a crowd-sourced day of conversation and exploration of a central theme; a collaborative learning event where the attendees create the agenda and new discussions and sub-groups form spontaneously as ideas emerge during the day.
“An unconference is almost the exact opposite of a conference. A conference is a teacher-driven instruction. There is a fixed agenda and the sessions are led by teachers who lecture. If there is time, there might be a question-and-answer period, but you’re there to learn what the teacher has to say. An unconference, on the other hand, is a learner-driven instruction. Participants themselves decide what they’re willing to speak on and session attendees drive the discussion; anyone can offer their experiences and everyone has the ability to add something.” — from http://mat.usc.edu/recap-from-unconference-edcamp-harrisburg/
IOW: just change the word teacher to leader, and you’ve got it.
Watch this to get an idea of how an UNconference works: http://vimeo.com/16592733
Need more info? explore some of these resources (where have I heard that phrase before?):
- The term “unconference” has been applied, or self-applied, to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as high fees and sponsored … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconference
- http://www.padcamp.org/ (held in South Jersey this past summer)