My Tenets of BIL

These thoughts are not reflective of the entire BIL community, but are those of one BILder.

Since its inception, BIL has been an idea fostered by a diverse community with a passion to share knowledge and move the world forward. Over the course of ten years and hundreds of BIL events, there have been as many shades and variations as participants.

Here are a few things that have evolved into the core, from my perspective:

It shouldn’t cost anything to share ideas – Whether it’s a group of ten people sitting around a campfire exploring ideas or 1,500 people on the Queen Mary presenting according to a scheduled itinerary, the only requirement for a BIL Conference is to come together and share ideas. It’s not about fancy AV equipment, polished presentations, t-shirts or booze. All of those things are fine, but they’re an embellishment, and not a necessity.

Decentralization and egalitarianism – BIL should foster ideas not egos. It’s always something special when we have a high-profile speaker attend, but we shouldn’t cater to any one person more than another. There’s a hyper-equality that should be kept in mind. A core group of organizers should restrain themselves from the authority of naming someone a keynote speaker or offering preferential treatment.

Open and transparent – The way that BIL operates (and has operated) is something beautiful. Each event meets its own troubles, obstacles and a few crisis situations that are somehow always handled. When curating an event, keep in mind that the show must go on. Every problem is just an opportunity for a creative solution.

Participants, not attendees – BIL is a shared responsibility of those who choose to get involved. Having a squad of on-call volunteers and assigning direct responsibility for certain tasks is necessary, but asking someone to help out and pitch in is part of the cost of admission, so to speak. Together, we do more.