- Clarification of the goals, outcomes and motivations of participants.
- Picking methodologies and developing a score (order) of the event.
- How long is the event?
- How many people are expected?
- What is the space availability?
- Recommendations on social media tool usage.
Unconference methods are universal but work better if adjusted slightly to fit both the culture of a community and the phase of growth they are in. We work with organizations, companies and communities in various stages of development, incubating, developing, plateauing, and mature.
We offer several different kinds of unconferences:
- Unconferences for Professional Organizations
- Unconferences about a Subject
- Unconferences for Technical Communities
- Unconferences for Internal Company Organizations
- Unconferences for User Groups
- Unconference Design Work
- Unconference supplemental to Traditional Conference
MassTLC (Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council)
MassTLC had hosted a fall conference for entrepreneurs to pitch to investors – wanting to revitalize this event they chose to explore the unconfernece format. Our design expertise was leveraged to bring together a fantastic one day event that mixed together 4 generations of mass technology innovators.
One Club for Art and Copy Creative Unconference
NYSAIS – New York State Association of Independent Schools Technology Managers Conference
This conference had been happening for 10 years previously. We worked with NYSAIS to incorporate Open Space Technology into their conference design that included several keynotes and a vendor exhibit.
Usually conferences about a general topic area bring together pre-selected speakers and an audience of listeners who want to learn. They are not necessarily drawn together because a shared affiliation or working together in community.
Unconference methodologies work well to support peer-to-peer learning, inquiry into critical questions, and working collaborations.
She’s Geeky: Connecting Women in Tech
Online Community unConference
This event is produced by Forum One Communications for online community managers, online community platform builders and companies that host online communities for their businesses. It has a reputation for high quality peer-to-peer exchange on the best practices and issues for online communities.
Ruby on Rails Camp
Kaliya helped facilitate this day long event produced by Max Dunn and Wido Menhardt in November 2006.
Kaliya was the founding facilitator of Mashup Camp. She gave this unconference for the uncomputer its unique format. This Included open space technology for peer-to-peer learning and Speed geeking. Mass Events Labs is now part of CMP who continues to produce the event. Startup Camp also produced by Mass Events Labs had a similar format to Mashup Camp.
This coverage was in the
San Jose Mercury News July 19, 2006
These communities are interacting together online to solve a common problem or have a shared professional niche. Many, but not all, of the participants know each other online and continue to meet face to face over years.
Was co-produced and facilitated with Bill Aal from Tools for Change and Chris Lindstrom from the EF Schumacher society. It brought together people from those doing things in the traditional economy to community and alternative currency and those living by a gift economy.
Scala Lift Off
David Pollak the founder of Lift the framework of an emerging functional programming language, Scala, hired us to help design and facilitate their first ever conference following JavaOne in 2008. Subsequently we facilitated their second event following JavaOne in 2009 and in Octoboer 2009 in the DC Area.
User-Centric Identity Community
This community is where founder Kaliya Hamlin began her facilitation practice in 2005 and has co-produced and facilitated over 10 events in the field. The rapid pace of innovation and the culture of collaboration amongst firms in this space (MSFT, AOL, SUN, Google, Yahoo!, and a range of start-ups) is attributed in large part to the quality of these gatherings.
Kaliya is deeply knowledgeable about this technical field, having helped it grow for the past five years. She is a steward of Identity Commons. Her blog on the subject is Identity Woman.
Companies often host a conference for the users of their products. They typically program these with presentations from company employees who talk at the users and identifiers from amongst users who present case studies to other users.
Unconference methods allow for intensive interaction and peer-to-peer learning opportunities amongst users. And via Innovation Games (R) the opportunity to get detailed information from users that can inform product evolution.
Occasionally we will work with companies seeking to support exchange and innovation within their company. In 2006 Kaliya ran an internal Unconference for AOL on their main campus outside Washington DC.
We also work with organizations just in a design capacity – that is supporting a team to develop a conference plan and empowering those on staff to facilitate particularly when this involves long travel. We have also worked with more local teams seeking expertise in working with technical communities.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Peer Learning Meeting
This event was held in March of 2008 in Latvia. Kaliya worked with the PLM planning team for a day in February to introduce the format to the Global Library Staff and plan their 5 day conference which included 2.5 days of Open Space.
Journalism that Matters – News Tools 2008
Vetran facilitators Peggy Holman, author of the Change Handbook, and Stephen Silha tapped Kaliya to join their design team because her particular expertice in facilitating events for techies in Silicon Valley. Bringing techies and journalists together was at the heart of this event – to support cultural understanding between these two communities We brought Value Network Mapping into the design. In a two day pre-workshop, the old newsroom and emerging newsroom were mapped out. These were introduced the first day.
Traditional conference organizers can support an unconference happening before or after their regular event. This can be a warm up to actually using interactive methods in the main part of the conference. We have worked with organizers of BlogHer on a post conference open space day for the past two years that is the favorite day of many women who attend.
Supernova Deborah Schultz and Kevin Werbach asked us to help produce and facilitate a pre-conference Open Space, June 19th, 2007 on the subject of ’the new Network’.