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The unconference: a new model for better professional communication

Greenhill, K. and Wiebrands, C. (2008) The unconference: a new model for better professional communication. In: LIANZA Conference 2008: Poropitia Outside the Box, 2-5 Nov. 2008, Auckland, N.Z.

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Unconferences are gatherings of people united by a passion, where the content and structure of the day is driven by the participants. An unconference is often facillitated using the Open Spaces Technology model. This uses the four flow principles:

* Whoever comes are the right people
* Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
* Whenever it starts is the right time
* When it's over, it's over

During 2007 three library unconferences happened in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. The authors of the paper were involved in unorganising the Perth Library 2.0 on the Loose unconference and have also participated in three other unconfences - two outside of the library field. They discuss the unconference model as an effective and surprisingly professional way of transferring knowledge and creating networks.

This paper outlines the tools and methods used to organise an unconference, the challenges faced and the lessons learnt, and feedback received from participants of the Perth unconference. The paper suggests that this informal way of physical meeting, with sessions determined by the attendees parallels the informal conversations taking place online using the new web tools.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch University Library
Publisher: LIANZA
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