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Unconference

An unconference is a conference where the content of the sessions is driven and created by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by a single organizer, or small group of organizers, in advance. The term is primarily used for high-tech conferences for developers or bloggers. Open Space Technology is commonly used in unconferences, as are World Cafe and Appreciative Inquiry.

The term "unconference" first appeared amongst techies in an announcement for the annual XML developers conference in 1998. More recently the term was used by Lenn Pryor when discussing BloggerCon and was popularized by Dave Winer, the organizer of BloggerCon, in an April 2004 writeup. Winer's unconference consists of a discussion leader with a topic moving a microphone amongst a large audience of 50 to 200 people.

Chris Heuer, who leads innovative BrainJam! meetings – including one held in conjunction with NCDD's 2006 conference in San Francisco – also uses the term. Penguin Day, started in 2004, is an unconference produced by Aspiration Tech to help non-profits connect to the Free and Open Source Software Community.

Much of this data was found at Wikipedia on 2/14/07 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconference).

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