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I’d be a happy man if FROG had the resources and the time to attend each one of these events. Running down the list, you might ask why our tiny non-profit would want to hit up Bonnaroo or SXSW? Our focus is Guyana and international development, so how do any of these events relate to our work?

From Burning Man to Coachella to DEMO to TED, these are the gatherings of progressive minds, showcasing their latest ideas and boldest initiatives. Much of what happens at these places has nothing to do with our work but everything to do with our potential.

Attending conferences focusing primarily on non-profit work and international development, or workshops on fundraising and community organization fundamentally helps at every level of operation. But it’s these places that attract the brilliant minds and innovative thinkers that don’t traditionally work with us nor we they. With the massive potential for networking and influence from these atypical sources of inspiration, our capacity for good and growth is exponential.

The point being, sure it’s necessarty to attend the workshops and events related to activism and development, but we cannot forget to reach outside of our focus and embrace the people pushing ahead in other areas. There’s much to be learned and appreciated.


The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a four day annual music festival by Superfly Productions and AC Entertainment, first held in 2002. The festival is held on a 700 acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee. The main attractions of the festival are the multiple stages of live music, featuring a diverse array of musical styles including world music, hip hop, jazz, americana, bluegrass, country music, folk, gospel, reggae, electronica, and other alternative music. The festival began with a primary focus on jam bands, but has diversified greatly in recent years. The festival features craftsmen and artisans selling unique products, food and drink vendors, and many other activities put on by various sponsors. Sponsors of the festival are required to provide free activities for attendees.


Bumbershoot is an annual international music and arts festival held in Seattle, Washington. One of North America’s largest music and arts festivals, it takes place every Labor Day weekend at the 74-acre Seattle Center, which was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. Seattle Center includes indoor theaters, outdoor stages, McCaw Hall, and Memorial Stadium. The name of the festival was taken from bumbershoot, a colloquial term for umbrella, probably coined in the 19th century as a portmanteau of umbrella and parachute.

Burning Man

Burning Man is a project best known for an eight-day-long annual festival that takes place in Black Rock City, a temporary city on the playa of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, 90 miles north-northeast of Reno, ending on the American Labor Day holiday in September. Though the event’s specific location on the playa changes from year to year, the location has been quite constant in recent years. The event is described by organizers as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance and takes its name from the ritual of burning a large wooden sculpture of a man on the sixth day. The event is organized by Black Rock City, LLC, under the guidance of founder Larry Harvey.


The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a three-day annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, California. The event features many genres of music including alternative rock, hip hop, and electronica as well as large sculptural art. The event has several stages/tents set-up throughout the grounds, each playing live music continuously. The main stages are: Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Gobi Tent, Mojave Tent, and the Sahara Tent.

The D Conference

Since its debut in 2003, The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference has brought to life the energy and excitement of the digital revolution in an unscripted, upfront and unparalleled way.

Conference creators and executive producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher put the industry’s top players to the test during informal but pointed conversations about the impact digital technology will have on our lives now and in the future. The results are critical insights and relevant advice that stay with you well after the conference ends.

The top annual gathering of the digital world will return to the elegant Four Seasons Resort Aviara in Carlsbad, Calif., from May 27 to 29, 2008, for the sixth edition of D. Check back for more information on D6. Or, send us an email with the word “Subscribe� in the subject line and we will notify you when registration opens.


DEMO is the premier launch venue for new products, technologies and companies. For more than 16 years, DEMO has established a reputation for identifying and presenting to an elite audience the products most likely to have a significant impact on the marketplace and market trends in the coming year. Each product is carefully screened and selected by DEMO’s Executive Producer, Chris Shipley, one of the top trend spotters in the personal technology product industry. DEMO is held two times a year; one in February, and one in September.

EMP Pop Conferences

The EMP Pop Conference is an annual event that debuted in 2002 and takes as its mission the idea of bringing academics, writers, performers, and other music lovers into an all too rare common conversation. Previous year’s conferences have resulted in the collections Listen Again: A Momentary History of Pop Music, forthcoming later this year on Duke University Press, and This is Pop: In Search of the Elusive at Experience Music Project. The conference is sponsored by the Seattle Partnership for American Popular Music (EMP, KEXP 90.3 FM, and the University of Washington School of Music), with the help of a grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.


Gel (Good Experience Live) is a conference focused on experience in all its forms — business, art, society, technology, and life.

The conference has been held annually in New York City since 2003, and the first European counterpart, euroGel 2006, has taken place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 1 September 2006. Each conference has been hosted by Gel’s founder, Mark Hurst.


ideaCity, also known as ‘Canada’s Premiere Meeting of the Minds’, is an eclectic gathering of artists, adventurers, authors, cosmologists, doctors, designers, entertainers, filmmakers, inventors, magicians, musicians, scientists and technologists. Fifty of the planet’s brightest minds converge on Toronto each June to speak to a highly engaged audience. Only 497 are privileged to attend.

Produced and presented by Moses Znaimer, ideaCity is not themed around any one topic, issue or business. There are no scripted speeches or, breakout or parallel sessions. Rather, everyone is in one place and in on the same narrative. With extra-long schmooze breaks between sessions, and legendary parties each night, attendees have had an unprecedented opportunity to mingle with such notable speakers as Conrad Black, Barbara Gowdy, Michael Ignatieff, Douglas Coupland, Pamela Wallin, Pete Seeger, Robert Kennedy Jr., John Ralston Saul, Daniel Libeskind, Clayton Ruby, Romeo Dallaire and the late Peter Jennings.

