Slides: BayCHI Human Interaction Design and Unconferences

I gave this talk several years ago at BayCHI. Human Interaction Design and Unconferneces
It gives an overview of what an unconference with photos of many of the key aspects.

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Welcome to the Unconference Blog!

Going to an Unconference? read this:

Organizing An Unconference? look at these posts:

unConference Methods:

My Reviews of unConferences:

Media Coverage of unConferences:

Learn more about Kaliya’s work

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Open Space Learning Workshop

Lisa Heft is Facilitating an Open Space Learning Workshop December 15-17, 2010 (also this week April 21-23 but that is very soon) San Francisco, California USA

I took this workshop from Lisa few years after I started facilitating Open Space technology at unconferences. It was well worth doing and I highly recommend it.

Here is how she describes the method and her workshop: Open Space is a dialogic method where one facilitator can convene from ten to 2000+ participants for dynamic, participant-driven dialogue. OS can be used for bringing together an entire company to highlight emergent issues and opportunities before strategic planning, generating ideas for product or program design, sharing resources and best practices, understanding each other across cultures, sharing knowledge across disciplines, conflict transformation, exchanging thought and experience about complex situations, and engaging groups from small to large in seeing a full-systems perspective for their opportunities or issues. The facilitator’s role in OS is very different than for other dialogic methods – participants facilitate their own discussions, documentation and noting of linkages and common threads.

Join me for 2.5 days of mutual exploration as we share learning in and about Open Space. Together you will discuss and create a theme for an Open Space meeting, explore issues and opportunities in your own work with groups, experience an Open Space, and really delve into all those elements of pre-work that are essential to the success of an Open Space event.

Everything from developing a theme to exploring invitation and outreach, design, planning, materials, variations, adaptations for cultural differences (for example in a non-readers environment or in a situation with rich power dynamics), how the site, food and other elements impact or enhance an event, how to include action planning if needed, ‘what-ifs’, ‘when not to’s’, documentation, sustainability of ideas, relationships and actions post-event, and more.

Pricing – as always – is flexible – custom tailored to what you as an individual can contribute and afford.

For more information on content, schedule and pricing overview and to register, Contact her directly at: lisaheft@openingspace.net

Lisa Heft, Consultant, Facilitator, Educator at Opening Space Fellow, Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution Adjunct Faculty, Sonoma State University Organization Development Program President, Open Space Institute US

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When a Camp is not a Camp: Gov2.0 LA

Since Gov2.0 Camp LA was announced people have been asking me if I will be attending because I attended Gov 2.0 Summit, Citizen-Centric Digital Identity using open standards is happening in Government, I am co-organizer the Open Government Directive Workshops in DC (for the development of an Open Government Playbook ) & I live on the west coast.

Here is the punch line …

I have news for everyone who thinks they are going to an unconference or camp by going to Gov 2.0 Camp LA. They are going to a REGULAR CONFERENCE that happens to be organized at the last minute.

I was looking for:

  • list of attendees who had signed up
  • a clear articulation of the method(s) that would be used
  • who would be facilitating
  • a list of potential topics that registrants to the event had put forward as they registered

These are the things that I use to decide whether or not to attend an unconference event – not finding any of this information I decided not to plan to attend.

I looked at the website early on and couldn’t figure out how they were actually organizing the event.

  • Would it be run as a Bar Camp where there isn’t a facilitator and people just sort of wander in and post sessions on a wall and there is no shared articulation of how people move through space. A weak closing with the energy just kinda fading off.
  • Would it use “Open Space Technology” with a facilitator that supports the agenda creation process with everyone announcing their sessions to the whole room in the morning and explaining the principles of open space and law of 2 feet, encourage a range of formats including discussions about topics, and asking questions along with the usual fair of presentations. Open Space Technology also includes a closing where everyone shares highlights from the day.
  • Would there be a documentation center to support intensive notes collection that is part of part of the Open Space Technology method or applied in a camp style format.
  • Would it be a “pseudo-camp” where the organizers say it is a camp but then there is a pre-selection process of what sessions will happen. This can happen innocently enough by just putting up a wiki and saying we are scheduling the event ahead of time here on this wiki OR with organizers asking for proposals to be submitted and having them voted on.

Returning to the site I found what I feared would be the case it was a pseudo-camp there was a list of “speakers” this statement of how the agenda would be created.

