The “How” of #humansconf

If you've not yet had the chance to take part in an Open Space-based conference, the following might help you understand what to expect at #humansconf.

Format: Open Space

#humansconf is an conference about trust, empathy, caring and openness. This is why #humansconf takes place as two full days of Open Space.

In an Open Space, there’s no predefined schedule and thus no speakers. Rather, there’s space and time for all participants to fill with whatever is important and relevant to them.

Marketplace & Sessions

Each morning of the conference all participants come together for the marketplace to jointly create the schedule for the day. A facilitator will help make this a great and effective experience for all.

In effect, anyone can propose and hold a session. This means everyone is encouraged to actively shape the conference, and what they’d like to experience or learn. Each person can present their session to the group and choose a timeslot and a place for it.

Room with many people, one standing in front, a wall
    with several post-its on a wall behind them

How the Open Space marketplace looked like at the SoCraTes UK 2018. Photo by Nelis Boucké

There is no template for a session. Some might be as simple as a group of people in a room discussing a topic. Some might even be the session’s initiator asking a question that they really want to hear different answers for. And some might even be fully prepared presentations. You can expect a lot of spontaneous shifts in what a session means depending on the people that join them.

And that’s what’s beautiful about Open Space. It’s your space to come together and construct just about anything. #humansconf will be a space to do just that.

Marketplace & Introverts

It’s important that everybody feels comfortable and safe at #humansconf. In that sense, please note, that while active participation in the marketplace is encouraged, it is by no means mandatory.

Being present at the marketplace without proposing a session, is ok. Participating in sessions without actively engaging in discussions, is ok.

Everyone can engage with others at the conference to the level that is comfortable for them personally.

Topic: People & their interactions

Designing, building and operating tech products, all of it is a social activity. Similar, to how we all live in a community and the vast majority of us work in teams. That’s why we set “People & their interactions” as the guiding topic of #humansconf.

So, we expect two days filled with discussions, talks, practical sessions, and more, all based around the common theme of “people”.
Be it about people’s experiences, challenges they’ve met and overcome. How they’ve organized teams to build successful technology. Or maybe about how they’ve failed in their endeavours and what they learned from those failures.

Language: English

Participants will share their experiences with fellow humans from many different backgrounds. As such, the language spoken at #humansconf will be English, as it’s the most common denominator among us.

We encourage everyone to speak English at all times, even when in small groups in order to be more inviting towards other participants who might like to join in on the discussion.

Schedule: Thursday to Saturday

The conference will run from late afternoon of Thursday the 21st of May, to late afternoon of Saturday the 23rd. Even though there’s no predefined schedule of sessions, there’s still some structure. Here’s how that will look like:

Thursday

We expect check-in to start at around 4:00pm.

#humansconf will begin at 5:00pm. We’ll say hi to the people we know, and get to meet new faces, settle down in our rooms and explore the venue a bit.

Dinner will be served around 6:00pm, so everyone can get a nice meal before starting any evening activities.

Friday

After breakfast, all participants meet in the same room to start planning the day’s Open Space schedule with a marketplace. Shortly thereafter the sessions will begin. We’ll have lunch break after the first block, and carry on until the late afternoon with the rest of the sessions.

At the end of the day, we’ll all meet again in the same room where we started to have a joint reflection on how the day went.

Dinner will be served by the hotel in the evening and there’ll be enough rooms and spaces for any kind of activities you might propose.

Saturday

The day will run in the same manner as Friday, but it will end with the closing of #humansconf in the late afternoon, between 4:00 and 5:00pm. Please, be aware that participants that leave the hotel this day won’t have access to the dinner being served by them.