LSW Unconference

Why Attend?

This year, Gold Pass holders will be able to kick off Lean Startup Week with a unique and rewarding experience. The “Unconference,” scheduled from 9am – 12pm on Wednesday, Nov. 1, turns the typical conference format on its head, featuring an on-the-fly agenda of sessions proposed and voted on by attendees. The format encourages speakers and attendees to mix, mingle, and share learnings with one another.

Sometimes conference attendees feel divided between rock stars and fans, veterans and newbies, evangelists and cynics… The Unconference format breaks down those divisions. Many Lean Startup community thought leaders will be at the Unconference — you’ll have an opportunity to rub shoulders and chat with them face-to-face. Get feedback on your ideas and best practices, or share your thoughts about their work. All’s fair at the Unconference.

Unconference participants review session proposals before dot-voting for their favorites.

What Happens?

The Unconference format is designed to be attendee-led to enable peer-to-peer learning. Attendees submit session ideas as they arrive, and the Unconference takes shape with a wide range of topics, from basic to advanced, covering everything from general practices to very industry-specific issues. Anyone can suggest a session — it’s all about what you want to talk about with your peers.

Sessions are distributed across a set of open spaces or breakout rooms, organized into two or three time blocks. This year we anticipate space for 5-6 simultaneous sessions across three time blocks. So there will be approximately 18 different topics from which to choose. You’re encouraged to migrate from one group to another mid-session if you feel like you would get more value out of another topic.

Attendees’ favorite sessions have been selected based on dot voting.


Peer-to-Peer Learning

For those attendees who aspire to be facilitators, this is a great chance to work on those skills in an environment of mutual interest and support. If you suggest a session for the Unconference, be prepared to lead it yourself.

Last year the Unconference hosted a particularly large discussion around how to build an innovation culture within an organization beyond just hackathons and innovation labs. This included several participants from high-profile organizations that are breaking ground in this area, including: American Family Insurance, General Electric, and Procter & Gamble. You could feel the excitement in the room as these innovation leaders shared their experiences, pitfalls, and best practices with one another.

If you are a Gold Pass holder, join us Wednesday morning at 9am at the Village (across from the Warfield Theatre) for an amazing peer-to-peer learning and sharing experience.

Click here a lengthy write-up from last year’s unconference.