its success.

I come to Campfire because I’m interested in new social ideas, how we can run the world, how we can think differently about things." Brian Eno, Campfire patron

If you have an interest in social networks, creative communities or progressive solutions there should be something in this session for you.

Skill Level
Session Track

Keynote speakers

Rowan Merewood

Developer @ Google

Saturday AM

Preston So

Director of R&I @ Acquia

Sunday AM

Sally Young

Developer @ Lullabot

Closing Keynote

Drupal apprentices

The best people to train new developers are developers

The Drupal Apprenticeship Scheme will be running a London intake in March. If you are interested in hiring an apprentice or know someone who would benefit from the scheme please get in touch via the link below.

  • Created and run by experienced developers
  • Teaches core skills and best practice
  • Extensive support for businesses and teams

We are also really keen to hear from people who might be interested in mentoring, training and helping us to develop and review training materials to make sure they stay absolutely current and relevant.

Find out more

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