Event Agenda Guidelines

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Aspiration events are strongly biased towards small discussion-oriented sessions, referred to as "break-outs" because the group usually starts together as whole before dividing into smaller units for focused discourse. Aspiration events are first and foremost convened to strengthen the ties and social networks of technology practitioners in the non-profit/non-governmental sectors.

Our agenda philosophy centers around getting participants into small-group discussions where they can discuss topics they are passionate about and get answers to their questions and curiosities.

The following are some general comments about how we'll run the agenda at the CA Tech Fest

  • Our goal is to get each participant the answers and the understanding they need. The ultimate goal of the event is to strengthen a community of practice among nonprofits and community organizations in California, and engender collaboration and dialog that sustain long after the event.
  • The agenda is malleable. Participants should feel free to propose sessions at any time, and sessions may be moved around to accommodate requests by both participants and facilitators, and...
We'll use part of the first morning to let participants discuss the agenda, and request additional sessions to be offered.
  • Sessions are designed to be highly interactive. You won't see any panels or keynotes at the CA Tech Fest, and presentations will be short and intended to spur discussion. Facilitators understand that their primary goal is to enable learning, address questions, and support peer sharing. Bring your questions, and your knowledge to share!
  • We'll use the wiki at the event to capture notes from each session. We welcome your contributions to the wiki. (If you aren't familiar with wiki's, here is a valuable resource)
  • Use of laptops and cellphones for multitasking during sessions is strongly discouraged: we encourage all participants to be fully present in sessions and discussions, rather than doing twitter, blogging, email etc. We invite participants to use the morning and afternoon breaks, as well as the lunch hour, to check in with external realities.
  • We also discourage "drop-in" participation for 1 or several sessions; the event format is highly collaborative, and full participation by all is a key to successful event outcomes.
  • If there is a session or discussion you would like to facilitate, feel free to be in touch with the event organizers, we'd love to hear what you're thinking.

We have guidelines for both facilitators and participants for what is expected of each at events.

Breakout sessions at our events have particular traits; we de-emphasize presentations and lecture, and instead focus on "break-out" sessions that are self-organized whenever possible.

For more details, check out Aspiration's Facilitation Wiki.