I’m calculating (with help) that there are 153 days until the opening of OE Global 2023 in Edmonton. That seems like a long time, but we know how for us humans, time seems to move at different speeds.
And this will be the first year I will get to attend an OE Global conference in person. Before I joined this organization, it was never a viable option. And for my first two years, 2020 and 2021, the global pandemic forced us to offer conferences completely online, based here in OEG Connect.
For last year’s conference, COVID was still a concern for me, so I was not in person for the conference in Nantes. We developed the concept of an “AND Conference” experience (blame me for the terminology) as something to be of value for both in person and virtual, but for the latter as more like an Unconference approach not as much as trying to replicate the typical conference format. This was done by creating OEG Connect entries for all conference sessions, and creating a space for anyone to start a topic or activity Unconference style, plus an Interaction Space to to bridge both with discussions around live streamed keynotes and live audio conversations between online participants and people in Nantes.
That was 2022.
What Should We Do for 2023?
This has yet to be defined, except that the conference site does indicate that all presentations will be set up as their own topic here in OEG Connect for presenters to post presentation materials and potentially as discussion spaces.
My idea would be to encourage presenters to post specific questions they would like to get answered or open ended prompts related to their presentation. Or suggest ways by which anyone, attending the conference or not, can contribute (Wiki style topics? editable docs?)
The floor here is open to what else we might do. These are just Alan’s Starting Brainstorm List, nothing officially committed.
- Live streamed sessions will depend on the support/interest from our hosts. Perhaps this will be the primary/keynotes?
- Live informal conversations This is something I will take on to coordinate, be it audio conversations live from the conference, but more like a few of the OEG Live (web cast) sessions we have started piloting.
- Ongoing Asynchronous Discussions We can certainly open the “Interaction” zone like 2022 for informal activities for attendees in person and remote/virtual
- Around the Clock? At the conference we are planted in the time zone, can we organize some volunteers to perhaps lead activities, discussions for those in the antipode of Edmonton (to be precise the antipode to the conference location is in the southern Indian Ocean with closest city being Port-aux-Français, Kerguelen in the French Southern Territories)?
- Curating / Summarizing / Translating What can any participant do to amplify/summarize what happens in a conference? Even in person, it’s much more than any single person can take in.
- Possible Pre Conference Unconference (?) This is completely Alan’s own half thought. What if we created an online unconference a month, 2 weeks before the main conference? It could be open to presenters to offer previews or prompts for input into their own session and perhaps ways for remote/virtual participants to contribute/share their own work on topics related to the conference theme. This is nota suggestion for online presentations, but perhaps participatory activities (resource gathering, tech demos, wiki style editing?)
Shrug. I do not have specific answers yet, but the feedback from the last 3 years suggests there are many more people interested in the conference topics/sessions/experience that can possibly attend. What are the ways to create connections for in person and remote/virtual participants that avoid the pitfalls of trying to replicate the presentation focus format online (which to me is not often effective).
I have no specific answers nor promises we can make. That is why I am writing this as an open call for ideas,