4 Principles and 2 Laws of Social Innovation BarCamp

Social Innovation Sydney Unconference: In the case of Social Innovation Sydney Unconferences, the sessions are facilitated conversations. That is, there is no speaker at the front of a room that has an audience.

Instead there is a facilitator or session leader who frames and encourages a conversation about the topic that they have proposed. Participants come along ready to get involved and not just sit back as an audience.

Dave Winer outlines the process they use at the well-known BloggerCon and updates it here:

“…there is no audience, there are no speakers. There is a discussion leader, a person responsible for the flow of the discussion.”

We take a similar approach at Social Innovation Sydney Unconference, and there is a reason for this. We think that the old conference model with experts out front and a passive audience is no longer sufficient to grapple with big ideas. The old conference model uses only a small fraction of the brainpower, passion and intelligence in the room. And Social Innovation Sydney Unconference is about harnessing the passion, enthusiasm and energy of every participant.  Ultimately we want to change the world not just talk or think about action.

Four Principles

  1. Whoever comes is [sic] 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

  • The Law of Two Feet, which states simply, if at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet and move to some place more to your liking. Such a place might be another group, or even outside into the sunshine. No matter what, don’t sit there feeling miserable.

Source: Harrison Owen

  • The Law of No PowerPoint, which states simply, we know you’re used to the crutch of PowerPoint (or Keynote or Prezi, etc) but you need to leave it behind for the day. Instead use other forms of communication (perhaps draw a poster or write on a whiteboard?) to help get your message across.

Source: Kate Carruthers

On other thing to remember is that all conversations at Social Innovation Sydney Unconference, whether to the entire room or one-to-one, unless otherwise stated, clearly and up front, are on the record and for attribution. You do not need to ask permission to quote something you hear at Social Innovation Sydney Unconference. Of course you may ask for permission to quote, and you may choose not to quote things you hear.

You are welcome to bring your own recording equipment, cameras are allowed, basically the rules allow Grateful Dead/Phish style recording. Bring your microphone or camera and recording device, and record it and broadcast it any way you like. Be innovative. Have fun. Share. Be cool. (But please don’t interfere with the sessions.)