On Saturday, after waking up to Baltimore’s first significant snowfall of the season, more than 200 people packed meeting rooms at the University of Baltimore for this year’s rendition of the free-form arts and technology “unconference,” Create Baltimore.
Ideas were spit-balled, the collaborators of tomorrow (perhaps) met each other and an assortment of topics were covered. People discussed mapping and visualizing, journalism and various ways to shine a light on government data, creating an advocacy organization for city bicyclists, improving food access in urban neighborhoods and a host of other ripe topics.
I dropped in on the session led by filmmaker Lee Boot and photographer John Dean about bringing street commerce to Baltimore.
“I spent time in Istanbul and John spent time in Florence this fall and we were both blown away by how different the concept of street commerce is in other parts of the world from the way we do it here in Baltimore (and most of the states),” Boot wrote on the Create website, explaining their topic. “We think it could be the missing link for jobs, making the city a destination, and bringing life to struggling neighborhoods.”
They showed photos of places on their travels where they’d seen such markets in Italy and Turkey and asked the group to ponder whether North Avenue, say, could be a place for something similar.
Lots of smart pondering by fascinating people. Watch for the followup conversations from the conference to be posted on the website. Kudos to co-founder organizers Scott Burkholder, Andrew Hazlett, J. Buck Jabaily and Dave Troy.