Gov 2.0 LA is a camp-style unconference. Participants will shape the agenda. Rather than spend Camp time creating the agenda, we’re going to create it here, on this site. Here’s how. The Planning Committee has come up with themes around which sessions will be organized. They are:

  • Language & Gov2.0
  • Women in Technology
  • Road Blocks & Barrier Breakers
  • State & Local
  • The Policy Pickle
  • Community Care
  • Gov2Gov
  • Happy Campers

For each theme there was a page that described it with several good questions their is this statement:

If you would like to submit a speaker/panel submission, please describe what you will talk about, what organization you are representing, the format you are proposing, and how your proposal maps to the Camp themes. Creativity is encouraged!

All submissions for speakers/panels must be uploaded here no later than midnight EST on January 23, 2010. Voting by the Community and space availability will determine if your session is accepted. Voting closes at midnight EST January 30, 2010. The final Camp schedule will be posted no later than February 1, 2010.

The “committee” will then be making the schedule and posting on the site here.

I have news for everyone who thinks they are going to an unconference or camp they aren’t it is A REGULAR CONFERENCE that happens to be organized at the last minute.

It will be interesting to see if they do mix “unconference formats” (that is participant driven sessions developed on site in real time) with the formal regular conference pre-planning they have done.

If they parallel track these two styles it will not be good. Pre-planned and live-real-time the day of planned sessions can be mixed in an event but only if they are serialized – that is having “all” the pre-planned sessions in the morning and “all” the live-real-time the day of sessions in the afternoon.

Update: It seems they are not having any times/spaces for sessions to be proposed the day of the event live by the attendees. It is definitely “just a conference”

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Open Space on Open Space (and other methods)

This weekend I am at an Open Space on Open Space. I was part of the convening/hosting team along with Heidi Nobantu Saul, Lisa Heft and Jeff Atkin.

The goal of the event is talk about Open Space with other experienced Open Space facilitators. Open Space is the primary method that I use in my unconference practice. I am most interested in talking about other methods in conjunction with open space and how they are applied.

  • In the session so far I have gained clarity on the spectrum of Open Space use.
  • Within a sub-section of the organization – a department
  • For an Organization
  • For an Organization and a few companies
  • For a network of companies/organizations/people engaging with a complex topic/problem
  • For an organization having a “conference”
  • For public engagement by government with experts
  • For public engagement around a set of problems

The two that are highlighted is where my work doing unconferences is mostly.

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Creating Containers for Community

I am going through my Identity Woman posts and have found some old posts that get at the heart of facilitation and creating good space.

Some came before I ever began this blog. This one reflects on a disastrous event I attended and then used the opportunity to articulate what goes into good events…

This metaphor of the container is one that comes from my work in spiritual activism. How are you going to honor peoples time and the gifts they are bringing to what ever purpose you have. This container involves the whole of the event:

  • the initial intention
  • who is included in manifesting the intention
  • who is invited
  • choice of process and facilitation
  • proposed goals outcomes
  • the physical aspects of the event –
  • Location – inside/outside – bigroom/lots of small rooms – bathrooms or not
  • nourishment needs (food and drink)

The creation of a strong community container is one of the keys to success for online worlds too. Claire from SUN has this post referencing Caterina Fake about how they (FLICKR) focused (and continue to focus) very strongly on the container of community. This positive field of feedback has drawn energy towards them.

People are more likely to work well together well not only when they have a common interest or shared set of goals – but also when there is a personal connection. I try to work well with most people, but I’m much more motivated to to cut people slack when I know a little bit about who they are, when I can tease them about their taste in a band called FloggingMolly, when I know that they like to delve into 1337 5p34k on occasion, or if I know that her talented brother went to RISD and is friends with the infamous creator of of Andre The Giant Has A Posse.

Caterina Fake of Flickr fame recently blogged about building a flickricious sense of community (gotta love that word) – and the importance of personal connections caught my eye. One relevant quote from Caterina – the part about personal – and authentic – communication is at the end of the paragraph:

“In the beginning, the creators of the community space have to create the tone and attitude of the place, set the parameters of what is and what is not allowed, and participate heavily, engaging directly with other people, mercilessly kicking/banning trolls, creating a real sense of there being a there there. Friendster, and the banning of “Fakesters” is often used as an example of a misunderstanding of online community — but I think this misunderstanding went back further, to the beginning. I was an early member of Friendster and, the first message I got was from the founder. “How do you like the service?” he asked, and not — and this is really the crux of it — “Pynchon! Man, how can you read that stuff! DeLillo is 10X better.” or “ZEPPELIN ROX! Zoso is my favorite album!!!” I’d filled out a profile. See what I mean?”

