We are still exchanging happy stories about our experience at last week’s Hopeful Economics Unconference – what a great time of sharing and learning and making new connections with others!
During an Unconference, the people attending decide what topics will be discussed. After the first day, which was a series of sessions that prepped participants for the types of discussions that were likely to arise during the Unconference, the format changed to panel discussions and interactive presentations with small group discussion and sharing interspersed. On the third day, a call went out to the attendees for people who would like to lead a session on a topic of interest to them, and the rest of the group was invited to attend the sessions that spoke the most to them at the moment.
An Exhibitor’s Hall of Virtual Booths provided opportunities for for attendees to find out about what different organizations from across Canada and the US are doing, and to connect with the people who run these organizations to discuss potential partnerships.
The Unconference was set up on the Whova platform. Whova’s communication capabilities make it very easy to find and contact other people attending an event, and is great about letting you know when sessions are starting and providing you with the links to access the content. For Unconference attendees, the content stays up for three months, so they can go back and review anything they want and investigate anything they may have missed.
It’s important to be able to revisit these sorts of discussions, because an Unconference like this is only the start of very important work. Gatherings like these are beginnings of real change in that they are places for people to get together and talk and share ideas and strategies and start to create partnerships and plans. But the work of developing and implementing these plans is still to come. I left the Unconference excited about I can do to make the world a more just and equitable place, as an individual and as part of the Community Innovation Hub, and I look forward to contributing to the work that needs to be done.
Thank you to EDGE and its partners for the hard work they put into making the Unconference happen, and congratulations on a fantastic job! – Sarah