The complexity of simple ideas #8 #cong18


A simple change can harness the insights of all.

4 Key Takeaways:

I. Ideas that are most simple may be complex
D. Different perspectives enrich ideas
E. Empathy enhances ideas
A. Allow time for ideas to ferment

About Mags Amond:

Retired from a first lifetime as a second level teacher, currently pursuing PhD (part time and from afar) at Trinity College Dublin. Researching TeachMeet, an evolving unconference during which teachers share ideas in a convivial atmosphere..

Contacting Mags Amond:

You can contact Mags by email, follow her on Twitter and her website.

By Mags Amond

The idea for my blog post came from my reflection on acting as a Chair at the CongRegation unconference.
Unconferences turn the standard conference upside down, shaking out its pockets so we can gather up and keep the good stuff that falls out – the breaktime chatter, the social discourse, the cross-pollination that enhances DNA. The central attraction of the unconference concept (introduced in the 1980s by Harrison Owen as Open Space and adopted and evolved widely (think Barcamp, think Pecha Kucha or Ignite!, think TeachMeet)), is summed up nicely in Winer’s Fundamental Law of Conventional Conferences – The sum of the expertise of the people in the audience is greater than the sum of expertise of the people on stage.
Switching mode from conference to unconference, while suggesting a simplification of the process – inviting attendees to also be presenters, rotating the menu from hierarchical top down to a more democratic landscape – calls for a more complex level of curation and nuanced management of people, space and time. The chair, cathaoirleach, facilitator, while staying on the edge of the forum and letting the participants engage, needs an ‘always on’ approach combined with the light touch that leaves participants feeling that everything has been aired, and everyone has been included.
Weaving these complexities well is what can make an unconference format like the ‘huddle’ of CongRegation such a successful idea. Simple!

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