The Mistra Environmental Communication Research Programme Component at the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism (ICSJ)


What it is

Unconferences are informal, not tightly structured meetings around a jointly agreed topic. They can have a flexible structure. For our purposes, they can include short presentations in different formats by a small number of participants (3-5) combined with devoted time and space for the exchange of opinions and ideas around the issues addressed by the presenters. The short presentations are expected to act as stimulators of discussions and interactions among the participants, in an informal fashion. The one element that provides structure is the topic, that has to be agreed upon beforehand.

How it will work

Vaia Doudaki will act as the general coordinator of the unconferences, facilitating their organization. Unconferences will be driven by calls-for-topics. There will be regular invitations to suggest topics. All WP5 members can suggest topics. Vaia will collect suggestions and facilitate the process. As many as possible thematic suggestions will be accommodated, but as it regards their order, a first-come-first-served logic will be followed. Additionally, priority will be given to the societal partners’ suggestions, over the academic researchers’ suggestions, as unconferences are meant to primarily address the societal partners’ interests. The member who suggested the topic of the unconference is expected to act as one of the presenters and to arrange for the participation of the other speakers. If there is difficulty in finding speakers, Vaia can be of assistance. The person who suggested the topic is expected to act as the coordinator of the session, supported by Vaia, unless agreed otherwise. Each unconference is expected to last approximately two hours. The unconferences are meant for the WP5 team members. They are meant to increase interaction and exchange of ideas among the WP5 team. However, members can invite guests (as listeners and as speakers), after coordination with Vaia and/or the specific unconference moderator.

Frequency and mode

The general plan is to have two unconferences per year (during consortium meetings). The general plan may be adjusted to accommodate an increased interest for unconferences or any special circumstances. If an unconference is organized during the time of a consortium meeting, priority will be given to an event with physical presence, while online participation will be considered for those who cannot be physically present. Given the current restrictions, if consortium meetings take place online, the unconferences will take place exclusively online as well. Suggested platform to use for online participation: Zoom (if SLU can provide support), or Google Hangouts Meet (if Charles University in Prague does the support).

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