Tag Archives: open space technology

Bringing in the Unconference to Jyväskylä FRIDAY APRIL 16th @ Turbiinitalo (9-15)

What’s this unconference I just blogged about you ask? 🙂

An unconference is a facilitated, participant-driven conference centred around a theme or purpose. It’s the opposite of a traditional conference.

  • You help decide the content.
  • It’s a pick-and-mix programme.
  • The law of two feet. If you don’t like a session move on until you find one that engages you.
  • A marketplace of ideas, many-to-many rather than one-to-many.

No more boring conferences (re: listen through a powerpoint, clap, maybe hear a few questions, repeat – yeah! Coffee time thank god! – go back in and listen to more powerpoints.)

The unconference format is more like a somewhat structured coffee break.  In event terms, we’ll be doing 2 open space technology sessions – my first in hosting one but with an experience Monkey by my side;)

Its an answer to the overlapping networking events in the area and a way to save resources for all of those who need to organize a new event. Here, there is no “one organizer”. It’s an event for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration and creativity. You get what you put in!


WIKI-      http://bit.ly/JKL_unconf
FACEBOOK – http://bit.ly/dmtu7B

If you wanna get inspired about what an unconference looks like (will tell you upfront that ours won’t be as big as this… maybe in a few years;) take a look at the SHINE UNCONFERENCE in London.

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The Art of Hosting conversations that matter – a needed tool

I’ve learned (or learning) from the Finns that silence is golden. So, no need to apologize (again) for the long pause on this end then;)

I was lucky to attend the Art of Hosting workshop a couple weeks ago in Karlskrona Sweden, hosted by three of the most innovative and forward thinking education programs in Europe –Masters in Strategic Leadership for Sustainability (Sweden), KaosPilot (Denmark), and Team Academy (Finland/Spain). I came as an independent from Global Venture Lab (and as a  friend of Team Academy:)

The Art of Hosting is about hosting conversations that matter. Do you know when you go to conferences and practically fall asleep during “the program” and get what you really need during the coffee breaks and cocktail hour? Well, the Art of Hosting is almost all about the cocktail hour 🙂   Well, sort of, it gets a lot deeper than that…

There we learned about how to hold “the space”.  This was really like an unconference where the participants can hold the show – we signed up for “hosting”, “harvesting”, “organizing” and making it beautiful (yes, making the space “beautiful” is really important”). So you’re not only being taught, but you’re doing it as you go.

But back to this – how can you actually get people (up to thousands) have meaningful conversations? And the, how do you inspire people and give them space to act on passions/interests that arise? (Using these tools would have been extraordinarily useful when I planned my JYU Talks last year!)

In short, here are the core methodologies we were taught:

1. WORLD CAFE (quick, intimate way of collecting different perspectives in room)

2. OPEN SPACE TECH (quickest way of self-organizing a number of projects)

3. CIRCLE (we all know this one – but oldest, quickest and best way to enable people to open up – think of closeness you feel to someone just being around a campfire)

4. APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY (getting out of organizational slumps by focusing on positive, not the problems that need to be solved)

5. PRO-ACTION CAFE (combo of world cafe & open space tech to get clearer ideas and collaboration from many)

(For a very cool visual of this, check out my friend Ece’s work on Prezi – another new favourite tool!)


Think about the importance of what a good conversation can do.

Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)

Next up, my harvestings. (Not a word I used before, but actually quite a nice way to describe your key takeaways:)

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