We decided to set aside some time at Wikimania 2010, in open space, for ad-hoc unconference meetings. We've also reserved some time in the schedule where all rooms are available for use, but there are few or no sessions -- for chapter gatherings, lightning talks, and facilitated discussions among the whole community.
What is an Unconference?
The un-conference model emerged from the popularity of "self-organizing" BarCamps, and Open Space informal meetings, where the agenda is set by the attendees, on the spot. People come to 'camp' events interested in common issues and ready to share. We’ve kept this format as a part of Wikimania, to offer a place to discuss emerging issues, pose [and answer] questions that are on your mind, and do it all in a less formal setting. It is early in the meeting, so that you can find others who share your interests, and pursue those connections throughout the rest of the conference.
- There are a few principles to an un-conference
- anyone can introduce a discussion topic for a session
- everyone is expected to engage, participate and contribute. If you hate public speaking, offer to take notes and blog them for everyone to share, or find another creative way to add something.
- if you find yourself somewhere that you are not comfortable, follow the "Rule of Two Feet": use your own two feet to move somewhere else where you can contribute.
We will have two areas where people can gather to organize their own meetings and discussions: in the outdoor Amphitheater and in the Entresol on the upper floor. There will be meeting areas designated by large letters affixed to the walls, A through D, and a small map of the area.
Facilitated discussion: strategy overview
We will also run a facilitated dicsussion about the strategic plan, and the Foundation's 1-year and 3-year strategy.
Friday night, from 18:30 to 19:50, ideas from and about the strategy will be put forward and discussed. Chapters meetings are being organized during the last 50 minutes.
Each day after lunch, lightning talks will be organized in the Entresol. These will be two- to three-minute presentations of topics of interest.
Saturday night, from 18:30 to 20:00, there will be lightning talks and an open session. Chapters meetings are being organized during this time.
Got something you want to discuss? Looking for people interested in the same things you are? Make a pitch and post an Unconference session.
- a pitch should be a few sentences on a small slip of paper
- your pitch should persuade the attendees to want to discuss it further – open questions are much more inviting than your answers
Things to remember about pitching – Un-Conference sessions are:
- topical and current – breaking news and emerging issues are the most engaging
- informal and conversational – this is not the place to give the paper you forgot to propose
- distinct from things going on elsewhere on the Wikimania program – don't trump your presentation later in the week by pitching the same thing here
If you have questions about the unconference and participating with it, you can email SJ and Rut: sj@wikimedia and email@example.com