What’s the conclusion? Growing the OpenSolaris community is going to involve building lots of these personal connections. Personal and authentic, not stiff and corporate. Cool.

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Open Space Learning Opportunity

My friend Lisa Heft is putting on an Open Space Learning Workshop in December 9-11, 2009 in San Francisco, California USA

This is how she describes the workshop:

Open Space is a dialogic method where one facilitator can convene from ten to 2000+ participants for dynamic, participant-driven dialogue. OS can be used for bringing together an entire company to highlight emergent issues and opportunities before strategic planning, generating ideas for product or program design, sharing resources and best practices, understanding each other across cultures, sharing knowledge across disciplines, conflict transformation, exchanging thought and experience about complex situations and engaging groups from small to large in seeing a full-systems perspective for their opportunities or issues. The facilitator’s role in OS is very different than for other dialogic methods – participants facilitate their own discussions, documentation and noting of linkages and common threads.

Join me for 2.5 days of mutual exploration as we share learning in and about Open Space. Together you will discuss and create a theme for an Open Space meeting, explore the issues and opportunities in your own work, reflect on how behavior change theory can inform our roles as facilitators, experience an Open Space, and really delve into all those elements of pre-work that are essential to the success of an Open Space event.

Everything from developing a theme to exploring invitation and outreach, design, planning, materials, variations, adaptations for cultural differences (for example in a non-readers environment or in a situation with rich power dynamics), how the site, food and other elements impact or enhance an event, how to include action planning as needed, ‘what-ifs’, ‘when not to’s’, documentation and more.

Pricing – as always – is flexible – custom tailored to what you as an individual can contribute and afford.

For more information on content, schedule and pricing overview and to register,
Contact me directly at lisaheft@openingspace.net

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Candidates Forum 2.0 for District 10 Special Election

This all has come together in the last week because of a conversation that happened at Transparency Camp (more about that below).

I and 3 of my facilitator friends are helping with this unconventional candidates forum in District 10. 2009 Congressional Candidates & Community Interactive Dialogue on Open-Government

We will be hosting a World Cafe to support a deeper dialogue to engage with what President Obama outlined in his Transparency Memo and to consider what it means for the district.

We were inspired by President Obama’s commitment to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. Outlined in his Memo from his first day in office.   This link was taken down on January 20, 2017,  For historical reasons, we have linked to a copy taken by the Internet History Archive.

Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset.

Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge.

Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector.

At the conclusion of each of the three rounds of dialogue we will be inviting participants to write key points from the dialogue down. We will collect these and they will be the basis of a document that will reflect key themes from the conversation.

Once the rounds conclude we will invite citizen reflections on the dialogue for thirty minutes. We are hoping to find a graphic recorder or two to support this part of the process. To conclude the event each of the candidates will have three minutes to make a statement on the record.
I am really excited to be applying my skills as a facilitator in this experiment and hope that it can be used as a model for future innovative events.

————
This all came about out of Transparency Camp last weekend where I met David Peterson one of the candidates running in the Congressional District 10 Special Election being held September 1.

He was interested in the upcoming candidates forum being on the themes of transparency and openness in government and wanted some of us from the camp who were “experts” in the subject to be the moderators. Silona Bonewald was there talking with him too. We got to talking about what the goals were for the event and what the audiences’ goals were. World Cafe seemed like a good match. Please join us if you are in District 10. We will be writing up how this goes and hopefully it can be a case study for other candidates’ forums to use in the future.

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Making Transparancy Camp Better

After attending the Community Leadership Summit (CLS), Danese Cooper suggested that I begin writing reviews of conferences that I attend. I have facilitated almost 100 unconferences and since I attended my first conference Siggraph ‘97, I have attended about 300 conferences from a wide range of industries: green business, tech fields like open source, non profit tech, semantic web, security and identity, journalism and even spirituality.

I am at Transparency Camp this weekend and there is much here that could be improved.

