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At Quantified Self Labs, we create and host events that bring together our community of trackers, toolmakers, researchers, and other individuals interested in how self-tracking is shaping our culture. We focus mainly on meetups and conferences. With the 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference coming up in May, we thought we’d let you know what makes it a unique and rewarding experience for us and our growing community.
When and Where
Since our first European Conference in 2011, we’ve been lucky to present at the Casa 400 Hotel in beautiful Amsterdam. This year’s conference will take place on May 10th and 11th to take advantage of the spring weather. Casa 400 is just a short bike ride from central Amsterdam and is conveniently located within waking distance of a public train station.
Our conferences are unique community-driven events that we like to refer to as “carefully curated unconferences”. All of our sessions and talks come from our conference attendees, which requires more hands-on work from our program staff. The end result is dynamic program that reflects the interest, insights, and experiences of our community. Our program is divided into four different types of sessions and presentations held concurrently throughout both days of the conference.
Show & Tell Talks: These talks are personal first-person self-tracking stories. We ask speakers to present their tracking experiments with an emphasis on what they’ve learned. At previous conferences we’ve heard talks on tracking Parkinson’s disease, computer use, continuous heart rate, and other fascinating subjects.
Breakout Discussions: Held concurrently with Show & Tell talks, the breakouts are group discussions about a specific topic related to Quantified Self. Each discussion topic is proposed and led by a conference attendee. Previous breakouts have touched on issues related to privacy, the “missing trackers”, DIY tracking, visualization design, the role of open data in the QS community, and many others.
Lunchtime Ignite Talks: After a healthy and delicious meal (lunch is provided) we encourage attendees to listen to six or eight rapid-fire Ignite talks from other participants. These talks are similar to our Show & Tell talks, but are typically more light-weight and entertaining. A great example is this talk given by Mark Moschel on tracking rejection.
Office Hours: We encourage participants to bring current projects, tools, or applications they’re working on. We provide office hour space during program sessions for people to present their project and interact with attendees in one-on-one conversations. We’ve been delighted to see a wide range of concepts exposed during office hours such as art projects, new visualization methods, meet and greets with luminaries in the field, and new tool prototypes.
Take a peak at our 2012 European Conference program for more examples of how we put together a collaborative program packed with learning and sharing opportunities.
Sponsors and Friends
We couldn’t create our conferences without the support of our generous sponsors. We’d like to thank our current annual sponsors, Autodesk and Intel, for their continued support. We are grateful for the support from this year’s conference sponsors: Gero Lab, Aro (Saga), Scanadu, Withings, and Zensorium. If you’re interested in sponsoring our work in general, or the upcoming European Conference, please get in touch.
We also want to thank our Friends of QS. These toolmakers, inventors, and entrepreneurs directly support our work and community. If you’d like to learn more about our Friends of QS program just let us know.
If you are an advanced user, designer, inventor, entrepreneur, journalist, scientist, or health professional, please join us in beautiful Amsterdam for two days of collaboration and inspiration!
We expect to sell out, so if you plan to attend please register today!
How will children respond to a world where personal data is ubiquitous? Bill Schuller is starting to find out with his two young children and will be sharing his story at the upcoming 2013 Quantified Self Global Conference.
Bill started tracking his exercise and weight in 2010. His preschool-aged son, listening to his father talk about his daily metrics at the dinner table, began to imitate Bill’s tracking behavior, regularly stepping on the scale, not to watch his weight, but to “just check my numbers.” Bill then designed tracking games for him and his son. One of them involved putting things away in the house while tracking steps and gaining “clean-up points.”
This fun talk will feature more stories on the creative ways Bill and his children are playing with self-tracking. As a preview, we have a version of the talk that he gave in San Diego in March 2012. Watch the video and then find out at the conference what further data adventures Bill has had with his kids in the last year and a half.
The Quantified Self Global Conference will be held in San Francisco on October 10th and 11th. Registration is now open. As with all of our conferences, our speakers are members of the community. We hope to see you there!
If you’ve followed along here on the Quantified Self website or attended a meetup in your community you know that self-tracking isn’t limited to using gadgets or apps. Some of our most interesting talk come from individuals who are exploring their lives through the lens of personal data collection. That is, data that and methods that are very personal and specific to the individual. Kostas Augemberg is no exception. We’ve already posted a great talk by Kostas that describes what happened when he asked himself, “How can I track my happiness?” and we’re excited he will be joining us at the upcoming 2013 Quantified Self Global Conference.
Kostas is a statistician and has been on a personal quest called Measured Me for the past year. His goal along this journey is to help develop a personal holistic system to help him “improve and understand his life.” Over this past year he’s taken a deep dive into exploring what it’s like to track subjective and objective wellbeing. These include tracking data in areas like “Existential Wellbeing”, “Living Well”, and “External Factors” among others. Suffice to say, this is an ambitious project!
At the conference Kostas will be sharing insights and results from his “Quantified Summer” project during which he attempted to capture his holistic and comprehensive wellbeing for 100 days. This includes tracking the following variables: Happiness, Life Satisfaction, Physical Health, Physical Energy, Stress, Emotional State, Alertness, Executive Cognitive Functions, and Sleep Quality at regular intervals each day for 100 consecutive days. We’re excited to learn about his tracking project and can’t wait to hear more! If you would like to follow along before the conference Kostas invites you to monitor his progress on his Lifestream dashboard.
The Quantified Self Global Conference will be held in San Francisco on October 10th and 11th. Registration is now open. As with all our conferences our speakers are members of the community. We hope to see you there!
At its core, Quantified Self is a community-driven effort to extract personal meaning from personal data. Our conferences reflect that by providing opportunities to learn what others are doing in their Quantified Self practice. Through our Show & Tell presentations you get to see first-hand accounts of how data is being collected and put to use in order to understand and investigate personal phenomena, but that’s not all our conference have to offer. In the spirit of collaborative learning we also schedule “Breakout Sessions” alongside our wonderful Show & Tell talks. These sessions, like all our conference programming, are developed and and facilitated by our wonderful attendees. Here’s a preview of just a few of the many fantastic Breakouts we have scheduled.
Title: The Self in Data
Breakout Leader: Sara Watson
Description: In my research on the QS community, I’ve found that we talk a lot about our technical requirements of data, and about how we want to use data. What we don’t often talk about is what it means to know ourselves through data. This breakout is an opportunity to discuss what data tells us about ourselves and how we relate to our data.
Title: On Sleep Tracking
Breakout Leader: Christel De Maeyer
Description: Does self-monitoring with devices like myZeo, Body Media create enough awareness and persuasion to change behavior and to maintain new habits? We would like to use this session to learn and share our experiences.
Title: Tracking breathing as a Unifying Experience
Breakout Leader: Danielle Roberts
Description: During this session we can exchange experiences on the tracking of respiration and tracking and visualising of life group data in general. You’ll have the opportunity to take part in a demo using custom breath tracking wearables and real time visualisation of breath data.
Title: Activity trackers
Breakout Leader: Michael Kazarnowicz
Description: We’ll take a look at the most common activity trackers on the market today. We will look at the trackers (maybe even play around with them hands-on) and compare the functions and the data you can get from them.
Title: QS as a Catalyst for Learning?
Breakout Leader: Hans de Zwart
Description: In this session we will explore whether quantifying yourself can act as a catalyst for learning. Can it speed up the learning process? Can it help us in achieving the holy grail of learning, a personalized tutor? What perverse effects might it have in the context of learning?
The Quantified Self European Conference will be held in Amsterdam on May 11th & 12th. Registration is now open. As with all our conferences our speakers are members of the community. We hope to see you there!