Get Involved in Big Boulder 2015

Big Boulder 2015 is just around the corner and we can’t wait to welcome you to Boulder in a few short weeks. Many of our members have been asking how they can get more involved in this year’s conference. Well, here’s your chance! Below are three ways you can participate:

Speak at the Conference

Do you have something important to share with the others in the industry? Is there a topic you think we should cover at the conference? Well, here’s your chance.

We’re using Pecha Kucha format to give you the opportunity to share it with us. So, craft up your best ideas in and send ‘em in! If your Pecha Kucha is selected, you get a free ticket to the conference!

What should a social data ecosystem look like in five years? What are the building blocks? Who controls the DNA? What values will inspire and secure its future?

We invite provocative Pecha Kucha submissions on these and related topics relevant to the work of the Big Boulder Initiative. Please send your 20-slide Pecha Kucha-compliant slide deck to by Monday, June 1, 2015. No product mentions or sales pitches please!

An expert panel of cast members from HBO’s hit series Silicon Valley will review the proposals (or we will have a BBI subcommittee). Either way, the competition for these spots will be cutthroat. Please carefully study the art and science of Pecha Kucha and make sure you are a registered and paid BBI member before making a submission.

For more more information please email

Star in the Opening Video at Big Boulder

Have you attended Big Boulder in years past? If so, you are probably familiar with our famous opening videos that kick off the conference each year. This year we are changing it up a bit and would like to feature you, our members!

We are holding a video contest for all Big Boulder Initiative members. The winner will be featured in the opening video at this year’s Big Boulder conference and will not only win bragging rights but a new Apple Watch.

We are looking for short, fun videos that highlight:

  1. Why you or your organization joined the Big Boulder Initiative
  2. What you are looking forward to at this year’s Big Boulder Conference

Video requirements are as follows:

  1. Your video should be under two minutes.
  2. Your video should open with your name and organization (i.g. Hi, I am Bre Zigich from the Big Boulder Initiative).
  3. Your video can be submitted via Twitter, Facebook (public profile only), YouTube, or Instagram using #BigBoulderOpeningVideo.
  4. Once you have submitted your video, please email Bre Zigich at with your name, title, and company to ensure we get your submission.
  5. The deadline for video submissions is Monday, June 1, 2015.
  6. Bonus point for creativity! Remember these don’t have to be too serious and should show your personality.

Here are some tips and tricks of the trade for creating your video. Happy filming!

For more information please email

Join Us on Sunday, June 14th and Take Part in a Member Meetup

We will be hosting several Big Boulder Initiative member meetups to discuss the BBI Code of Ethics, an upcoming workshop on Social Data for Social Good, and how to grow and activate BBI members. The meetups will be held on Sunday, June 14th from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. If you can make it, please RSVP using the links below and plan to meet in the lobby of the St Julien at 3:00pm on Sunday, June 14th.

BBI Code of Ethics & Standards for Social Data
Social media offers an unprecedented set of opportunities and responsibilities for individuals and organizations. For individuals, social media offers new routes to self-expression mixed with shifting, sometimes unfamiliar expectations regarding ownership and privacy of that data. For organizations, social data offers new ways to glean insight into customer and consumer attitudes, emotions and behaviors down to the individual level, and therefore also raises ethical dilemmas with regard to direct use. This meetup, lead by BBI Board members Susan Etlinger and Farida Vis, will seek to generate more input for the authors of the draft code.

Planning a Fall BBI Workshop in Chicago
We have interest from Don Heider (Loyola) Rayid Ghani (UChicago) and Sherry Emery (UIC) in having a “Social Data for Social Good” BBI workshop on Saturday November 7, the day after The Center for Digital Ethics & Policy at Loyola University Chicago  will be holding its 5th annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics. This meetup will begin to pull together a team to launch the workshop planning.

BBI Membership Growth & Activation
What sorts of activities can the Big Boulder Initiative undertake to increase membership? How can the BBI value proposition reach its full potential? This meetup, lead by BBI Board members Pernille Bruun-Jensen and Megan Kelley, will address how BBI can better convey its purpose while activating members in the types of dialogue and activities that define an effective organization.

The Big Boulder Conference is Back!

I am excited to let you know that tickets for the 4th Annual Big Boulder Conference are now on sale. The event will be held on June 15th and 16th at the beautiful St Julien Hotel and Spa in Boulder, Colorado.

Big Boulder brings together the top publishers, industry leaders, and consumers of publicly-available social data to discuss trends, best practices, and the future of the social data industry. This year’s event will feature two full days of educational sessions, networking events, and outdoor activities (including a sunrise hike and afternoon pub crawl) all centered around social data. We have a great lineup of content and speakers and will continue to add more so be sure to check out the speakers page. You can find more details about the event at

Big Boulder is an invite-only event for members of the Big Boulder Initiative, so you need to be a member of the Big Boulder Initiative to attend. Check out our membership page for details. Note that organizational memberships (Founding, Corporate, Academic and Non-Profit) all include tickets to Big Boulder, while Individual memberships include the opportunity to purchase a ticket to the event.

If you have any questions, please contact me, Bre Zigich, Big Boulder’s Conference Director at See you in June!