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Frequently Asked Questions
The event web address is: http://FutureCommerce.CIVICS.com
What if I have an urgent issue?
Please let us know by pulling an issue ticket and anybody on the organizing team will be able to address the issue or elevate it as needed.
Joining and Participating
How do I signup for this event?
Register for this event to participate. Registration for free on our handy form, here: http://futurecommerce.civics.com/enroll.html
Where is the event happening?
This is an online and in-person event. The online event will happen through http://futurecommerce.civics.com. The in-person activities will happen in and around Kendall Sq, Cambridge, Massachusetts, centered at the MIT Media Lab and the Cambridge Innovation Center. Registered participants will receive more specific details about locations and logistics.
When is the event happening?
This event is happening from November 20 - 22, 2015. Please consult the Program Schedule for the most up to date published calendar of sessions and other activities.
What is the FutureCommerce Hackathon and Unconference?
The FutureCommerce Hackathon and Unconference is a creative event for team-based generation of innovative commercial products, services, transactions, experiences, relationships and business models. The first day of the event will be in be facilitated in the format of a participatory discussion and ideation oriented Unconference. The first day will elicit and advance important concepts, proposals and connections that can help spark innovative ideas for hackathon projects and other continuing work on these topics.
The Second and Third days of the event will be organized like a more traditional hackathon, with team-based project created over the weekend and presented to a panel of judges. Participants may form competing or non-competing teams, and all participants are eligible to attend workshops, tutorials and other learning sessions with invited subject matter experts and mentors.
What will happen at the event?
Produced by CIVICS.com at the MIT Media Lab and Cambridge Innovation Center, the program will provide participants opportunities for learning, networking, socializing with a series of optional anchor-point sessions designed to encourage advancing by inventing through provocative challenge project such as facilitated "PrototypeJam" exercises and cross-discriplinary teamups aimed at discovering new combinations and integrations of business, law & technology to breakthrough barriers and reinvent a better future. We invite participants to propose topics, speakers and projects.
With the partnership of Massachusetts Legal Hackers and the ComputableLaw research team of MIT Media Lab's Human Dynamics group, a strong set of legal resources, talent and innovative new solutions will be made available for participants to leverage as part of addressing key challenges to innovation and entrepreneurship in the new economy. Participants will also have a unique opportunity to learn about and work with blockchain technologies, including but not limited to Bitcoin. Several hackathon teams and symposium speakers will explore examples and opportunities for using blockchains to solve key commercial and legal challenges. The emphasis on law and blockchains are important themes, but participants and teams are encouraged to work on any topics or projects relevant to the future of commerce.
This is a hybrid online and in-person event, built around a full MIT hackathon, providing resources for team-based projects culminating in a round of competitive judging. The hackathon includes a symposium for participants to engage with experts, top entrepreneurs and thought leaders, and provides a series of skill building, learning and social activities. The event may also features opportunities for participation in PrototypeJam style facilitated design sessions working with public and private sector organizations bringing challenging problems and collaborating in rapid design and prototyping charrette to develop creative solutions.
Commerce is not only about the exchange of goods and services at mass-scale but also about the interchange of ideas and information. The advent of networks connecting everything, everyone, everywhere all the time has enabled previously impossible opportunities for innovations and invention. Today, with the emergence of powerfully disruptive tools like the Blockchain, Trust Networks and Smart Contracts, the potential of an open Internet can be realized at little cost, in almost no time with a single little hack reflecting a single big idea. This event features an integrated approach to the business, legal and technical dimensions of commerce, providing mentors, tools and other resources to help teams achieve ideas and solutions the work across boundaries.
MIT Connection Science, CIVICS.com and Massachusetts Legal Hackers are convening a varied set of MIT students, creative business innovators, technical entrepreneurs, legal hackers and other to connect, brainstorm, imagine and present FutureCommerce. Join us for this unique participatory event and help re-invent the future.
How is this event related to relevant MIT graduate seminars?
Activities and projects are open to and connected with related graduate seminars at MIT Media Lab:
Proposing and Participating in FutureCommerce Event Sessions
What are Unconference sessions?
In keeping with the "unconference" approach of this event, any registered participant can propose an Unconference session on Friday, November 20, the first day of the event. To start sharing ideas and possible topics in advance of the event, please use the FutureCommerce Hackathon Project Proposal Form at: http://futurecommerce.civics.com/propose.html
Learn more about the FutureCommerce Unconference day here: https://github.com/FutureCommerce/Hackathon/wiki/Friday-Unpanel-Discussion-Periods
What are hacking sessions?
A hacking session is for two or more registered participants to collaborate on a project to built something. Hacking sessions are intended to produce some output, whether a prototype app, a publishable draft article or other artifact. The product that results from a hacking session will be added to the event gallery and presented at the closing session for general discussion and feedback. Every team collaborating on projects will have opportunities to make a project presentation to a panel of judges and all registered participants for feedback. Winners, and others still present at the conclusion of the event.
How do people propose or learn about proposed Unconference sessions?
If desired, a pre-conference hangout can be arranged for participants who want an additional method to share their ideas in advance of the event. However, the basic idea of this Unconference format is that the specific topics are created at the start of the event and the agenda is self-organizing by the participants who are actually present at the event.
What if I don't see my question asked here?
Create an Issue Ticket Here to pose new/different questions and/or better answers than those already offered above. Once the issue is added to our event GitHub repository issues tracker system, one of the organizers (or perhaps one of the very active participants) can more quickly and effectively respond.