Check your meeting expectations at the door. Having attended two brilliant and very different unConferences, I suggest you be prepared to have your mind blown instead. Just do it. – Andrew Borg, CEO, Hi-Beam Entertainment (attendee East Online Community Conference NYC and MassTLC)

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 unconference format. Our design expertise was leveraged to bring together a fantastic one day event that mixed together 4 generations of mass technology innovators. 

How can you plan a conference in technology for 150+ School Technology Directors since technology changes so rapidly? Kaliya Hamlin helped transform our yearly conference into an unconference to great success, even the skeptics in our audience where convinced that an unconference was the way forward after they experienced it. -Don Buckley, Director of Communications Technology @ The School at Columbia University

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.

Kaliya is a master facilitator. She has helped us grow our Unconference business in the last 3 years. She is an asset during all stages of event planning and production, form initial concepts all the way to handling facilitation during the event. I consider her a strategic partner for our organization. – Bill Johnston Forum One

Unconference methodologies work well to support peer-to-peer learning, inquiry into critical questions, and working collaborations.

She’s Geeky: Connecting Women in Tech

UnMoney Convergence
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.

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.

I want to thank you, Wido, Kaliya and Steve for putting on Rails Camp. I got a lot out of it – I think all of us did – and it was a truly pleasurable event as well as being productive. – Michael Mazour

We had no previous experience hosting an unconference and provided invaluable guidance that made our Ruby on Rails Camp a huge success!” Max Dunn, Co-Organizer, Ruby on Rails Camp

Ruby on Rails Camp
This day long event produced by Max Dunn and Wido Menhardt.

Mashup Camp
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.

Coverage  in the
San Jose Mercury News July 19, 2006
Mashup Camp 3 at MIT in Boston wrapped-up yesterday. It was another well organized, well attended, very successful event… – Programmable Web




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.

The unconference was facilitated by Kaliya Hamlin. She very deftly created the container, or context, in which the unconference could self-organize, ensuring that sessions emerged, that there was clarity as to the shape of the space, and that everyone involved was vested in participating fully, whether by volunteering to lead sessions or by making themselves heard in the sessions.
Lambda the Ultimate Blog

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. Subsequently we facilitated their second event following JavaOneand in Octoboer 2009 in the DC Area.

The event, an unconference, was one of the best conferences, prefix or no, that I’ve ever been to, much less been part of. – Doc Searls

IIW 2006 WAS A SUPEREVENT Everyone in attendance was awe-struck by the IIW 2006 that just took place in Mountain View. It was incredible. With Doc Searls and Phil Windely navigating at the macro-level, the amazing Identity Woman Kaliya orchestrated an “unconference” that was one of the most effective events I’ve ever attended. It’s clear that creating synergy out of chaos is an art that these three have mastered, and participants floated in and out of sessions that self-organized around an ongoing three-day hallway conversation – the hallway actually being the main conference room and event! So we got to engage in all kinds of one-on-one (and few) conversations, meet new people, work out concerns and above all work on convergence. Many people told me they felt history was being made, and I did too.  Kim Cameron Microsoft’s Chief Identity Architect.

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.

On June 1st, AOL held its first “Un-conference”. Kaliya Hamlin came and facilitated the day and as always did a great job. The event was sponsored by the AOL Architecture Council and the goal was to build community around technologies and strategies that are key to AOL’s success. Since this was the first un-structured conference here, there was some nervousness about how well it would work. However, there was no need for any nervousness, as there were over 100 participants and the day’s grid of sessions quickly filled to almost full. We had a lot of good discussions…. – Mike Cummins, AOL


We work with companies seeking to support exchange and innovation within their company. We have worked with organizations such as AOL, Mozilla, Collibri, IOHK and others
to support their change processes and break down internal silos.










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 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
Veteran facilitators Peggy Holman, author of the Change Handbook, and Stephen Silha tapped Kaliya to join their design team because her particular expertise 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.

I had the opportunity to sit in on some brilliant sessions and discussions, especially during the Unconference part of the conference on Tuesday. -Launch Squad


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.