Better Agenda Creation and Space Creation

In creating the Transparency Camp agenda wall, no presenters announced their sessions (until the very end when given feedback, a few sessions got announced over the microphone). The session proposal process was not transparent to anyone but those located next to the agenda wall. Having proposers of sessions announce the name of the session, what their session is for (like technology or policy) helps everyone know what the presenter looks like, get a sense of who they are: their demeanor, voice and other non-verbal cues, as well as understand if the session might be interesting given the attendees goals. If presenters have similar ideas, or something to contribute to a session, those kinds of things can be sorted out in advance. People with similar interests and presentations may want to talk to each other ahead of time, ask questions and suggest things.

It is important once session leaders start by announcing their proposed session titles, one at a time, that the facilitator stay there to support the process – at the CLS event, the conference organizer literally left the room where people where announcing their sessions. This sort of left the group hanging and people felt a bit lost. By remaining right there, the facilitator is communicating that the session announcements are the most important thing happening at that moment.

Once many of the proposers have announced their session, the facilitator can invite those interested in topics they knew want need to be covered to come forward and propose a session in areas attendees haven’t yet thought of. This kind of prompting can also communicate that the topic area of the unconference needs help, and those who are tentative often do step forward to lead a discussion about a topic, even if they aren’t expert in it, just to make sure there is space for the topic.

I have heard people say that having people announce sessions takes to long. I don’t believe it does. I have never had an agenda creation process take more then 45 minutes and often it’s more like 25-30 minutes. A facilitator must make sure that people make brief announcements describing their session rather then speeches. But giving a fast demo of an announcement, the facilitator shows how the quick but effective announcement can be done without wasting time.

The facilitator should share with those gathered the Flocking Rules and Norms of Behavior for the day. Hopefully, whatever set of rules and norms the conference uses will be posted.

Personally I use the principles of Open Space and the One Law of Open Space. These are well known and “proven” having been used around the world at over 100,000 successful events.

By using the Open Space Flocking Rules, once the agenda is made, the facilitator doesn’t need to interrupt sessions to suggest it is time to move to the next one. Self organizing means presenters choose when and where to be and to manage their energy.

See the previous post on this blog that articulates in detail how to facilitate an unconference or camp agenda creation process.

Have More People

There could be more people attending Transparency Camp – the organizers closed registration relatively early and as per most free conferences about 40-50% of the people did not appear. On the first day, just over 100 people were here but the space here at Google would easily hold 300 people. Because the relatively small number of people for the space feels empty, it seemed wasteful of the opportunity.

One thing I heard was that the organizers kept the Transparency Camp small to facilitate relationship formation amongst this small group, but if that was the goal (having a limit of 100 people) then the camp should be convened in a space that works for 100 people, not 300.

Use the Space Better

Transparency Camp is not using the full range of break out spaces. Google is providing 6 very small break out rooms available for meetings plus the big main space (Charlie’s cafe).

The big main space could be broken up into about 6 different break out spaces. The tables outside could be listed as spaces.

Have more Breakout Sessions

For an unconfernece supporting as many breakouts as needs to happen is important.

Unconferences should support as many breakouts as needs to happen. Transparency Camp limited the number sessions per time slot to 7 and it was mostly “full,” meaning there may be more energy to have more sessions.

Yes, there will be a lot of parallel sessions which people want to be at during the same times, however, if you support and promote extensive note taking this anxiety can be lessened. If leaders arbitrarily limit the number of breakouts to say 7, but there is enough interest and energy to have 10-12, then those who didn’t find room to call a session on their topic will take the energy they have for “that thing” to be discussed/presented into other people’s session topics and be somewhat disruptive. The moderator should never be proactively merging sessions. Session participants should work this out during the announcing session.

All people who want to lead a session should be free to propose it and they all should be putting their names on the session paper they are calling. If people feel two or three topics are similar and ought to be merged, they can find the people who proposed those two sessions and “lobby them” to merge sessions. This is a self-organizing process in that the people hosting/convening a session get to decide if they want to merge or not.

Have a Documentation Center

Transparency Camp didn’t seem to have a clear idea of how to document sessions. At professional community unconferences, I always work with a person who’s only job is to collect and track session documentation and get it up online quickly. I will be working with my usual helper to write up detailed instructions on how to run a documentation center to share with the community. But here is an example of good documentation from the last two Internet Identity Workshop. 2009a, 2008b.

Have an Opening and Closing

Opening and Closing circles for an event are key elements that were left out of Transparency Camp. This is where I would position it in the room.

