Top 5 Unconferences for 2019

CATEGORY / education TAGS / education, meeting, top 5, unconference Fractals LAB / Forma DATE / January 23, 2019

The term ‘unconference’ is becoming more and more popular worldwide, describing participant-driven conferences that avoid the traditional format while focusing on conversation and interaction. Essentially, we can refer to an unconference as a meeting which is entirely shaped by its attendees. There are no prearranged topics, speakers, or schedules: participants decide what questions and topics will be discussed, and when.

These kind of meetings also include particularly innovative events such as FUTR’s Magic of Christmas Innovation Tour, where people were able to attend real life site visits to understand how brands were attracting their customers last Christmas.

Traditional conferences started to be seduced by this new focus on interaction too: for example SAP NOW Africa was made much more interactive last year through the use of Sophia, a robot influencer (we also talked about it here). As we expect more innovation to come in this 2019, here are 5 unconferences you should attend or keep an eye on this year.

1. BarCamp Schermata 2019-01-22 alle 20.02.26

The most famous unconference concept. Barcamps are user-generated meetings focused on technology and the web that are hold all over the world. The very first one was held in 2005 in California as an alternative to Foo Camp, an annual participant-driven conference organized by Tim O’Reilly. Since then, Barcamps have been hosted in over 350 cities around the world. While you can only attend to Foo Camp if you are invited to, Barcamps are open to everyone and normally free. They are organized online and attendees can schedule their speech by writing on a whiteboard or putting a Post-It note on a ‘grid’ of sessions.

In Italy, in May 2019 we’ll have the FreelanceCamp: a Barcamp focused on freelance work where professionals will share their experiences and advices.

2. EdCamp Schermata 2019-01-22 alle 20.02.37

Modeled after Barcamps, EdCamps are unconferences for K-12 educators: edtech, pedagogy, and the use of new tools in the classroom are some of the topics that are commonly discussed at these events. Exactly like Barcamps, EdCamps are free and open to all professionals, who are allowed to determine session topics the day of the event and are encouraged to share “experiences; conversations, not planned presentations“. A lot of Edcamps are organized every year all around the Planet, and you can easily check out the date and the location of the one nearest to you in 2019 through the EdCamp Foundation website.

3. BIL Conference Schermata 2019-01-22 alle 20.02.47

BIL describes itself as a “a global community of people who have a passion for sharing ideas”. It is an open, self-organizing,  arts, science, society and technology unconference inspired by TED’s ‘invite only” paid conference. Everyone is invited to participate where they can, whether that’s having a speech or clean up, set up, blogging, helping with registrations etc. BIL conferences have been held so far in different states of the U.S, in France, in Tunisia, Afghanistan, India, Philippine, Canada, Mexico and more. A BIL conference will be organized this year in Bosnia Herzegovina and you can also check out all the news and events here.

4. CU Asia Schermata 2019-01-22 alle 20.02.59

The Coworking Unconference Asia (CU Asia), organized by Hubud (The Coworking Hub in Ubud, Bali), is the biggest and most important coworking event in Asia Pacific, and has already attracted more than 1000 participants from over 40 countries in 5 years.

Next February it will take place in Goa, India, bringing together the region’s best operators, investors, tech folks, workplace futurists and researchers. Anyone passionate about the coworking movement and the co-creative economy is invited to participate and share their experience, while creating meaningful connections with other professionals.

 5. TeachMeet Schermata 2019-01-22 alle 20.03.33

TeachMeet are informal participant-driven meetings for teachers to share good practice they’ve delivered over the past year, or discuss products and methods that work well in the classroom, These events are often organized to coincide with other educational events like the Scottish Learning Festival and the British Educational Technology and Training Show BETT, and they are completely free.

They started in Edinburgh, Scotland, under the name “ScotEduBlogs Meetup” and they are now regularly hold in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Malaysia, Sweden, the USA and  New Zealand. In New Zealand the TeachMeet is virtual and you can follow it online.

These days a TeachMeet is taking place in London and the next one will be in Ireland on March.


Is there any other unconference you would recommend? Let us known at!

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