Nantucket Conference

The Nantucket Conference convenes a small, invitation-only group of New England’s most creative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, and executives. There are several reasons why this region’s high-level high-tech players consider the Nantucket Conference a must-attend gathering.

First, there are unique opportunities for exchanging ideas and networking in a relaxing, informal environment. [They] acknowledge that much of the value of the Nantucket Conference comes from impromptu hallway conversations, serendipitous seatings at lunch, and walks around town. Nantucket is a place for having fun, doing business, and making new connections.

Second, sessions on Nantucket elicit the kind of real-world war stories and insight that you don’t hear at any other conference. All proceedings of the Conference are off-the-record, which gives presenters a chance to talk openly and honestly. [They] limit the use of PowerPoint and forbid blatant company pitches. Also, since there is precisely no difference in the caliber of people on stage and those in the audience, there is always plenty of opportunity at each session for interaction and debate.

Finally, this isn’t an event produced by a conference company that churns out dozens of cookie-cutter events each year. Nantucket is organized by a group of people — [their] Advisory Board — who actually work in the technology space every day.

The National Peace Corps Association Group Leaders Forum

An annual forum for the leadership of the 130+ Peace Corps RPCV groups to meet and discuss important topics relating to Peace Corps, the RPCV community and international development.

Nonprofit Technology Conference

Where people come “together at the Nonprofit Technology Conference to connect with colleagues, learn about the issues, share their knowledge with others, and, of course, have fun. [They] talked about what works, what doesn’t work, and what is in the works when it comes to using technology in the nonprofit sector to further your cause.

O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference

ETech balances pie-in-the-sky theorizing with practical, real-world information and conversation. Our tutorials and breakout sessions will help you inject magic into your own projects, while keynotes and hallway conversation will hopefully spark enough unconventional thinking to change how you see your world.

Penny Arcade Expo

The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) is an annual gamer festival held in Washington. PAX was created by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the authors of the Penny Arcade webcomic, because they wanted to attend a show that gave equal attention to video gamers, computer gamers, and tabletop gamers. No such show existed, so PAX was born.

Created in 2004, PAX has doubled in size each successive year and has grown into a weekend-long celebration of gamer culture. Defining characteristics include game-inspired concerts, panels on game industry topics, exhibitor booths, after-hours parties, tournaments, and freeplay areas.


PICA acknowledges and advances new developments in contemporary art while fostering the creative explorations of artists and audiences. Established in 1995 by a committed group of artists and patrons, PICA features emerging regional, national, and international artists in all disciplines, bridging the gap between historically-focused collecting institutions, commercial galleries and performing arts presenters. PICA’s enduring passion adds significant value to the arts ecology of the region.


Conversation and dialogue are key parts of the Pop!Tech experience. Increasingly, we’ve been working to take the best of the insights and magical moments that happen in Camden, and share them with new communities throughout the world. We’re doing this through books, television, live “satellite� events, and more. Thus, even as the Pop!Tech conference draws to a close, the Pop!Tech conversation continues to inspire people around the world.

Pop!Tech champions the work of exceptional thinkers, entrepreneurs, activists, and performers but we are always looking for new and inspiring speakers to bring to the Pop!Tech stage. We invite you to let us know about any amazing individuals who you feel would be a strong candidate for presenting at future Pop!Techs. Please send an email with relevant links and background information to June Sung.


RESFest was founded in 1996, and has become the most prominent digital film festival in North America. It is a leading global showcase of new digital filmmakers alongside England’s onedotzero festival. The festival now tours the world and in 2005 traveled to 35 cities in the USA, Canada, UK, Japan, Australia, Brazil and in various cities in Europe, Asia and Africa. A large part of the festival’s current content focuses on cutting-edge music videos and short films, and directors like Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham and Jonathan Glazer have all had their catalogs of work showcased at RESFest over the years.

The Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival is a film festival in the United States and ranks alongside the Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Toronto film festivals as one of the most prestigious in the world. It is the largest independent cinema festival in the U.S. Held in January in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, Utah as well as at the Sundance Resort, the festival is the premier showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. The festival comprises competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, and a group of non-competitive showcase sections, including the Sundance Online Film Festival.

Supernova Conference

(via “I put together the first Supernova conference three years ago because, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, we all knew something was happening here, but we didn’t know what it was. My conviction was that underneath all the changes – business becoming increasingly distributed, users becoming more knowledgeable, old industry models collapsing, and everything and everybody becoming networked – is one fundamental phenomenon: decentralization.

At Supernova, we bring together business, government, and technology thought leaders to understand how decentralization and pervasive connectivity are changing our world.”


South by Southwest is a set of interactive, film, and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring in Austin, Texas. Begun in 1987, SXSW is centered around the downtown Austin Convention Center and each of the three parts run relatively independently, with different start and end dates. SXSW is one of the largest music festivals in the United States, with more than 1,400 performers playing dozens of venues around Austin over four days in March. SXSW is the highest money making public event for the Austin economy, bringing in more revenues than Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Texas Longhorn football home football games.

In 1994 SXSW added Film and Interactive conferences. SXSW Film has become one of the world’s premiere film festivals, focusing on new directing talent. Similarly, SXSW Interactive has attracted a strong following among Web creators and entrepreneurs.


TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is an annual conference held in Monterey, California and recently, semi-annually in other cities around the world. TED describes itself as a “group of remarkable people that gather to exchange ideas of incalculable value”. Its lectures cover a broad set of topics including science, arts, politics, global issues, architecture, music and more. The speakers themselves are from a wide variety of communities and disciplines. The TED Conference also has a companion conference, TED Global, held in varying locations.

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