At our first DEFCON 201 Meet Up in March of 2017, Founders Sidepocket and GI Jack went over our goals and agenda that they wanted to build for the foundation of the group. Now we are going to post this online for the first time so we can reference this agenda anytime, anywhere in the near future!
Ø Project Oriented Workshop
Many of us have gone to various programming, engineering and information security groups. We will not name names but while we enjoy and are members of these groups in New York City and New Jersey, we feel that too many are “suit and tie” meets where people are selling things, preaching from monolithic mountain tops and are throwing their certs around like a ninja throwing shuriken.
One major distinction and the blood line of DEFCON 201 is that we want to be more more hands on “can do” group. We don’t talk about ideas and concepts, we try to make them work, even failing while doing so at least makes us learn something. This is why we will always have open projects for people to work on at various skill levels so no matter someone’s background attendees are learning and contributing to something.
Ø 1337 Skill Crockpot
We envision DEFCON 201 as a space for local hackers, phreaks, nerds, geeks, sympathizers and more unlabelable folks to form together to work on things that spark curiosity and if we are lucky will change the world…even if that world is just one other person.
This is why not only do our Lightning Talks and Open Projects are from various hacker, maker, crafter and security disciplines but are also ranging in skill levels. We want people to attend to learn new skills that they have never tried with no previous background experience or to improve on skills they already know.
Ø Rekindling the Hacker Ethic and Hacker Mentality
It still disappointing DEFCON 201 members that we are beyond 2017 and the term “hacker” is still used as a dirty word. It is even more tragic that not only do we see professionals (some who are also hackers) myopically limit these terms but also seeing people use their skills in such a ridged limited way.
DEFCON 201 wants to change this by reaching out to professional technology groups as well as non-technical organizations to expand their vocabulary and to show people what hackers are actually like in person. The logic is that the more exposure we put out, the more people will understand us and our community.
Ø Leave Nobody Behind
Our Founders and Members are all too familiar with being in an environment where you are attempting to learn and instead of guidance your peers are instead antagonistic and brings petty scene drama into the subject. We feel that not only does this stifle learning hacker skills and mentality but contributes to the already negative stigma of hackers in our community.
Therefore, we declare that DEFCON 201 will be an environment with a policy of improving everyone and not leaving people behind in the learning process. We either all succeed together or all fail together and we will repeat and try new methods of teaching for skills until everyone is on the same page.
Ø Improve & Give Back To Local Community
Our last but most important Agenda Point, hackers often think that they are in a vacuum. We aren’t. We are all humans living in our own local neighborhoods and some of those neighborhoods have been abandoned by greedy benefactors. We believe that this wealth and quality of life inequality contributes to the lack of STEM and hacker learning. Ergo, the kid that cant afford to be around machines and not encourage to experiment with machines grows up leaving the world a little less brilliant than it should be.
Therefore, we have created this point to be a cornerstone of all activities planned by our organization: DEFCON 201 will ALWAYS give back to our local community AND (and this is the kicker) our local community is not always the computer community. We have seen too many tech groups ouroboros them selves by only contributing and advertising to well off previously existing technology communities and leave the surrounding areas to rot. At DEFCON 201, we believe that hacking is for everyone and we will reach out to everyone especially to poor, technologically undercut communities in the 201 area.
That is all for now, if you have any questions or would like to help us out with that 5th Agenda Point you can contact us at info [at] defcon201 (dot) org
— Sidepocket, Co-Founder of DEFCON 201