Unconferencing the CRIG and browsable podcasts
David Flanders and I share an interest in the notion of the 'unconference', so I'm pleased to be participating in the CRIG Unconference which David and the 'WoCRIG' team has organised. David introduces the idea of the unconference thus:
An un-conference is a combination of the best parts of a conference (face-to-face discussions generating new ideas, passionate debates and genuine information exchange) with all the PowerPoint stripped out. The agenda is set by the attendees on the day in a very simple and direct way - there is no signing up for predetermined break-out sessions and no sitting through interminable PowerPoint presentations. We are using this unconventional method because we want to encourage new thinking and new outcomes for the repository landscape.
I have participated in meetings before which were run along ' open space' lines, but nothing with the time-scale of the CRIG conference. I'm optimistic that this will work well and deliver interesting results. The WoCRIG team intends to use a facilitation method called 'Dotmocracy' which I'm especially looking forward to experiencing.
Related CRIG support activities have included a series of conversations, recorded and made available as podcasts. A really nice touch here is the use of mind-maps to give the 'at a glance' summary of what each podcasted conversation has covered. I think this is important because it makes the podcasts browsable - with transcripts they could also become searchable.
David and the WoCRIG team should be commended for a competent and determined attempt to raise the bar on community/project support and engagement.
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