Project Mint

Project Mint – the project to write a bid to bring WordCamp Europe to Manchester, UK.

At the 2018 WordCamp Manchester social, there had been umms and arrs about applying for WordCamp Europe to come to WordPress co-founder’s – Mike Little‘s home town.

I had personally applied before but it went to Seville that year. Many people didn’t realise I had applied previously. We knew Brexit was a possibility. We did the maths and estimated when we suspected for things to really take affect if it really happened.

Then Steph Walker looked me in the eye and said “If you lead, I’ll join the organising team.”

Others joined Steph’s comment and by the end of the evening I had caved and declared I was going to apply to bring WordCamp Europe to Manchester and invited anyone who wanted to join in the fun to join me.

Unfortunately, we never did win the WordCamp Europe 2020 bid. Our friends in Porto won it. It was a moment of sadness and relief. We all had high hopes but we also knew that we had gained a lot of time back.

Some of the bidders discussed what we wanted to do about the application. We had poured a lot of time looking up local history and information. We didn’t want it to all go to waste, or get lost.

We hope that it will inspire you to visit one of the home towns of WordPress.

More importantly – if you are thinking about applying to host WordCamp Europe in Manchester, we hope by sharing it, it will help you with your application.

We wish you luck future bidders! 🙌

Props to the Co-bidders

Thank you to the following people who all were co-bidders with me.

Some of you went searching and reading up on history of the city, we all love so much. Some of you did research into costs and practicalities of staying and running an event like WordCamp Europe in Manchester.

One thing you all did was keep me calm and had my back when my machine was having kernel panics every 3 minutes. I couldn’t have done this without you all.

I hope we get to do something in the future. 🤗

The co-bidders in first name order:

Thank you!

Feature image photo by Fraser Cottrell on Unsplash

Not the minority.

I just want to capture something I should have captured years ago – that feeling when you look like the majority and not the minority.

I’ve lived my whole life in the UK. Born and bred Brit, I wouldn’t change my life for the world but last weekend was a weekend of something special.

It wasn’t the first time i’ve felt it. The last time this happened I was so overwhelmed I went back to my hotel room and cried. That feeling is the feeling of looking around and seeing people who look like you who are also into tech.

Before PHP Asia, I very rarely met any oriental looking people in tech conferences in Europe or America. People often got me and Helen Hou-Sandi mixed up. I mean our accents are completely different and I am always wearing glasses but apparently that doesn’t stop people from thinking we’re the same person.

When I got invited to speak at PHP Asia, I remember asking work if they would send me. Mentally I knew it was a big deal to myself but i didn’t realise how much. It wasn’t till the conference group photo, that it struck me.

2015 PHP Asia group photo

It was the first time in my life that in a tech crowd it took longer than a second to find where i was in the group. In fact, I couldn’t I know I was there but it made me laugh to think I can’t find myself.

Is this what it feels like to be in the majority space?

Last weekend I was at JSBangkok. Since landing in the Thailand, I have people constantly speak to me in thai. It makes me laugh but it also reminds me that people are making assumptions – and that assumption is that I’m a local who speaks thai.

At the event there were people giving talks in thai and in english. You would think that I would find no value in the talks in thai but the organisers were translating on the fly. Not only that, the big take away was a tool one of the thai speakers shared.

What the last few days have reminded me is the power of representation. Seeing people who look like you, doing things that you do or that you enjoy or that you aspire to do – it’s a powerful thing. 🥰