Unconference

9:30am – 12:30pm

Unconference – Open Space Technology[email protected] Hall 1

Attendees who are not attending any workshop on Day 2 (8 Sep 2016) are invited to participate in the Unconference. You do not need to sign up for this session to attend.

What is unconference (open space)?
unconference-open-space

Open Space Technology (OST) is an approach to purpose-driven leadership, including a way to host meetings, conferences and corporate retreats, where participants (in this case, conference attendees), create the learning agenda for themselves at the start.

UXSG experimented with this format in July 2013 with success and has adopted it in our monthly meetups since February 2015, where up to 150 people regularly come together to discuss topics relevant to the group each month.

For UXSG Conference 2016, we hope that self-organised learning will provide an alternative way to broaden or deepen your knowledge.

How is the session facilitated?
unconference-topic-voting

Although you do not need to prepare in advance, feel free to think about topics that you’d like to discuss at the Unconference.

At a typical session:

  • A facilitator begins with a broad introduction.
  • Participants put up topics they want to facilitate or discuss.
  • Everyone votes on the topics they are most interested in (hence, participant-driven learning).
  • Voted topic hosts then run their sessions in different break-out spaces. Participants are free to move around sessions to learn and contribute at any point in the conversations.
  • Questions are welcomed and sharing is encouraged as unconferences are intended to be highly collaborative in a vibrant atmosphere.

Meaningful and useful interactions between participants is the sole purpose of an Unconference. Read more about the guiding principles and law of two feet.

Why is there an Unconference at the conference?
unconference-breakout-session

One of our key objectives for the conference is to enable deeper and more meaningful peer interaction. We hope that the Unconference session will contribute towards the following outcomes:

  1. The issues that are most important to participants will get discussed.
  2. The issues raised will be addressed by participants who are most capable.
  3. All of the most important ideas, recommendations, discussions and next steps will be documented.
  4. When sufficient time is allowed, the documentation’s contents will be prioritised by the group.
  5. Participants will feel engaged and energised by the process.
Why should I attend the Unconference?
unconference-peer-learning

Unconferences are about empowering attendees to share their expertise. They give participants the opportunity to have an unfiltered exchange of innovative ideas.

There are only two rules at an unconference:

  1. Nobody is giving a presentation – unconferences are all about conversations.
  2. If a session doesn’t inspire attendees and they are not contributing, they should get up and find a different one.
Tips for the Unconference

With over a thousand people experiencing Open Space at UXSG Meetups, we have heard many questions from participants such as:

  • What topic should I pitch? Who else is going to pitch?
  • Maybe I should get up there and pitch first – just in case?
  • Which session should I vote for?
  • Will mine get selected?
  • Oh no! – my pitch got voted on to the agenda! (at this point a mild panic sets in as one tries to prepare to host the session)
  • What’s the schedule going to be? Which sessions should I go to?
  • What will I learn? Who am I going to meet?

Tips for topic hosts

  • You don’t need be an expert in the subject matter. The session can always be facilitated by offering existing knowledge or posing questions.
  • Start with an introduction to get a better understanding of your group.
  • Guide the conversation with questions that help uncover everyone’s experience.
  • Remind everyone to contribute to the learning process by taking notes.
  • Create a summary of the discussion so that others can learn during the debrief session.

Tips for Unconference participants

  • Self-directed learning can be challenging and it often helps to take down notes to share with the group to enhance your learning process.
  • Offering to help the topic host is a great way to pair up and learn more about the topic you voted for!
  • Grab a photo of the voted topics so that you can decide when to exercise the law of two feet.

Examples of past topics hosted at our meetups

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