I led a session today about how to do amazing unconferences, the 4th time I’ve led a session like this at an unconference in the last couple months. Here is an example of the way I think about articulating the over all flow of the day – converging and diverging the groups energy.

The facilitator and organizing team help develop and maintain the flow of energy in an event – by coming from the outside world – together into a circle – where agenda creation happens. The community diverges amongst itself via the sessions throughout the day, then comes back together again at the end – converging in an ending circle to share what happened during the breakouts sessions (divergent time).

Post – Event

Ideally, the schedule, after a closing circle, will then give people a break to have a shower at their hotel or just go for a walk – before convening a dinner or an “after event.” I am also a huge believer in supporting people eating together to build community and buying everyone dinner supports this kind of convergence. Then after dinner everyone disburses back to their homes/hotels.

It’s very important for the event organizers to attend these after events. Transparency camp didn’t appear to have it’s organizers attending the evening event after the first day, held in a local restaurant. So while many attendees were there, without the event organizers, the evening felt a bit abandoned, as though the organizers were too busy or otherwise gathered at more exclusive events. But supporting the social evening event is just as key as the other recommendations I have made above.

I work with my clients (typically organizations in technical fields trying to solve problems and build community) to navigate the landscape of choices when designing an event. It is important as an event organizer, convening organization to understand why they are convening an event and to understand why attendees want to participate/attend the event. Answering these questions allows the convening organization to be able work with a process designer/facilitator like me to sculpt the processes used during the convening.   Unconferences if done well can serve in supporting innovation, solving hard problems and bring people together in community. If done poorly they waste people’s time and do limited good.

UPDATE: Mary Hodder has an excellent post with her observations about Transparancy Camp and how it can be improved.

Posted in Comments on a Conference, unconference | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Facilitating unconference agenda creation Step-by-Step

There are many steps to creating a great unconference or camp. Many happen before getting to this step, but once you have 50-300 people in a room, what do you do to support people creating a whole day or multi-day agenda live right there on the spot.

How do you go from blank wall to full wall.

If this goes well, you will have a very full agenda with amazing topics for conversation and presentation, build a coherent field of intention and understanding among those attending and with these two things, support community and action going forward out of the event.

What do you do to facilitate this process?

This post is long and detailed it does its best to support a person or team of people understanding step by step specifically what they should do in order. If you do nothing else do these two things:

1) Get everyone who proposes a session for the unconfernece to announce their session idea to the whole group.

2) Bring everyone together at the end of the day to share what happened.

They help facilitate the formation of a good energetic container/field for the conference by supporting people finding out what is going on during the unconference sessions and knowing more about what happened after.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Agenda Creation begins when the facilitator and other conveners gather everyone together.

This can be done in several ways:

  • get on the loudspeaker and annouce that you will be starting the agenda creation process in 5 min
  • ring a bell(s) that invite people to stop talking and sit in the opening circle
  • facilitator and convener go around and ask everyone to take seats

After people are seated the facilitator can go through these steps:

1) Welcome everyone

2) Restate the convening topic or theme – why they are gathered?

3) Invite everyone to introduce themeslves in a way that makes sense for the gathering:

  • a question “what makes you creative?”
  • three words/tags about self or
  • where are you from geographically organizationally
  • Have a welcome and inviting space – support people reg

You must model the format and make sure that people are very crisp; for large groups you can have 150 people introduce themselves in 10 min.

4) Explain how the agenda will be created
“There is a blank grid here – in a few min i will invite those of you who want to lead a session to come forward and get one of these (holding it up) 8.5×11 pieces of paper and write on it (in the landscape direction) the name of your session and a description. These can be:

  • conversations you want to have with others
  • questions you want answered
  • information you want to share/present
  • a project you would like help on
  • any number of forms

After you have written your session title, you will come forward to the microphone (or center of the circle) and announce the title of your session. I will then give you a piece of tape and you will go and place it on the agenda wall in the space/time slot that you choose.

5) Explain the shared norms for the day that are also posted around the space

“Before we make this agenda I want we have to some guidelines about how we will conduct ourselves today – how will this work?”

I am a big fan of the Open Space Principles and the Law of Two Feet that is intricately entwined with them. I recite these and elaborate on what they mean.


You could consider modifications to these, or some different norms, but setting norms of how people move about and share the space together are very helpful in making a day go well.

