Farset Labs 3rd Birthday Anniversary Celebration – 13th April

Can you believe it has been 3 years since we opened our doors?

We’re going to have a bit of a party, and Farset Labs invite you to come and celebrate with us on Monday 13th April – as a thank you for helping us on our way, and to look forward to many more years of nurturing local creative and technology endeavours.

Please do invite friends and well-wishers.

As well as being a general “Open/Social Evening”, we will of course have cake, snacks and drinks, plus a selection of our best boardgames and multiplayer video-games, plenty of opportunities to experiment with some of our projects and tools, and the all important “traditional” (not yet, but it will be) Farset birthday raffle, with some great prizes available, kindly donated to us by local and more distant organisations.

We’re looking forward to seeing your wonderful face!

You are also free to BYOB if you wish.

(Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.)

IET Prestige Lecture on Innovation and Growth | 1 April

The Civil Service, Executive Leadership, and Stormont Politics are not usually areas where innovation and growth are openly discussed, so this year’s IET Prestige Lecture from Dr Malcolm McKibben and Alastair Hamilton (Head of NI Civil Service, and Chief Executive of Invest NI respectively) will certainly be interesting to watch.

Titled “Engineering Leadership for Innovation and Growth” Dr McKibben and Mr Hamilton will be speaking about the challenges facing NI’s devolved administration as we head towards rebalancing the economy, highlighting the role of both indigenous and multi-national companies in reshaping our local technology, business and educational ecosystem.

Hosted in QUB’s Riddel Hall by the Institution of Engineering and Technology NI Local Network, which is chaired this year by Intel Belfast’s Paul Moorhead, the April 1st event also features the opportunity to meet and network with a wide range of scientists, engineers, and technologists across the sector, as well as a drinks reception from 6pm and, our favourite thing, a buffet dinner.

Pre-registration is required to confirm numbers for catering, please register here


Raspberry Jam visits Derry~Londonderry | 28th March

Farset Labs & CultureTECH are hosting a Raspberry Jam at the Nerve Centre, Derry-Londonderry on Saturday, March 28th, 1pm-5pm as part of Creativity Month!

Raspberry Jam is a rapidly growing global network of user groups that meet every month to support hobbyists, developers, teachers, students, children and families – in fact, anybody that would like to put their Raspberry Pi to good use.

While Raspberry Jam is not endorsed, sponsored or associated with Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi products or services, some of our regular members are volunteers for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. At our meetings we have helpful people who can help you with everything you need to get what you want from your Raspberry Pi.

raspberryjam_800This session is suitable for kids of all ages, and no previous knowledge is required. You do not need to have a Raspberry Pi to come to a meeting. In fact, not having a Raspberry Pi is an excellent motive for coming along.

The event is FREE to attend but spaces are very limited so please only book if you can attend and no more than 2 spaces per booking. Thanks!

Get your tickets here

Policy Hack: Hacking our way to better outcomes

We’re happy to announce that we’re playing host to the first Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) “Policy Hack” day tomorrow morning from 9:30am.

So what is a Policy Hack? It’s a way to bring together policy makers from across the community and voluntary sector, activists, trade unionists, academics, business people, civil servants and members of the public with an interest in the topics to attack issues experienced across a range of themes using a different perspective; the experimental, iterative, and “agile” practices common in the technology and digital creative sectors.

Farset Labs is hosting this programme in our inspirational event space, which should create the atmosphere of open collaboration and knowledge sharing that is often lacking in the rest of the world.

This first event is focused on finding alternative solutions to the current quagmire that is working poverty; where due to a range of factors, individuals and families remain below the poverty line despite being partly or even fully employed.

For more information about NICVA’s programme of events, check out their website. Tomorrow’s event will run from 9:30 to 17:30 and there are just a few spots left, but to express interest in future events, sign up here anyway!

Gathering of Lightning Reborn: “Explain Like I’m 5″ | 26th March

After a long hiatus, Farset Labs is back with a new take on our hugely successful  Gathering of Lightning ad-hoc presentation series, once again thanks to support from BCS-Belfast Chapter, with a few changes based on our experiences of running GoL over the past 4 years.

While feedback from the events was unanimously positive, it was felt that GoL was drifting away from it’s original intent to share experience, to educate, and to excite people both in and around the Farset community, with more product and sales pitches percolating up to speak than real knowledge sharing.

In an effort to take things back to their bare bones, we’re stealing some nomenclature from “The Front Page of the Internet”, Reddit.com.

“Explain Like I’m 5”, and it’s abbreviation, “ELi5”, is a slang term used on the Internet in response to an overly complicated answer to a question that requires significant in-advance experience before it can be understood.

Albert Einstein - If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.
Albert Einstein – If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.

“Explain Like I’m 5” is our collaborative speaker series, where local developers, technologists, entrepreneurs, artists, performers, scientists, and business people take a concept that may be highly specific to their area of expertise or work, and break it down to a lay audience from right across the STEAM spectrum with a minimal expectation of prior knowledge.

The target audience is anyone and everyone who loves learning and expanding their horizons. No topic is off limits as long as you are confident that it can be delivered to a lay audience within the constraints of the format.

The event is in two parts; an invited and a free-for-all section, separated by a beer, soft drink, pizza and fresh fruit intermission.

The rules for both groups are the same:

  • Speakers have a maximum of 7 minutes to speak on the subject of their choice, followed by a short open Q&A.
  • No Slides! The use of Non-Projected Visual Aids is heavily encouraged, and projectors may be considered for live demonstrations.
  • Before the event starts and during the break, presenters (invited or unplanned) are asked to put a 3-5 word synopsis of their topic on the blackboard along with their name.
  • The Compère will decide what order presentations will be done, so be nice to him/her!
  • Punishment for rule/time violators is at the discretion of the compère.

If you’ve got something you’d like to share, email events@farsetlabs.org.uk to discuss it with the subject line “ELI5”

Book your tickets here!

Sketchy Individuals | 11th March

Sketchy Individuals is a regular open art free-for-all where anyone can sketch, comic, draw, paint, or put pen/pencil/brush to medium with the company of friendly like-minded people. This month’s evening will be running as part of Creativity NI’s Creativity Month.  Some books and materials will be available for anyone new to take advantage of.

Sketchy Individuals runs every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7pm, and we plan to continue for the foreseeable future.  Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.

If you’ve been watching BBC’s Big Painting Challenge, you might be aware of the Little Painting Challenge competition running in parallel – it is open to everyone, with several classes for judging. Your challenge is simply to render a drawing or painting on a postcard-sized medium of your choice. We will have watercolour and card postcards available on Wednesday for you to get started.

Astronomy: Jupiter Rising | 7th February

Following our popular astronomy introductions, Farset are happy to host further Belfast-based astronomy for the new-comer. If you have a telescope or binoculars, please do bring them along as this time of year is a great chance to look for objects in the sky. Wear warm clothes, as some of the evening will be spent outside, and hot drinks will be provided.

Reserve your space via Eventbrite

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) and Jupiter will be very high in the sky on 7th February. We can’t promise the comet will be more than a fuzzy dot from Belfast but Jupiter is always spectacular, especially when it’s so high in the sky. Lots of other objects to see too.

This event is free for Farset members, £3 donation for non-members.