My journey with Hasgeek in Community Building and Clicktivism
I have known Hasgeek from its early days, but never really attended the events physically until 50p, 2017, but have watched many hours quality content on youtube. I admired the quality of content and the community curated proposal screening online with talkfunnel as against organiser driven programming.
When demonetisation happened, 50p was (delayed &) timed perfectly. As someone who was not an industry practitioner on digital payments and has just got intrigued by payments landscape, I submitted my talk proposal hoping and praying I get a slot. The higher bar for standards meant I had to sharpen my talk to get accepted. The rehersals ensured my first stage speak in front of large audience was not bad. It was a call for community and the talk was well recieved and CashlessConsumer went from a hashtag and domain name to a small set of people who were deeply interested in the cause - of moving to a fair cashless society. That the crowd at 50p was predominently fintech startup crowd, meant that the community’s seed were sown with people having deep passion and knowledgable for payments.
Little later, I then joined Abhishek Balaji to be a co-curator for next 2 editions of 50p. This gave me an oppurtunity to interact and acquint myself with many more stakeholders in the space and we had more rich conversations both in the events and in preparation to them. Unlike communities around technology, 50p had a distinct problem, of having a fintech developer community who want to share knowledge, but often times constrained due to traditionally knowledge-sharing averse norms prevailing in the BFSI sector. This meant getting speakers was hard, getting them to share knowledge was even more harder and we tried our best to putting together high quality conversations around payments. We also maintained the blog which was later printed as a booklet for 2018 edition participants.
The remodelling of Hasgeek in 2020 into a community hosting enabler was just what I could have asked for and we are continuing the conversations on payments / fintech for CashlessConsumer virtually.
I can’t thank Zainab and the larger Hasgeek team enough for all the support, constant encouragement in curating important conversations, connecting more people to CashlessConsumer, all along these 4 years - to grow from a single talk to an active community of ~100 passionate people interested about payments / fintech from a consumer’s lens.
Community building & Clicktivism
Technology is political and politics is increasingly polarizing. While you may / may not like how technology is being used by governments / corporations based on your political ideology, it is important to care on how technology is being put in place and what impacts it has on society. Policy making is usually through top-down drive, with some ‘consultative approaches’ thrown into the mix, where often stakeholders with infinite / large resources can easily over power others. Technology Policy offlate has become like TV debates, with same set of panelists argue on polarized lines - instead of a deeper analysis. Hasgeek’s role in identifying and showcasing new faces, curating practitioner driven focussed topics - bringing in more people to the table, generating wealth of knowledge for the larger community to understand complex issues, often from first principles is commendable. Kaarana, PrivacyMode, CryptoChat and many other important conversations that enlightens everyone engaging with politics of technology and offers a space to have meaningful conversations that expands the horizons of the policy making process.
Clicktivism is often looked down upon, but in an increasingly digital world, we need mechanisms of using technology for causes we care and Hasgeek’s investment in building community-tech (for the technology community and everyone else) is commendable.
Here’s for the next 10! Keep rocking.