It seems to me that there is a growing dissatisfaction with the standard conference model of panel presenters and an audience full of possibility who are just listeners.
I’ve put together the following (very incomplete) timeline:
- Dave Winer’s unconferencing March 2004
- Gang of 3’s podcast on unconferenceing (Johnnie Moore, Chris Corrigan and Rob Paterson) July 2005
- Paul Goodison’s take on unconferencing July 2005
- Ton Zijlstra’s observations on DIY conferences August 2005
- Nancy White’s blogwalk September 2005
- Phil Windley’s unconferencing October 27 2005
- Shawn Callahan’s observation on ActKM abandoning it’s conference October 30 2005
Sitting in conferences I have often looked around at the audience and thought about the incredible opportunity for discovery which lies within. Unconferencing certainly looks a great model for engaging this potential. One key question which I do wonder about is: what is the role of the keynote speaker? I do like The Gang of 3’s idea of keynote listeners, however I’ve also seen the impact that great keynote speakers have had on audiences (and hence the conference) too….
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