We’ve all attended conferences with an organizing team setting the agenda, experts giving talks, employees/volunteers taking care of the logistics, and the participants largely consuming what they are being offered, for a fee. An unconference is different. In an unconference, the organizing team merely sets the tone and theme for the event and leaves the agenda to be co-created by the participants at the event itself. Every participant becomes a contributor in one or more of the following ways:
- Those who have knowledge, experience, questions to share may choose to become speakers or actively initiate or lead sessions in the conference.
- Those who can physically help, may sign up at the event to do tasks that become necessary in conducting the event.
- Those who can do neither of the above may help by documenting the event via photography, videography, blogging, etc.
In short, an unconference is where we all move from being the old-world consumers to new-world co-creators. An unconference is where we strive to put into practice the new world we envision –- with equality, real democracy, openness, celebration of life as it unfolds, meaningful connections, authentic conversations, gift culture, inter-generational and inclusive living (where people from a diversity of ages, abilities and orientations are warmly embraced). We won’t have any public speaking system (mics and speakers) so that loud ideas, not loud voices, wield power. We will have more conversations and fewer speeches. Instead of a fee, the conference expenses are covered by voluntary contributions that the participants willingly make.