A Hamfest Event: Exploring the Future

Copthorne Macdonald introduces a new hamfest event called the “Futures Hamfest.” Amateur radio fans are invited to discuss issues centered around the theme “Exploring the Future” including topics such as the back-to-the-land movement, the sociology of the future and environmental issues. A hamfest schedule is included as well as an amateur radio register.

| January/February 1975

The "Futures Hamfest"

Among amateur radio's traditions are periodic get-togethers where hams from miles around meet to spend a sociable weekend, listen to talks on technical topics, look at the latest equipment and swap old parts and radio gear. These gatherings are usually called "hamfests".

On one of the West Coast New Directions Roundtable sessions, Ron Wilbur (K6ZEZ) made a suggestion which caught the imagination of the group: Why not hold a new kind of hamfest some weekend . . . an on-the-air event devoted to exploring the future? By planning well in advance and concentrating a lot of effort on that one occasion, we could line up various knowledgeable people to talk with us about our planet's problems. In addition, we could got a bunch of "doing" folks to rap with us about the approaches they personally are taking to meet those challenges.

Well, mark the weekend of March 8 - 9 on your calendar and start making preparations, 'cause that's when it's going to happen! The final schedule will depend on such factors as the number and location of stations willing to act as "moderators" or "facilitators" and the completed list of people who agree to share their insights with us. We can promise, though, that the sessions will cover a wide range of present and future concerns, including the environment, economics, the back-to-the-land movement, energy, women's issues, education and more.

The schedule I'm including with this column is as complete as it can be at present, with the Futures Hamfest project still in its early stages. Last-minute details can be obtained by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to Ron Wilbur (625 24th St., Hermosa Beach, Calif. 90254) or to me.

There are a number of ways to get involved in the Futures Hamfest. The most fundamental — if you have a ham license — is to join us on the air March 8 and 9. Another is to spread the word to your amateur acquaintances and get the general public interested (a good way to introduce people to ham radio at one of its better moments). You might, for instance, declare "open house" at your station throughout that weekend by giving advance word to your local newspaper. If you know other hams, see if they won't do the same. Any with SSTV gear would be especially welcome, since many presentations will be accompanied by slides, drawings and photos converted to slow-scan for transmission.

Perhaps you're not a radio freak yourself but have something to contribute to a discussion of the future . . . or perhaps you know someone who does. In that case, you can still get into the act in any of three ways . . . the first of which is direct participation at some ham's station. (If you have any connection with a university, or live near one, perhaps you can stimulate the people involved with the campus station to join in that weekend.)

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