Nkbl unconf

What is an unconference?

9th July 2017
by Emily Beever

Each year, No Knives, Better Lives hosts two network events for partners to share best practice and shape the direction of the programme. The network event held in Ayrshire in March this year had great feedback from attendees because it dedicated more time to conversations. For our autumn event on Friday 29 September, we've decided to focus the entire event on the conversations you want to have by hosting an unconference.

We want to explore how we recognise the contribution of youth work at a policy level and in the process of local community safety planning, and to consider the next steps to fully integrate youth work as a key approach to prevention.

Wait a second…what is an unconference?

Good question! An unconference is a participant-driven event that allows people to focus on the issues that matter to them. At a typical conference, the organisers decide the content and inputs. At our unconference, you'll decide what's covered and who leads sessions relevant to the theme. We'll decide this together at the beginning of the day. The theme for this unconference is Positive Prevention: Youth Work and Community Safety.

Unconferences have been popular in the tech sector since the 1990s and the format is now being used by wider audiences.

So, no PowerPoints then?

PowerPoints and formal presentations will be kept to a minimum. We'll be opening with a keynote address to kickstart our discussions but then it’s over to you, the attendees!

One of the core philosophies of unconferences is the rule of two feet. This means that if you feel you have nothing else to contribute to a discussion or you find it isn’t relevant to you, you find another discussion. It means that attendees spend the right amount of time discussing what is important and useful to them.

Ok, got it. How can I get involved on the day?

The whole format of the unconference is designed to maximise attendee participation. We believe that everyone has something to contribute. From posing a question to sharing best practice, everyone is an expert. You should come open and willing to participate in discussions, maybe even to lead one (or two!). There will be facilitators in each space to support the flow of discussions.

Before you come along, have a think about the following points:

  • barriers to integrating youth work as key approach to prevention
  • positive prevention work you are already doing
  • ideas about recognising youth work at policy level

Where do I sign up? I have loads of ideas to share!

You can book your place here. The conversation is already starting over on Twitter with #unconfNKBL. We will be talking more about the theme in our next blog post, as well as featuring some guest bloggers in the lead up to the unconference.

For further information about the event get in touch with Emily Beever

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