Burning Man: A Hotbed of Tech Innovation

by Modis on August 24, 2015

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Every year, tens of thousands gather in the Nevada desert to form a week-long melting pot of culture, innovation and collaboration. The event begins on the last Monday in August and ends on the first Monday in September. The make-up of the event consists of a sprawling temporary city of tents, rebar, sculpture and makeshift construction. While the Burning Man festival may be a wild event overflowing with the eccentric and the avant-garde, it has also become a hotbed of creative tech innovation and free thinking entrepreneurship. Surprisingly, it’s also an event tech professionals are using to network.

The history of Burning Man

The very first Burning Man festival began as a small bonfire-burning gathering on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986. This tradition has since grown to a 70,000 strong mega-gathering relocated to the Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Festival creators have outlined 10 core principals to best describe the culture of the event. Though within this broad scope, you can expect to see a full-varied rainbow of unusual, exciting and exotic things happening throughout the course of the week-long event.

Networking and collaboration

Burning Man’s creative, art-driven, builder-minded focus encourages people to come together in powerful ways! In recent years, the annual gathering has even drawn major tech luminaries like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page and more!

The unique social landscape of Burning Man’s culture is a place where ideas, connections and physical gifts are the currency of the week, so the festival bans money, selling and branding. Instead, festival goers are encouraged to be self-sufficient, share, collaborate and interact in a free-spirited, free-thinking way. This can lead to many great opportunities to network and forge friendships and professional opportunities that last well beyond the crazy confines of the festival.

What to see and what to expect if you go

Many regular attendees, dubbed “Burners,” say Burning Man is a life-changing experience, and there’s no doubt that it’s a wild week of excitement that’s not for the faint of heart. Beyond it’s party-friendly aspects, the festival can be a great place to network and create future opportunities.

A large swath of Burning Man’s temporary cityscape is broken down into hundreds of different themed camps. You’ll find everything from makeshift desert bars and impromptu dance clubs to workshop zones and interactive art installments.

For techie festival-goers, you’ll find Camp Crypto’s Bitcoin-themed camp, B.A.S.E.’s mix of science and engineering experiments, and CampDIY’s tinkerers worth visiting. Of course, that’s just a few of the many camps you’ll likely wander into, and don’t be surprised by some of the more exotic and edgy hotspots, too.

Speaking of heat, the intense temps, desert sand and elements can take a toll on you, so it’s always good to make sure you’re well-prepared ahead of time. This handy survival guide will give you a crash course in what to expect from the festival.

Creative Networking at Burning Man

If you want a unique experience and the opportunity to network with great minds from the IT industry, the Burning Man festival is the perfect option. But, if you can’t make it out to Nevada, Modis can help you get where you need to be. Whether you need job search advice or are looking to hire the best IT professionals, we are here to help! Contact one of our 70 locations across the U.S.

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