Just wondering if there are many PaleoHacks going to the Paleo f(x) conference in Austin.
I volunteered at the AHS and I am also volunteering at PFX. What I have seen from the PFX staff so far has blown me away in terms of organizing, delegating and creating a chain of command. These people know what they are doing and this event is going to be amazing. If anyone stays away because they don't like a particular speaker (review the AHS lineup before you judge, cough cough, Don Matez, cough cough) they will be missing out. PFX was designed to be a sister/companion to the AHS. For those of you not there, the AHS was all lectures. I learned one hell of a lot, but a lot of it wasn't applicable to me. When I wasn't interviewing the speakers, I was sitting down, watching presentations. At PFX, people will be shown various ways to actually LIVE a Paleo lifestyle by people who do it every day, plus they'll have cooking demos and actual meals served. I wish that more people could attend, if only to see vibrant examples of our community. We are too new and too small to be dividing ranks already.
Three quick points about "AHS vs PFX":
(1) The Ancestral Health Society is a sponsor--and unofficial sister organization in a sense--of PaleoFX. AHS focuses on rigorous discussion at an often academic level; PFX focuses on marrying theory to practice. These organizations can co-exist and both make a contribution. Why wouldn't you want both to exist?
(2) The ancestral health community has more than enough people to pack both conferences and then some. The number of people that browse Mark's Daily Apple in a given hour would pack both conferences. There's a huge demand for these conferences, and unless you want to see an AHS conference in a stadium, the growth of additional conferences is only natural--it reflects a healthy and positive growth in the paleo movement.
(3) There's nothing wrong with for-profit! Mark Sisson, Rob Wolf, Sarah Fragoso, etc. make profit by selling their books or supplements or coaching services. So long as the end-product adds value to their customer's lives, why not yay for them?
Of course, I'm a PFX volunteer who makes no money, so I should perhaps be dismissed as a crass and biased opportunist who's only in it for the money.
It's sad to see a few community members bickering over whether PFX is a good idea or not, and whether it is too costly or not worth the price. I am excited to have such a great opportunity to work with, meet, and have fun with others in this movement. It's a great opportunity to learn from each other and help those interested really get a feel for the great things this lifestyle can bring to each individual. I volunteered because I believe it makes a difference. While it may seem a high price, I still had to be a part of it! There is certainly nothing wrong with having more than one annual Paleo event. We should have many. It brings more opportunity for learning, living well, and meeting others! I hope some of you here will reconsider. I think community is so important. It grows the message and everyone's health. I'll be there. Austin is a fantastic place, and I'm ready to learn and have some fun with like-minded people!
I'm personally very excited about this conference. There are so many great speakers in attendance, and not to mention many people that I greatly respect who are participating in panel discussions. Not everyone is the typical 'Paleo' headliner either. Here are two examples of people who will be in attendance who are not as well known but have contributed a lot of great things to the real food movement:
Paul Jaminet - Has taken a ton of flack for his safe starches recommendation, but has contributed a huge deal of information to the 'ideal diet' recommendation. I'm glad that there are scientists like him to argue in favor of carbohydrates, because sometimes I think people are so quick to eliminate them that they don't realize the repercussions that can cause. (I personally had this experience so I'm thankful for Paul's work!)
Judith McGeary - I actually didn't know until just recently that Judith would be attending this event. She's a lawyer that works with groups like the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and is fighting to protect our access to real food, and to protect the farmers who provide this food for us. She's a brilliant speaker (I've seen her at the WAPF conferences), extremely passionate about her work, and very motivational. I'm so happy she'll be there, since I think she's amazing!
These two attendees are not stereotypical Paleo figureheads, but I think they contribute a lot to the conversation about where Paleo is going. Paul is focusing on providing information about what constitutes an ideal diet, and Judith is drawing our attention to the bigger problems of food access and farmer's rights.
So yes, seeing Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson and a bunch of other guys as headliners might give you an immediate sense of the general theme of this conference, but I think it's a bit short sighted to not really take an in-depth look at all the different creative minds that are being brought together for this event.
I had so much fun at the Weston Price conference and got to meet a bunch of awesome, brilliant, real-food scientists, practitioners, and philosophers, and I can only imagine that PaleoFX is going to be just as great an experience.
Yes, like it or not we do live in a Capitalist society, and there is a HUGE difference between an organization's operating as a not-for-profit vs a for-profit. Being a for-profit sounds sexy, of course -- until one considers the substantial downside. Venues the size we needed for such an event are not cheap by any means, nor is feeding every attendee, volunteer and speaker. Top-notch A/V production costs are immense for an event this magnitude and ambitious schedule. Let's not even begin to discuss the intangibles -- hotel costs, transportation...the list goes on and on. The fact of the matter is that if the majority of speakers were not paying their own way, this event would never get off the ground in the first place. So yes, there is a lot of money flying around, and anyone doing some elementary, barstool, back-of-the-napkin math can calculate approximately 500 tickets sold at roughly $200/pop, and add to that sold vendor space and conclude that the organizers of PFX12 are pulling-off the scam of the century. Right. What the nay-sayers conveniently fail to address, though, are all of those aforementioned expenses. It comes down to simple accounting; credits AND debits.
But hey, for all those who choose to boycott this awesome event because there's an outside possibility that someone might actually make a dime, I have no hate for you. All I ask is that you make that decision fully informed, and that those back-of-the-napkin calculations also include a debit column as well.
Looks like a great lineup to me. Who else would you need to make it worth the trip?
PaleoFX12 Speaker Lineup
Chris Kresser L.Ac
Dr. Jack Kruse MD
Lane Sebring MD
Melissa & Dallas Hartwig
Dr. Amy Myers
Erwan Le Corre
Amy Kubal RD
David Lee Nall
Dr. Ron Rosedale
Dr. Emily Deans
Shannon L. Ford
Dr. Daniel Kalish
Bill Staley & Hayley Mason
Dr. Ruthie Harper
Dr. Will Mitchell
Dr. Shilpi Bhadra Mehta
Dr. Grayson Wheatley
Julie & Charles Mayfield
The timing in my life right now doesn't allow me to attend, but if I could have I surely would have. Many of my friends are not only organizing it, but volunteering and that is an incredible thing. Anything our community can do to come together and share information and help spread the word of healthy living through Paleo/Primal life is amazing.
To those who think the lineup above is not impressive, you obviously don't get it and should stop talking about what you don't know. I wish I could be there, and I know my friends will keep me updated and post plenty of content on their blogs, and facebook and maybe even here with the Hacks.
Promote change, don't oppose it!! It's gonna happen weather you like it or not!
Nope. Tempting, since it's only a 12 hour drive, but when I looked at the banner and saw only men I changed my mind.
So many women have influenced me on this journey: Melissa McEwen, Emily Deans, Sally Fallon, Denise Minger, Peggy Emch... It just feels wrong that none of them are "headliners".
(Yes, I know there are women presenting, but that's not my point.)
Yep. My wife and I are coming together. I'm a bit more into the geeky stuff and would likely enjoy AHS. But Paleo is something my wife and I live together so just super fabulous that for all the great conferences I attend professionally, there's this one that we can do and learn together. I love the strong focus on application that everyone can get into!
...oh, and it's also wonderfully convenient being just 2 hrs from our home. Hope everyone else comes to enjoy some of our Texas hospitality.