Last weekend, we hit “Leave Meeting” on another virtual TransportationCamp DC, the annual unconference that brings together advocates, planners, engineers, students, and everyone else passionate about transportation to share ideas and chart a path for the year ahead. To help you get a sense of what it was like, we’ve compiled reflections from staff and volunteers, plus some of our favorite tweets from the day.
A unique keynote was a perfect fit for an unconference
By 2022, there is quite a bit of Zoom fatigue with conferences, but speakers and TCamp participants were always innovative in rethinking the presentation paradigm. The keynote speaker, Kim Lucas, really flipped the script on the keynote, which typically is one-sided or a dialogue with a moderator, and decentralized access for all participants to not only ask questions, but share their thoughts on the themes Kim was raising. That energy continued throughout the day with various innovative presentation styles looking to shake up the typical virtual engagement into an augmented reality that otherwise would have been an in-person event. Look forward to TCamp next year, taking lessons learned from TCamps past and continue to support the unconference nature of the event and fostering new ideas and collaborations.
Online engagement helped share resources
I loved seeing the virtual engagement on Slack and Twitter over the course of the event. We could only make it to so many sessions individually, but between people sharing slides to presentations, articles connected to sessions they attended, and thoughts they had over the course of the day, it felt like I’d attended so many more sessions than I really had! Besides COVID safety, that library of information that I still have access to after the event might’ve been the greatest benefit of being virtual once again this year—though I think I speak for many others when I say I can’t wait for TransportationCamp DC to be back in-person!
— Darryl Young (@DarrylWYoung) January 8, 2022
Day-long discussions with Campers—despite being virtual
Not only did TransportationCamp DC 2022 manage to overcome the barriers of the virtual setting and maintain the collaborative unconference atmosphere, but the attendees and presenters inspired new ideas and conversations, spinning their work into offline collaborations. What stood out most to me was the dedication of TCampers to thinking systems-wide. Kim Lucas’ keynote address sparked conversations around guaranteed mobility and foundational equity. Other people talked about creating institutional changes to the way we use language when writing about transportation issues and how to launch movements against harmful highway expansions. Campers were empowered to share their personal experiences, like when someone in the chat mentioned the jurisdictional issues present in managing a city that is less than 10 years old. People brought their best, and I can’t wait for next year.
Wow – the “A Quarter of Us Can’t Drive” session with @AnnaZivarts (@dismobility) and @pnumoves (@frontandcenterd) has been a master class in how advocates can share stories about mobility challenges for non-drivers and raise awareness for solutions. #TransportationCampDC https://t.co/TE597KBZkH pic.twitter.com/SkIRyAdv3z
— Greg Rogers (@AVGregR) January 8, 2022
Inspiration despite two years of Zoom fatigue
I wasn’t sure how engaged I would be at TransportationCamp 2022 with the Omicron variant surging, spending my Saturday on all-too-familiar Zoom, but wow! TCamp never fails to inspire me. I especially love how this unconference draws informed folks whose profession is not necessarily directly in transportation. That infusion of new energy and ideas is what makes the event inspiring and uniquely informative. For example, I joined a discussion about transportation advocacy and the law, an area ripe with advocacy opportunities. I can’t wait to connect again with some of the participants I met. And maybe even meet them in person at TransportationCamp DC 2023.
It’s Saturday morning and I’m at #TransportationCampDC 2022. Love this format for sharing and learning and looking forward to sharing what I learn w the team. (Even #chewythecovidcat is here ) pic.twitter.com/4yWaVUB2rU
— Kristina Swallow (@DesertSwallow) January 8, 2022
And to sum it all up:
Expanding my horizons on topics I am knowledgeable about but not an expert in, was great. It was amazing to learn more about things that I was not even aware of. TransportationCamp DC was a great experience.
—William West Hopper, TransportationCamp volunteer
Congrats to @T4America @ @SmartGrowthUSA for making an ALL-day Zoom event on transportation#TransportationCampDC FUN. Want to make an impact to increase safety on our roads? Join the events. Don’t be afraid, they don’t bite. The industry wants to be our friend & build betterpic.twitter.com/GRqWvS3UvM
— Mary-Jo Gellenbeck (@MassTransitLady) January 8, 2022
We’ll see you next year!