Social Science Foo Camp 2019

By Louise Coady, Head of Marketing and Community Engagement, SAGE Ocean

The second annual Social Science Foo Camp took place at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park at the start of this month, convening an eclectic mix of more than 200 social scientists, technologists, funders, policy makers, businesspeople and writers.

Opening Session at Social Science Foo Camp

Over the course of three days, attendees were invited to think deeply and get ideas flowing across traditional boundaries of discipline and profession, with the aim of shaping perspectives and priorities to propel us to a better future.

More than 90 unconference sessions were scheduled over the course of the weekend, covering some of the most important and pressing social science themes of today, including climate change; the future of work; bias in AI; social media; how we feel meaning and purpose; urbanization; polarization; collective imagination; and much more.

In addition to the unconference sessions, we also hosted 30 lightning talks, each of which gave a five minute snapshot into the speaker’s chosen topic. The talks covered a diverse range of subjects, including competition in online dating markets; radical podcasts; deepfakes and political persuasion; ethics and corporate character; cyber crime; the green new deal; and the future of democracy.

Conversation Flowing at Social Science Foo Camp

Foo Camps operate under a Friend-D-A policy, meaning we can’t tell you exactly what happened over the course of the weekend, but we can say that there were plenty of new connections made and important conversations had. We’ll be catching up with attendees from the event over the course of this year, so keep an eye out for blog posts and speaker events featuring some of the key themes from SocSciFoo ‘19.

Social Science Foo Camp is co-organised by SAGE, O’Reilly Media, Facebook and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

See what the other attendees had to say about the event on Twitter and read our round-up of the first Social Science Foo Camp here.