Topic Archives: Conference
Science. Someone makes an observation, creates a hypothesis, tests it, then analyzes the results against the hypothesis. Hopefully once a conclusion is reached it is tested again and again for validity and reproducibility. With self-tracking, the world of personal science and experimentation is opening up real-world personal laboratories to test the findings, claims, and promises available through the popular and scientific literature.
Nick Alexander is one of these self-experimenters. When he started to hear about thermodynamics and the effect of temperature on exercise and energy expenditure he decided to set up his own experiment:
I had been introduced to thermodynamics exercise research by former NASA scientistRay Cronise via Wired and the Four Hour Body. Ray makes an extraordinary claim (i.e. that exercising in a cold environment, especially in cold water, causes a large increase in calorie burn), and I was curious to see if it would work for me.
In this talk, given at the 2013 Quantified Self Global Conference, Nick explains his experimental setup and what he found after tracking over 30 runs and crunching the numbers. For a more in-depth discussion about his methodology and his findings I recommend reading his recaps.
This video is from our 2013 Global Conference, a unique gathering of toolmakers, users, inventors, and entrepreneurs. If you’d like see talks like this in person we invite you to join us in Amsterdam for our 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference on May 10 and 11th.
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!
Rob Rothfarb has an artificial aortic heart valve. It requires him to take anticoagulation therapy so that he reduces his risk of blood clots. It also requires constant monitoring to ensure that he is within target ranges. Rob learned that different lifestyle factors and genetic susceptibility was related to how effective his therapy was so he decided to start doing weekly self-testing and experimenting with one factor, his diet. Watch his talk from our 2013 Global Conference to find out what he learned.
Katrina Rodzon thought she was a relatively healthy person until she realized that seemingly disconnected symptoms pointed towards something real, a gluten intolerance. She took this hunch and decided to test it out using a simple elimination diet along with tracking her weight and subjective bloating and mood ratings. Watch her great talk from our 2013 Global Conference to find out what she learned.
In three months we’ll be gathering again in Amsterdam for our third Quantified Self Europe Conference. Since 2011 we’ve seen this event grow into an amazing experience. We spend a lot of time working with attendees to find those special projects and experiments that show the diversity of the self-tracking experience. We’ve been honored to have worked with over 100 different attendees to bring outstanding presentations, breakout discussions, and interactive experiences.
I wanted to share one of those attendees with you today. Sara Riggare is an engineer, graduate student, and mother. She also has Parkinson’s Disease. We first met Sara at our first European Conference in 2011 where she gave an inspiring talk about how she uses self-tracking to monitor her movement and symptom progression. We were happy to welcome her again in 2013 where she shared her insights and experience with tracking how her medication impacted her movement throughout the day and how that enabled her to have more meaningful conversations with her healthcare team.
We could stop here and tell you how excited we are to have Sara attending the upcoming Quantified Self Europe Conference, but I want to share one more story with you. We are constantly telling people how our conferences are an opportunity to share and learn from each other. We love hearing stories about someone being inspired by what they saw. After Sara spoke about her experience in 2011 she met Caspar Addyman, a psychologist and researcher, and they started exploring their shared interests and expertise. Sharing quickly turned into collaboration and a successfully funded research project in the UK, which they shared in a short talk at the 2013 conference.
Lucky for us, Sara hasn’t stopped exploring her personal quantified self experience. Just this past September Sara was in the Bay Area and shared her current tracking progress and the tools she’s using:
We’re happy to have Sara as part of our community in Europe and we’re looking forward to what we’ll learn from her in May. We hope you’ll join us in Amsterdam to meet Sara and the other self-trackers, toolmakers, and researchers that make up our wonderful community. Registration is open now.
With a projected 90 Million wearables to ship this year, it’s no surprise that different form factors are entering the marketplace. At our 2013 Global Conference we were excited to have Stephane Marceau, the co-founder and CEO of OMsignal, give a short talk about their technology and how he’s using it to track his life.
If you’d like see talks like this in person we invite you to join us in Amsterdam for our 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference on May 10 and 11th.
Our show&tell talks usually give you insight into new and different self-tracking projects from a first person perspective. What we rarely hear about is how a self-tracking practice affects those around you, your family and friends. In this wonderful Ignite talk from our 2013 Global Conference Bill Schuller explains how his tracking has impacted his kids and what he’s learned from their experiences.
Vivienne Ming is an accomplished neuroscientist and entrepreneur. When she’s not conducting research or working on new ideas she’s busy taking care of her son Felix. Two years ago Felix was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Vivienne and her partner tackled his diagnosis head on and started tracking everything they could. In this talk, presented at the 2013 Quantified Self Global Conference, Vivienne explains what they’re learning together.
We’ll be posting videos from our 2013 Global Conference during the next few months. If you’d like see talks like this in person we invite you to join us in Amsterdam for our 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference on May 10 and 11th.
Let’s end the year with this fun, short video about building your own QS devices. Thank you to Mike and Lisa Winter for giving us a look at what’s possible, fresh from your amazing studio.
WE WISH YOU ALL A CREATIVE AND INSPIRING 2014!
Please join us in Amsterdam for our 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference on May 10 and 11th.