Deborah Keller invited Marie Kaddell and Karen Huffman to lead a two-hour unconference session during the 2010 Military Library Workshop (MLW) in Destin, Florida (URL: http://slamilitarylibraries.org/wpcms/). There were many ideas brewing from topics discussed by guest speakers. During the conference, some of the attendees were Tweeting about the sessions. One of my favorite #MLW2010 Tweet was the following: "Change is inevitable (except in a vending machine). ~Robert Gallegher" Since unconferences typically should be an all-day event, below is the strategy we used for accomplishing an unconference in just two hours.
We focused our unconference around the Communication theme of the 2010 MLW conference and used a combination of facilitation techniques pulled from KM-style unconference and open space technology (OST) models. Unconference and OST are primarily participant driven sessions that encourage discussion around a theme or purpose determined primarily by those who attend. The models are used to foster communication and engagement.
Since we only had two hours, we sent out a survey to gather ideas to foster the unconference discussion. We suggested some possible topics (#1-#4) and gave attendees an opportunity to make additional suggestions (#5):
- Our up-road challenge (but not our defeat!): Communicating and connecting with audiences over distance and time. Potential pitfalls and/or resistance in information delivery methods used to communicate ideas and concepts. How can KM work in an environment with multiple languages, professional jargon from multiple disciplines, competing organizational cultures? What makes it work?
- Success stories: Increased effectiveness in solutions due to greater participation and/or a wider diversity of opinions. How are you driving engagement, success and value within your organizing to improve outcomes.
- User adoption strategies: Adaptive improvements in your communication and collaboration models as a result of tools and/or applications employed within your organization. Do you see yourself as part of the solution? How do you show support by assisting users in developing proactive solutions?
- Value of KM: Articulating and demonstrating the value of KM in the short-term when long-term funding and efforts are required for the "real" payoff. What is the "real cost" to an organization - tools and technology, people, or risks in the "what if's"?
- Additional suggestions were welcomed in the survey.
The photo gallery below summarizes the way Marie and Karen facilitated the unconference and recorded the ideas shared.
2010 MLW Unconference Session
(view as slideshow)
|Marie and Karen tweaked the guidelines based on our experience with unconferences.||Participant-driven ideas as a result of the survey.||Unconference in full swing.|
|Mindmap from the unconference session.||Marie (left) and Karen (right).||Tweets #mlw2010 from unconference and a handful of other sessions.|