Date: Thur June 11, 2015Description:
Fee: Guests $75 (CAD) Early Bird by June 4, $85 thereafter (CAD)
Paid TODN Members: Free and bring a friend for free
Location: Ontario Heritage Building, 10 Adelaide St. E., Birkbeck Rm.
We have all marveled at the richness of expertise and experience among the members of the TODN, and have heard time and time again how much TODN members appreciate opportunities to network and learn from one another. This June, TODN is excited to be hosting it’s 3rd UnConference, giving members an uncompromising, unconventional opportunity to self-organize and discuss “Kick-Ass Facilitation” tools, models and processes in a peer-to-peer learning environment.
How Does it Work?
The Principles of Open Space and “The Law of Two Feet” are used to create an opportunity where attendees participate, convene a session, or both. And, we will all walk away with an understanding of how and when we may choose to use an unConference as an organizing and learning tool with our own clients.
Participate, Convene a Session, or both!
· Participate: Show up, join a conversation that is meaningful to you – or even join two or three if you wish.
· Convene a Session: Teach or share an Kick-Ass Facilitation topic or tool you are experienced in, pose a question or topic you would like to explore, and bring it with you!
· Both: Convene a short session, and then participate in another; both are possible!
And, at the end of the evening, we’ll spend time reflecting on our experience participating in the unConference and sharing the learning we are taking away. We will all walk away with an understanding of how and when you may choose to use an unConference in your own work with clients.
It’s an Open Space for minds to meld and ideas to blossom!
We look forward to seeing you on June 11th!
Details aboutan UnConference
Principles of Open Space
- Whoever comes are the right people
- Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
- Whenever it starts, is the right time
- Whenever it is over, it is over
Law of Two Feet
If you are neither learning or contributing it is your responsibility to respectfully use your own two feet to find some place you are learning or contributing.
Convening a Session:
1. You do not need to prepare in order to convene a session. If you get an idea the day of the event, call a session.
2. There is no ‘right way’ to lead a session. However, there is a bias towards interaction and discussion.
3. Choose a format for your session to help you achieve your vision, keeping in mind that low-tech is required (powerpoint or computer-related presentations cannot be accommodated).
Types of Sessions:
1. The longer formal presentation
This is tricky, because it’s difficult to make a formal presentation interactive. But if you have a big, well-developed idea that is low-tech you can pull it off.
2. A short presentation to get things started
5-15 minutes of prepared material/comments by the session leader followed by an interactive discussion
3. Group discussion
Someone identifies a topic they are interested in, others come to join the conversation and an interesting discussion happens
4. My Big (or Little) Question
You have a question you want to know the answer to, and you think others in the group could help you answer it. This format could also just be the seed of a conversation.
You have a cool project, a demo, or just something to show and let people play with that is the springboard for all the conversation in the session. Alternatively, you can invite others to bring their own items to share (perhaps with a theme), and everyone takes a turn sharing.
6. Learn how to do X
If you’re inclined to teach, this can be simple and effective. Bring the equipment that you need, and have a plan that will let you teach five, ten, or 15 people how to do something all at the same time.
Tips on leading a session:
· Holding Space - If you convene a session, it is your responsibility to “hold the space” for your session. You hold the space by leading a discussion, by posting a “first question,” or by sharing information about your program. Be the shepherd – stay visible, be as involved as necessary, be a beacon of sanity that guides the group.
· Asking for Help - Ask for help holding the space if you need it. You might, for example, put a session on the board and know that you are so passionate about the topic that it would be better if someone else, someone more objective, facilitates the discussion. Choose someone from your team, or another participant who is interested in the topic.
· Learning from Each Other - Don’t assume people in the room know more, or less, than you do. You never know who is going to be interested in your session. You might want to start by asking people to hold up their hands if they’ve been involved with the topic for more than five years, for one to five years, or for one year or less.
· Cultivating Acceptance - Don’t be upset if only two people show up to your session. Those two people are the ones who share your interest.
· Keeping Flexible Time - Don’t feel that you have to “fill” up an hour of time. If what you have to say only takes 15 min and the group has finished interacting–then the session can end. Likewise, don’t feel pressure to have everything take “only” an hour. If you start with a short presentation, and then a group conversation gets going, and your discussion needs to continue past an hour – find a way to make this happen. At the start of the conference, we will discuss guidelines for how this can happen.
· Being Brave - Others are interested in making your session work, so be brave and bring it forward, trusting the group to support you in carrying it where it needs to go.
· Being Mindful Yet Adaptable - Do think about the ideas that you want to cover in your session, and how you want to cover them. But don’t feel as though you need to prepare a great deal. (If you’re over-prepared, your session might lose energy.)
· Innovating - Experiment with the kind of sessions you lead. There is no such thing as “failure” at an unconference.
Tips for everyone at unconference:
· Go with the flow – This event is intended to help you and all the other grantees find the time and space to talk with and learn from each other.
· Follow your passion – Go to the sessions that interest you.
· Take responsibility for your own learning – If there are topics you are really interested in that don’t appear on the agenda at first, you need to put them on there.