Episteme

Mike's random thoughts and ramblings

The Un-Conference Principles

As the speaker just said, the principles of these "un-conferences" are a great thought on living your life (or running your business, or...) For those who haven't been at one of these conferences before, they're incredibly informal and they run on these four rules:

  1. Whoever comes are the right people.
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
  3. Whenever it starts is the right time.
  4. When it's over, it's over.

And, The Law of Two Feet:

If at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing – use you two feet and move to some place more to you liking.

These are also known as the Open Space principles. According to one of the speakers here, the rules came from the idea of "making the entire conference more like the coffee breaks".

What I find interesting about that is that I always believe that the most important learning and accomplishments at any conference I have ever been at has happened outside the conference sessions. Whether it's RSA or Blackhat, I always get a lot more out of what happens at the parties and get-togethers in the evening than I have in the sessions.

I think that I'd even postulate it as a general rule - the connections you build at a conference is far more interesting and long-lasting than whatever you learned in the conference session.

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Michael Murray

Michael Murray