Deadline: 1 February 2017
Call for proposals

Hacker Camp Benelux SHA2017

SHA2017 is a five-day international outdoor technology and security conference in the Netherlands from the 4th till the 8th of August 2017. We are calling for participation in the form of talks, workshops, installations, volunteers, and more. A motley bunch of around 5000 hackers, free-thinkers, philosophers, activists, geeks, scientists, artists, makers, creative minds, and others will convene from all over the world to contemplate, reflect, share, discuss, criticise, look ahead, code, build, and more. The location is the Scoutinglandgoed in Zeewolde, 55km east of Amsterdam. SHA2017 is a non-commercial, self-organised community event; attending the event means that you are also volunteering to help us make it happen.

Our dependence on information technology is still on an upward curve, to the point where it warrants serious discussions of the effects of its convenience and power on the resilience of our society, our fundamental rights, our democracy, the communities it is made up of, and our personal lives. This dependence plays out from the mundane, too often facepalm-worthy levels of the Internet of Things, through our difficulties with escaping the network effects of large internet platforms, up to the geopolitical dimensions of unauthorised transparency through whistleblowing and leaks. This is why we chose this event’s theme:

Convenience & Resilience

And since one can have both a theme and a motto, we have also chosen a motto: Put on your robe and wizard hat. Because today’s cybering is tomorrow’s smurfing.

Also because a lot of the technical and political choices we make (individually and collectively) are about squaring convenience with reselience. For example our hardware and software stacks are only truly free and open (and resilient by extension) up to a point, because at some point there is too high a price to be paid in terms of convenience. For the vast masses this means getting herded into walled gardens such as Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft. Likewise with decentralised tools versus really nifty online platforms. Or the tension between usability and security.

Or for policymakers for whom it is much more convenient to criminalise tinkering with systems further than to face the harsh reality that the vast majority of our infrastructures are so brittle that the term resilience becomes laughable. At the same time it is intentionally vague, because ultimately, it is not for us, the SHA2017 Content Team, to define what will happen at SHA2017 but for you. For this is a call for participation to you, the avant-garde of the information revolution and those who live and breathe technology, subversively or just retro and everything in between.

What submissions are we looking for and how will we look at them?

The scope of this call for participation is not limited to traditional lectures. We are looking for other formats as well: workshops (either bound in time or continuously running), presentations, demonstrations, films, performances engaging the audience, and art installations. The one format we are less keen on is panels. Especially “manels” (panels consisting only of male individuals). But we are not going to rule that out either.

Substance-wise, we are looking for technical topics, such as information security, but also broader technological, social, and political topics. And no less important: the arts. In short, if you want to geek out in a surprising way about anything, we would like to take it into consideration. At past events we’ve seen unexpected proposals that had a sufficient wow-factor while defying categorisation. For example, the DIY cyclotron at HAR2009, or the Bach piano concert at OHM2013. The most important rule: be interesting. Don’t worry that your topic is too technical or too specialised; ultra-specialist topics often merit a stage as well.

We want to provide an environment that is welcoming to all sapient beings. We do not intend to provide an intellectually safe space; both speakers and other participants are most welcome to challenge orthodoxy. The need to create a physically safe space for everyone is paramount, however. We demand of all participants they are excellent to each other, even if they disagree on major political points such as the ideological purity of a specific OS.