On March 22nd, Karaj Beirut hosted the first Quantified Self meetup in the Middle East. 20 people from different backgrounds attended and participated. Our host was Karaj resident Hind Hobeika, who organized this event after participating in the Quantified Self conference in Amsterdam.
Quantified Self is a collaboration of users and toolmakers who share an interest in self-knowledge through self-tracking. The Quantified Self community aims to exchange information about personal projects, the tools uses, tips gleaned, and lessons learned.
After explaining the concept behind QS by showing co-founder Gary Wolf’s TED talk, Hind let each of the four speakers relate his own self-tracking experience.
First up was Christopher Achkar. Chris has a BE in Mechanical Engineering from AUB and an MSc in Biomedical Engineering from Oxford. He will be joining EPFL for a PhD on monitoring human motion. “I have lately become very much interested in health and general well-being and I spend quite some time trying to find the optimal ways to keep in shape and feel good!”
Christopher elaborated on his personal experience in tracking calories by using websites such as livestrong.com and perfectfitfree.com. He says it helped him feel refreshed after a couple of weeks only, and allowed him to adopt a healthy lifestyle and spread it among his family members. You can follow Chris on twitter: @christopherAchk
The second speaker was Akram Najjar, an Electronic Engineer with more than 30 years of experience in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Since 1995, based in Lebanon, he has concentrated on ICT Consulting and Business Technology training for management, which includes work in Data Analysis.
Akram explained the different methods to analyze one’s data and how to find the right correlation to predict the future trends. He gave as a supporting example the different parameters he recorded when he went through a phase of Cortisone intake. Akram can be reached at email@example.com.
Next up was Georges Sawaya, an outdoor sports enthusiast. “I practice more than 10 outdoor sports with my wife and daughter”. He has won several competitions in Lebanon, and participated in many events in Europe. He was part of the first Lebanese team to race in the “Patrouille des Glaciers”, a member of the POLYLIBAN Association committee, and now owner of ”Mountain Elite” Est.
Georges talked about his personal experience in competitive outdoor sports, emphasizing on the importance of nutrition before, during and after the race. You can follow Georges on @georges_sawaya.
Last but not least, was Business Analyst Carl Madi who related his personal experience on tracking his blood coagulation rate due to an unfortunate incident he had on a plane. You can stay in touch with Carl by following him on twitter @carlmadi.
The slides of the speakers can be found on Beirut Quantified Self’ SlideShare account.
QS community is starting small in Beirut, in the hope of spreading the self-tracking culture. If you are interested in knowing more or organizing your own meetup, do not hesitate to email Hind. Don’t forget to follow Beirut Quantified Self on Facebook and Twitter for updates and related articles!
more photos below