Share:

  • when people post sessions that are similar, two conveners with similar topics are free to merge their sessions together, but it is up to them whether they choose to do so or not.
  • that only the person who convened a session can move it about on the agenda wall. Others are free to “lobby” the convener to shift the time but they can’t move the session themselves.


6) Share the flow of the day time and space wise,
talk about where the rooms/spaces are relative to where everyone is seated during the opening agenda creation.

Example “Spaces A and B are outside that door (pointing at door) and down the hall to the right. Spaces L-M are outside that door (pointing at a different door) and down the hall to the left. Spaces I-K are at these tables in the middle of this large rooom. Spaces C-H are found around the edges of this room.”

Our first session begins at 10:30 and we have hour long sessions with 15 min breaks. There are two sessions before lunch and three afterwards. You are free to post sessions during lunch but be mindful that you are doing this and having conversations that make sense to have over a meal.

We will close the day all together back here in the circle and go over what we learned sharing highlights, insights and next steps.

7) Talk about how documentation will be happening during the day

  • Make sure people know the hashtag for Twitter, Flickr and blogging about the day.
  • If you are hosting a documentation center with a person checking in notes, articulate that process
  • if you have a wiki and are expecting people to post there, explain this
  • If you are asking people to fill out 11×17 sheets after their sessions, articulate that and share where they should be posted




8 ) Ask if people have any questions. Answer questions respectfully.

9) Invite participants to come forward who have sessions to convene
a) “Come forward get a piece of 8.5×11 paper and a marker and to have them write down the session name. In a few min we will start announcing session topics”

I like to leave about 5 min for this to happen because people want to talk during it… once there are many people with sessions written on papers, then begin session announcements

b) Get those who are calling sessions to get in a line to one at a time announce the name of the session they want to host. This can be along one or two of the aisles of the circle. If there is a microphone, it can be handed from one to the next in line as they get to the center.

It is ok to allow session conveners to elaborate their session titles but make sure you as the facilitator keep them from giving long speeches. If what the purpose is not clear or full of acronyms you can ask them to clarify. Allow audience members to ask questions if they are confused about what the proposed session is supposed to be about.

c) Once they have announced a session, give the convener a piece of tape.
d) The conveners will go to the blank agenda wall and post the session name card on the time/space they want.

Watch the wall as it fills and encourage sessions to balance out in time/space, like if you notice that there are no sessions in the last time slot of the day, just name this and people will move sessions into that time slot.

DO NOT as the facilitator try to help or coordinate in a specific way who should put what where on the agenda wall. The participants will self organize to do this.

DO NOT limit the break out space areas – a good rule of thumb is that if you have 100 people you need to take the number of people attending and divide by 3. So 30 breakout time/spaces 5 time slots and 6 spaces. If these fill out think about your space layout and figure out where if need bee more breakouts can happen. This can be at different tables, in hallway nooks, outside. Notice on the “full” agenda wall up above there was more space added.

10) Invite shy people to come forward and post sessions on the wall
As the agenda begins to fill and there are fewer people with sessions to announce, interject and remind/invite those who have not yet heard a session that covers the issues/topics they want to hear about at the event, to come forward and post such a session on the agenda wall. Get them to annouce the session before giving them tape to post on the wall.

11) Moving participants on to the first session.
If you have 100+ people attending an unconference, one way to get people to move to the first session is to actually read out the topics proposed in the first time slot into the mic.

Example “In space A we have organic farming, in Space B we have getting Apache servers running, in space C we have standards for identity online, etc.”

I usually end this by saying “Have a great day, see you back here at 4pm for closing circle.”

Then the direct “facilitating” part of the day is done. You as the facilitator are still responsible for holding the space of the gathering for those gathered. This is an energetic way of being.

Don’t tell people when they should change sessions. They will do this on their own. It is best to leave “break time” between sessions – 15min is a good amount of time; this supports a buffer of shifting time.

12) Bring everyone back together at the end of the day
Like bringing people at the beginning of the day, this can be done by:

  • get on the loudspeaker and announce that you will be starting the closing circle in 5 min
  • ring a bell(s) that invite people to stop talking and sit in the closing circle
  • facilitator and convener go around and ask everyone to take seats

Invite people to share what happened durring the day. If you have a wall of results, you can go through and ask someone from each session that happened to read that out.
Using “Popcorn style” for sharing highlights is another way. This is where the facilitator gets to play “Oprah” and solicit people sharing highlights.

Posted in Method, Open Space, unconference | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments