The North Oakland meetup is intended as a fun, low-key social space with some structured interaction, where new and non-new community members can mingle and have interesting conversations. Everyone is welcome.

For the inaugural meetup, this week's topic will be 'Short Talks'. We’ll do 7-minute lightning talks with 3 additional minutes allowed for questions.

A talk doesn’t have to be formal, planned, or even something that you’d expect someone to Give A Talk About; it can be as simple as telling the group about something you find interesting or cool. In the past, we’ve had people talk about topics like: how complicated the process of organizing fresh food for airplane flights is, their experience volunteering for a local political campaign, a video game they were designing and writing, and many others.

We don't expect any sort of preparation or practice for these kinds of talks. They're very casual and the expectations are low. If your talk isn't great, it's okay because we'll just move on to another one in a few minutes. If it helps, think of it this way: you're just being given the conversational floor for a few minutes, in a slightly more organized way than usual.

About the Meetup

The North Oakland meetup is intended as a fun, low-key social space with some structured interaction, where new and non-new community members can mingle and have interesting conversations. Everyone is welcome.

Topics generally don't start until a half-hour to give a bigger arrival window, and late arrivals are welcome. We explicitly encourage people to split off from the main conversation or diverge from the topic if that would be more fun for them (moving side conversations into a separate part of the space if appropriate). Meetup topics are here as a tool to facilitate fun interaction, and we certainly don’t want them to inhibit it.

I am borrowing both description and format from the long-running but now long-lapsed San Francisco meetups. They were great at this for many years, and were an excellent 'on-ramp' for people who had moved to the area for one reason or another but hadn't made connections with the local community, or even each other. (Myself included!) I hope to renew this, a little closer to the local center of gravity in South Berkeley/North Oakland.

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