How to run an internal unconference
How to run an internal unconference
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How to run an internal unconference

This book is 70% complete

Last updated on 2013-07-25

About the Book

(NOTE: this book is not quite finished. The most important parts are done, what I have left to do is a make a nice cover page, and finish off chapters with extra material. I'll do that if enough people take interest in the book. If you buy the book you will of course get all updates for free.)

An unconference is like a normal conference but with no predefined agenda, no predefined list of speakers, no slides, and...er... actually it’s not very much like a normal conference at all!

It’s more like an alternative to a conference. If the purpose of a conference is to collaborate and communicate, then an unconference will often fulfill the same purpose in a more simple, fun, and effective way!

There’s lots of ways of doing this. This article is about one specific format that I’ve been experimenting with over the past 5 years, mostly at companies like Crisp and Spotify.

By now it is well tested and works especially well for 1-2 day internal conferences with 20-80 participants. Participants often say things like “all conferences should be like this!” or “best conference I’ve ever been to!”. Even the most rabid meeting-haters seem to like (or at least not hate...) this meeting format :o)

The purpose of this book is to share what I’ve learned about running company-internal unconferences, so you can try it yourself!

About the Author

Henrik Kniberg
Henrik Kniberg

I debug, refactor, and optimize IT companies. And jam a lot too.

I'm a consultant at Crisp, primarily working with Spotify and Lego.

Table of Contents

  • Intro
    • What is an unconference & why would I want to run one?
    • When would I run an unconference?
    • Disclaimer
    • Structure of this book
  • Chapter 1: Executive Summary
  • Chapter 2: Detailed walkthrough
    • Pre-event preparation
    • Onsite preparation
    • Start it up!
    • Lightning talks
    • Open space intro
    • Open space schedule creation
    • Running the open space
    • Wrapping it up
    • After the unconference
  • Chapter 3: Pitfalls
  • Chapter 4: FAQ
  • Chapter 5: Variants and techniques
  • Chapter 6: Checklists
  • Chapter 7: Final words

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