open space

What is an unconference?

Mitch Joel laments the ‘Death of the Unconference’, saying “This past month, I’ve seen a handful of events that are billing themselves as unconferences when, in reality, they’re just very shabby and cheap events.” I don’t doubt that the term unconference has been co-opted. But I disagree with Mitch’s take on what the one, true unconference actually is and means. Maybe we should backup at this point and actually explain the core concept of an unconference. An unconference typically starts the day by gathering all the participants in one room, and those that want to lead talks pitch their sessions....