My ‘on this day’ widget tells me it is exactly 10 years ago I asked the question in the title, then for my 40th birthday.
By coincidence, yesterday I opened a new note to gather notions and thoughts about if and how to do an unconference next year for my 50th, and Elmine’s 42nd (a nerd number even more worthy of celebration than my 50). I had created the note for discussion with Elmine, but prompted by my post of 10 years ago, I’ll ask the questions I jotted down here too.
Make Stuff That Matters, in 2014, still has a special vibe for us both. Also in comparison with last year’s edition (which was loads of fun and inspiring and deeply awesome in a personal sense, but in some ways it felt like less of a ‘high’ for us somehow). It was such a leap from the one before in 2010 mainly I think. It had a collective process to get everyone to make something, and the thrill of having the FabLab truck parked out front (we had it too last year, but it played less of a role). What would be something to top that? What would be ‘leveling up’ from our previous editions? Should we want to? We feel we want to.
What can we take on, topic wise, that has a real sense of urgency? Yet, can still be tied to all participants everyday lives? How are global things like the SDG’s relevant to our daily routines for instance?
Would we want to change the 1 day unconference and 1 day party format? We quite liked Peter’s 1 day discussion, 1 day doing unconference format last June, as it created space to not just be inspired but also build on that inspiration together within the same event, and return with something more tangible than just inspiration to take forward. Or maybe even longer than one or two days, more a festival than an event. Or fringe events around the one/two days?
Would we want to change the venue? I’m attached to doing it at home, as it provides such a different and personal context. Yet that also maybe limits what you can do content-wise. And it places the work of organising on our own shoulders only (although I could also mobilise more assistance probably).
Would we want to change the party format? Do something different, to make it more attractive on its own? Or maybe incorporate more of the party in the unconference? Live music e.g.
Would a longer build-up of the theme (whatever it would be) be fun? Like me and Elmine taking on a theme for the months in the run-up to the event, and write, blog, videopost about it. With an open invitation to others to also contribute their perspectives and thoughts. So that the event is not only a starting point, but a celebration or confirmation of things hat happened in the run-up?
Would it be fun and possible to network the event with other things happening or movements? Build alliances with local groups, national events, international communities? Grow deeper roots locally, allow more catalysis across our global network?
In short, everything is open and up for discussion and different ideas.
What do you think, feel, suggest? I look forward to hear your thoughts, and welcome your advice! (any channel is fine, e-mail, comments here, or a post on your own blog)