This event occurred on May 21st, 2020. It was attended by about 120 participants. The unedited video recording of the full conference is available.

The slides of all speakers (who used slides) can be found here.

A shared document for carrying the conversation forward is here, please contribute comments and suggestions!

Please register free now at EventBrite to assist us in our planning and to get the video link when we publish it.

Please Join Us for a 3-hour Virtual Mini-Conference on May 21st Fostering Cooperation on Open-Source Pandemic Ventilators

Please check out our shared commentable resource document.

This conference has a code of conduct.

On May 21st we will host a virtual mini-con to review the impressive progress, discuss the uncertain present, and forge a path forward for makers, philanthropists, investors, government officials, medical professionals, and manufacturers involved in building pandemic ventilators.


Since March, communities have formed around the perceived shortfall of ventilators needed to treat COVID-19. The pandemic created mayhem and confusion which has been painstakingly cleared away. We have learned better what is need to treat the disease, that the ventilators need to be more sophisticated, and that the crisis may have abated but the future remains uncertain, especially in the developing world.

The conference will have six sessions of approximately 25 minutes, attempting to bring together diverse speakers. We will not be discussing specific ventilator projects in detail, but rather discussing the larger community and eco-system.

Speakers include (scroll down for session timing):

VentCon 2020 is cohosted by Public Invention, Make Magazine, HelpfulEngineering and the Ventilators Collaboration Network.


Please register free now at EventBrite to assist us in our planning.


Conference discussions will be held in several channels at the HelpfulEngineering Slack Team, which you can join here:

After joining, please join the #ventcon-2020-official channel for important information about the conference:


Then join these two channels for informal conversation, to meet people, and to submit questions to the speakers:


The following channels will be used for conversations  around specific topics:


Please register free now at EventBrite to assist us in our planning.

Detailed Program

  1. 7:00 AM PDT, Introduction (15 minutes Rob Read):
    1. Code of Conduct
    2. Back-channel Slack chat mechanism
    3. Fostering one-on-one conversations
    4. Review of Program
  2. 7:15 AM PDT, Landscape and Modularization (Tim Artz, Rob Read, and Deepti Sharma) (20 minutes, 5 minute questions, 5 minute break)
    1. The pandemic
    2. The story of the last 8 weeks
    3. The state of the effort in a nutshell
    4. Potential futures (worst-case, best-case, expected-case)
  3. 7:45 AM PDT, Clinical Issues (Dr. Erich Schulz) (20 minutes, 5 minute questions, 5 minute break)
    1. Progression of the disease
    2. What doctors need from us
    3. Good compromises and bad compromises - What ventilators are needed?
    4. Logistical issues
  4. 8:15 AM  PDT Approval, Investors, and Philanthropists (5-minute lightning talks
    1.   Marta Belcher of Protocol Labs,
    2.  Jochai Ben-Avie  of MOSS,
    3.  Michelle Lott on FDA approval , 
    4. Dr. Edward R. Griffor, Associate Director, Smart Grid and Cyber Physical Systems Program Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology
    5. Kristin Jones Maia, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA)
  5. 8:45 AM PDT From work bench to Deployment: Sarah Benson-Konforty, MD, Narayan Sundararajan
  6. 9:10 AM Michelle Lot, FDA Authorization
  7. 9:15 Am PDT Question: How to help the developing world? Marcos Mendez from Brazil and  Karene Melloul from Kenya, Rebecca Alcock EWB-USA, Guatemala) (20 minutes, 5 minute questions, 5 minute break)
  8. 9:45 AM PDT Looking to the future (20 minutes, 5 minute questions, 5 minute break)
    1. Karen Sandler to talk about open source medical devices in general
    2. Dale Dougherty on “Plan C”
  9. 10:15 AM PDT Next steps - Closing Ceremonies (10 minutes)
    1. What if we were one planet-wide team?
    2. Keeping the conversation alive - talk to each other!
    3. Consider  upcoming Maker Faires

Collateral for Promoting the Conference

As of May 11th, this collateral is still evolving as we establish links and urls. However, look here for collateral to promote Vent-con 2020.


vent-con2020_linkedin_post_1200x628_R4-01 (1)
Vent-con 2020 Logo

Thanks to Laura Villalobos for donating this graphic art:

Laura Villalobos | Graphic Designer |