LOTE (Living on the Edge) is a “curated unconference”. People can propose sessions, like in any unconference, but one or more curators ensure overall coherence of that conversation. Curation, in this context, means three things: preparatory work (online), building the program from the proposals and doing the follow up work.
Previous #LOTE formats have been short and intense, mostly focused on what happens during the days of the one physical event with little follow up or continuity. #LOTE4 is different: This time conversations are sustained over several months both before AND after the physical gathering, and a community of stakeholders is built around a conversation over time.
So how do \#LOTE Conversations work?
LOTE conversations aim to make it easier to be able to go from talking to building, especially when trying to do new things or lacking needed skills to be able to do so.
You initiate or join a #lote4 conversation online to figure out how to solve a problem or build a solution. The conversation is aimed at discovering who and what is out there, exploring the existing knowledge and getting a shared understanding of what is needed or missing. Learn more here!
You participate in the physical event to meet the others, structure the work and identifying what resources and skills are needed for solving the problem or building the solution you care about. The outcome is a Viral Academy course to learn the skills you need or teach others with whom you have to work need in the context of achieving the goals identified in the session where it is fundraising, learning a new coding language or figuring out how to change a government policy or law. Then the skills are acquired in the process of realising the project or solution after the event, and passed on to more people.
You document the results of the session, to share the knowledge produced and aggregated with everyone.
#LOTE4 consists of several conversations running in parallel. A conversation is an overarching theme and it is defined by a burning question, background information describing the context and why this question is relevant to everyone right now as well as reflections around how different stakeholders stand to benefit from progress made in answering the question. Curators define conversations that they believe will bring people to the table who would benefit directly by being in touch with our networks and ensure the advancement of the subject matter itself.
Conversations open months before the physical event and continue for long after, possibly months or years depending on the topic and people involved. Conversations are curated by people with a high profile and a lot of credibility within a topic or field who want to gain deep understanding of the topic or challenge at hand.
Curating a conversation means prompting people to propose sessions, and being proactive. The idea is create a safe space for constructive interaction between decision makers in the mainstream and radical people. It also means curation, selecting proposals. Maybe encouraging proponents to change or develop proposals to be better. And then being there in person and being part of the event.
Edgeryders supports Conversation curators with secretariat work as well as the community building and management around a topic. Curators are encouraged to call in people who they think ought to be in the conversation and draw some support around the event.
At the physical event each conversation is given a separate room for its sessions. Each conversation is broken down into a 3 hr sessions. Each session has a leader and people facilitating and documenting discussions. People can wander between sessions.
During a #lote3 session a number of people agreed that a new event format was needed. Read more about the Harmonious Hackathon concept here. @Auli and I had a chat about developing the Ouisharelabs format further making it a core part of #lote events starting with #lote4.
How we are working together to prototype the new format
Decentralised teamwork requires effective coordination. We will be using the Edgeryders Community Calls to brainstorm ideas and structure then… and build it on the Edgeryders collaboration platform as it is well run and offers the core functionalities: wikis, task manager, calendar, blog and active social media presence.
What we are doing over the next week: developing first program
People are a lot harder than technology - our focus is building engagement around the event and to ensure it is economically sustainable. We only develop technology if and when we discover we need it along the way. We are developing the program here.