On Thu, 11 Sep 2003, Tony McGregor wrote:
nothing magical about an hour. Volunteers to do other things
I personally think an hour is way too long for a standard talk. Most
conferences seem to go for 25min + 5m questions and change over.
Well it is
probably better to split the day into 35 min slots (or 30
min slots but that means 20min + 5min questions + 5 min changeover).
If someone wants more time they take up 2 slots or 3 slots .
I really like the idea of a session of rapid fire
short talks. Some
conferences have an "outrageous opinions" session structured like
that. We could have a session of 5-10 min anything goes talks. Give
an idea, an experience, a spoof, anything you want the audience to
hear. The only rules being sit down after 10 min and wear the flak
for anything you say yourself.
Actually I came across the concept of "Open Space" when reading a
blog entry by Bruce Eckel. http://mindview.net/WebLog/log-0004
"One of the new features here at the conference is "Open Space" which I
was initially skeptical about but which seems to be working astoundingly
well. The room where the keynote talks are being held has boards where
you can post a topic for a time slot. The original idea was a talk at
the front of the room and one at the back, but it seems that tables have
been taken over for individual discussions and as a result there are
already more discussions than two at any one time.
The goal was to foster the "hallway conversation" events that are often
the best experiences that people have at a conference, by providing
nuclei of interests for such conversations through focused topics. I'm
particularly interested to see how the open space continues to develop,
as it may be one of the most interesting variations in this conference.
It already makes the conference more interesting and interactive than
the ones we have had in the past. "
I had a look into the concept and found it isn't that unknown.
The following links have more info about it:
I am not suggesting using "Open space" throughout the entire meet.
However I wonder if such a concept could be tried at one or two
sessions to see how it goes. Based on the many corridor/bar/outdoors
mini conversations I have seen/heard or been part of at uniforum in
the past conferences, I think this would work.