John Draper Inspires Students in Colombia

John Draper Inspires Students in Colombia

Former famed hacker/phone phreaker John Draper, aka“ Captain Crunch,” recently spoke in Bogotá, Colombia at “Campus Party,” an annual 7-day, 24-hour festival that connects online communities,phone gamers, programmers, bloggers, governments, universities and students. Campus Party organizers promoted John’s visit expertly, and when John arrived there was no shortage of fans seeking his autograph.


Computer Legend Speaks at Campus Party

John Draper, aka“Captain Crunch,” recently spoke in Bogotá at “Campus Party,” Colombia. Campus Party is an annual event founded in 1997 which has evolved into a 7-day, 24-hour festival in a various countries.

Campus Party connects programmers, bloggers, online communities, gamers, governments, universities and students. On blogs promoting John’s first visit to Campus Party, he was referred to as “the king of phone phreakers” and “the most famous and influential hacker in the world,” a titled he refused to validate during his speech – confessing that he doesn’t even hack any more.

Nevertheless Campus Party organizers promoted John’s visit expertly, and when John arrived there was no shortage of fans seeking his autograph and treating him with the reverence of a legend.

John’s talk consisted primarily of sharing his colorful, personal stories from those now-famous days in computer  history. He also urged students to continue to explore and invent things in the digital world, and he answered questions that came in through Twitter. While John has delivered numerous talks throughout his life, this speaking engagement in Campus Party, Colombia was his first venture into the big leagues internationally – sharing the stage with speakers like Raúl Ramírez, owner of México´s most followed Twitter account; Akira Reiko, Geek Vibrations TV show presenter; Jacob Patrick, Movie Animator; Cristopher Berg, game and multimedia designer, and Futura Networks Innovation director, among others.

John Draper fans at Campus party
John Draper being thronged by fans (mobile photo)

Philippe Darvasi, the director of Global Content for Futura Networks which hires the speakers for Campus Party, said, “John rocked the house, so to speak. The crowd followed his every word and the audience couldn’t get enough. After his talk everyone (and I mean *everyone* ) wanted an autograph or picture with John.”

The mission of Campus Party is to bring together the best talent in areas regarding technology and Internet to share experiences and innovate for a “better tomorrow.”  Apparently that is what John did. The positive feedback from the students helped John realize how much he could make a difference through sharing his stories and now hopes to speak more.

“You’re an inspiration for thousand of young people that like technology, hacking and build with technology a better world to the future. Your conference is an example of one life dedicated completely to one purpose: Make something better to fix this world. Thank you very much John!”   @robertogeek

John Draper Autographing
Some of the topics discussed in seminars and chats included  social media, bio-medicine, information technologies, robotics, open source software and software development.

John was provided a translator  and treated with Colombia hospitality throughout his entire stay. “I want to thank Philippe Darvasi from Futura Networks for his professionalism on every step. He made sure my Campus Party experience was incredible,” said John Draper. “The U.S. should know what a fabulous event this is for young people. I am honored that I was given the opportunity to be a part of it.”

The first Campus Party to be held in the United States is scheduled to take place in San Francisco in 2012.

Fans following John Draper
Attendees camp in the blue tents
John Draper Proudly Shows off a Gift from a Fan

For more information about next year’s Campus Party U.S.A., or to submit a news tip/story idea, clickHERE


Other Positive Feedback

One fan left this on John’s facebook wall: “Loved your story. I’m totally amazed. it was so enthusiasticly spoken.”

“One campusero actually asked me to tell John that he was the reason for his coming to Campus Party and that John was an idol of his.”                                                       Philippe Darvasi


“Crunchman, one-of-a-kind. Once in Colombia is never enough. Come back soon, stay longer.”
“I liked listening stories that I’ve had read long time ago in books… But this time were REAL and told directly by the main character of them…”
“Always it says that Colombia is a place to stay. I hope do you have been enjoyed your visit here. For me was a pleasure to meet and to learn of someone like you.”            @JManuRojas
“Always welcome to the best place of the world to meet the curiosity for knowledege. #cpco thank you for believe in the future and built it. 😉 “
“You are an inspiration for many people, I really admire, your work, Colombia wait for you everything, thank you, this is Campus party, and this is Colombia!!!”
@Andrea Delgado
“When people like you come to say the world is for us just invent and make things we invoke imagination, peace, and sensations and the most precious thing  love….thanks to call Colombian people to invent and make new things. From Colombia to the space.”

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5 Comments on this Post

  1. I also want to give huge thanks to Kevin Mitnick and Christine Marie for their behind-the-scenes support and expertise that helped me take this step and enter the world of professional speaking.

    The Geeks in Latin America are “one of a kind”, so eager to learn the ways of hacking, and I just have to tell everyone that if you hack, Hack ethically…. be a useful person in your community and help others.

    The best way to hack is to “Social Network”, pick your venue, and earn your respect in your hacker community.

    I’ve had a wonderful trip, and now am very busy uploading more pictures and video for all to enjoy.

    Da Crunchman

  2. Tolga Katas

    That’s awesome, crunchman! love the pics.

    Mitnick is the man! he’s got a new book coming. Glad you to see you all lookin’ out for each other, that’s what it’s about.

  3. Very well written story and writeup.

    Jose F. Medeiros
    San Jose, California

  4. Great story on Crunchman Draper!

    Jose F. Medeiros
    San Jose, California

  5. John Draper sure can use some help from DigitalGinger, if anyone knows how to find her, or talks to her, please contact me.


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