"How does an unconference work and where do I fit in" and similar questions

Hi everyone, just want to provide some info for those with questions about how the unconference portions of GOSH will work.

First, unconference sessions can be prepared ahead of time - they just don’t have to be. We will spend 30 minutes at the beginning of each day brainstorming the topics we want to discuss, organizing them into similar piles, and then creating sessions from those piles. If you come with an already prepared idea that’s great - you can bring it up at this point and fit it into that days schedule. You might find it’s similar to other topics and you can share you session with other smart folks. Remember that people will vote with their feet, so if you are planning an unconference session ahead of time it’s wise to post your idea in the forum to get feedback.

Second, unconference sessions are about open science related topics both technical to non-technical, from hardware to research to policy. The focus of GOSH is science and hardware, but many of our greatest hurdles are in the related areas of policy, organizational capacity and structure, outreach, and education. ‘Non-technical’ participants play a central role accomplishing our shared aims, and I hope that’s clearly reflected in the manifesto. So please don’t be shy in contributing and leading even if you are not a developer or scientist yourself!!!

Third, let the discussions guide you. The real magic happens when you are in the moment with colleagues and everyone is listening. Some preparation is useful and necessary, but the best outcomes emerge during the conference, so come open and prepared to listen and co-create. Last years roadmap and manifesto emerged from the conference, and I hope we produce a similar and unique energy this year.

I hope that helps, feel free to follow up with additional questions or concerns.