We need your session proposals to make Artist Archives in the South a success. You can submit your ideas here. Below are some tips and ideas for what kinds of materials we’re looking for:
- What is an “unconference”?
- How do I propose a session?
- When do I propose a session?
- Why are sessions proposed this way?
- What do I propose?
- Do I have to lead the session I propose?
An unconference is a participant-driven meeting in which the agenda is proposed and set by attendees at the outset. Interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and informal, the unconference eschews the lecture format of the traditional conference in order to foster collaborative discussion, making, and experimentation sessions among equally involved attendees. The ideal unconference is non-hierarchical, focused, and geared towards problem-solving. For more information, see the Wikipedia entry on unconferences.
We’ve made a Google Form where you can submit session proposals. You can access it and submit here. We’ll periodically update the Proposals page with your submissions, so everyone can see what ideas are circulating.
You’re invited and encouraged to propose a session via our Google Form as early as you like. However, you can also propose a last-minute idea to participants during the morning schedule session on the day of the unconference. There’s no cut-off.
Proposing sessions just before the unconference and building a schedule in the morning ensures that sessions are informal, topics are current, and sessions are collaborative.
Sessions can be whatever you want them to be, though formats that foster open collaboration and discussion are encouraged. Here are a few types of sessions to get you thinking:
- A short presentation to get things started
Five or ten minutes of prepared material by a session leader followed by an interactive discussion.
- Group discussion
Someone identifies a topic they are interested in, others come to join the conversation, and an interesting discussion happens.
- My big/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.
- Show and tell
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 show and tell (perhaps with a theme), and everyone takes a turn sharing.
- 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 fifteen people how to do something all at the same time.
You should be prepared to facilitate the session that you propose, but that doesn’t necessarily fall into traditional ideas of leading a session. If there’s a topic that you want to see, propose it. You’ll likely find others interested in and grateful for your topic. Collaboration is encouraged. Feel free to get in touch with anyone proposing a session you’re interested in to chat about ideas or collaboration. There is no “right way” to lead a session.
Session examples taken from unconference.net.