Initiated by gb.tc (formerly the Greater Baltimore Technology Council) and sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, local tech, nonprofit, business and government leaders are gathering this weekend at a new event called “unWIREd.”
Billed as an “unconference,” unWIREd hopes to pull together and mobilize Baltimore’s resources in a way that addresses the city’s challenges, according to a gb.tc press release.
UnWIREd is hosted by Johns Hopkins University and will take place at Maryland Hall on the Homewood campus, this Friday from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Attendees will plan the conference’s agenda upon arrival, with Friday’s session dedicated to a series of status updates on current efforts to address local problems such as poverty, violence and struggling schools. At Saturday’s session, organized teams will set out to identify demands and resources, and brainstorm potential solutions.
“We all know Baltimore isn’t The Wire,” said gb.tc’s Jason Hardebeck in a statement. “We’re frustrated with the overly negative perception of our city. But rather than get angry, we should use it as motivation to come together and address the very-real problems holding Baltimore back.”
Registration is $10 with proceeds donated to the Digital Harbor Foundation. As of Monday afternoon, 56 people had registered online for the event, including attendees from Gov. Martin O'Malley's office, the Brookings Institution, the JHU Center for Social Concern, the University of Baltimore and Maryland Institute College of Art.
A second event, Groundwork, linked to unWIREd, is scheduled for late September. A hackathon, Groundwork will concentrate on executing teams’ strategies and problem-solving ideas.
From the gb.tc website:
“Baltimore unWIREd is about problem-solving at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, and social good. By bringing together innovators, creatives, and some of Baltimore’s most influential figures and institutions we intend to find ways to leverage, grow, and multiply Baltimore’s strengths through mutual awareness, collaboration, and action.”