I've been following this thread with great
interest -- this is a subject
that fascinates me, and that I've put a lot of thought into. In particular,
I looked into a variety of ways to approach introductions when working with
Sarah and Lori Byrd Phillips to plan GLAMcamp DC.
The consistent theme here, I think, is a desire to balance two things: (1)
a desire for everyone to be introduced to everyone else, and (2) a desire
to create a space for more intimate and participatory connections, that go
beyond a sentence or two.
At GLAMcamp DC, with some solid advice from Eugene Eric Kim (CC'd here), I
ended up choosing:
(1) a general BRIEF introduction, paired with:
(2) a more structured activity that allowed people to go into more depth
in smaller groups.
I know that adding this kind of structure to an event can feel cheesy and
forced, but I think it's worth considering anyway, if it helps you to
achieve objectives that are in tension. Without a bit of structure, and
with 100+ people (or even 30) in a short period of time, a less-planned
"everyone listens to everyone else" format means that everybody in the room
is spending A LOT more time listening than talking.
I blogged about how I came to this particular format here:
But the more useful links, probably, are the ones on the specific formats
Eugene suggested to me (any of which might be worth considering for the
WikiWomen's Lunch as well):
- World Café <http://www.theworldcafe.com/method.html>: Small groups
converse, in several rounds, mixing up groups between rounds, and taking
notes to report back.
- Fish Bowl
A few people start a conversation in the middle of the room. The rest
listen. An empty seat invites anyone to join the discussion at any time;
but when one person joins, another must leave.
This is the method I chose. People pair up for a few minutes, then the
pairs combine, and then the groups of four combine. During the process,
participants move from introducing themselves to exploring concrete ideas.
Then, each group of eight reports back to the whole group.
I hope these ideas are useful -- and am very interested in any other
formats people might have experience with, or comments/questions on these
On Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM, Valerie Aurora <valerie(a)adainitiative.org
I do really like having these kinds of
introductions - I am always
amazed by the breadth and variety of interests that people have and it
is a good lesson for me about my stereotypes and assumptions about
women I haven't overcome yet. It's also a great way to find people
you want to meet.
But I agree it took too long. That introduction format worked really
well at AdaCamp DC - for a variety of reasons that didn't apply at
that lunch and I wasn't even aware of during the AdaCamp intros. You
can get through 125 introductions of that form very quickly if you
* Good models to start the introductions off by adhering strictly to
the (very short) format
* Strict reinforcement of the format whenever people start to get wordy
* Two microphones so you don't have mike-passing time in between intros
I first saw this style of introduction at FOOCamp, which has it down
to a science, but it's harder than it looks, as we found. :)
My two cents is that the lunch should be longer! I like to schedule
at least an hour and half. :) Overall, I was thrilled with the whole
On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 6:00 PM, Gillian White <whiteghost.ink(a)gmail.com>
I agree that 125 introductions is not a
productive or fun way to use a
amount of time. In this instance, the process
halted all conversation
created a no-win situation for members of the
audience - either try to
concentrate on an impossible-to-remember roll-call, or ignore the
Neither is good and leaving the room would be
even more impolite.
it is good to have a problem that results from
A solution depends on what the purpose of the meeting is. If the purpose
changes from a lunch meeting, different approaches could be used but
multiple meetings or more scheduled talks should probably become
the conference. The trick is to balance structure
and lack of structure
line with the principles and purpose.
Assuming the meeting continues to be a lunch meeting, I think the
that need to be remembered for such an event
involving such a number of
- there is not much time and that time has to allow for eating (IMHO
does not mean wandering around trying to hold
food and talk at the same
- anything repetitive is bound to be tedious;
- since there is a major conference in session, anything formal, other
a welcome from Sue, would either not be a lunch
meeting or should be
to the conference agenda itself;
- flexibility and a degree of spontaneity are necessary.
So, one suggestion for a Wikimania Wiki Women's lunch meeting (and I am
there are other possibilities that will be
considered between now and
next conference) is to print up multiple copies
of some theme labels for
people to grab and put on their table as they go into the lunch room.
example, there could be labels for tables for
women who want to:
- meet new people/conference participants;
- talk about the conference sessions;
- NOT talk about the conference sessions;
- continue an unfinished earlier discussion;
- plan some women's meetings to be held during pre-allocated times
the conference (eg the women's edit-a-thon
There are many more possible but you get the drift.
If multiple rooms are available the same procedure could be applied in
advance and rooms allocated for lots of smaller lunch groups. That sort
thing depends on the venue but breaking it up
means missing the
for a gathering of everyone together. Also,
requiring a forced choice
women who have a range of interests and
commitments is something to
On 26 July 2012 07:01, Orsolya Gyenes <gyenes.orsolya(a)wiki.media.hu>
> Yes, we really didn't expect over 120 women (double as much as last
> and I think it was right to get to know each
other and learn where we
> coming from and what we are interested in.
Usually that doesn't happen
> this list.
> Maybe we could organize a female edithaton during the Hacking Days in
> if there's a need for it.
> Deputy Program Chair
> 2012/7/25 Carol Moore DC <carolmooredc(a)verizon.net>
>> The Women's Luncheon on Saturday was something I was very much
>> forward to, but it fell short of my
expectations. I was enjoying
>> with the women at my table, asking the
speakers about their
>> and hoping to form some more solid
relationships with veteran and new
>> Wikipedians alike. Being required to sit back quietly while 125+
>> stood up to introduce themselves felt
like a waste of an opportunity
>> build a stronger female editing
community. Knowing that the women are
>> passionate about sharing was good, but wouldn't have been more to the
>> purpose to encourage networking so all the women in attendance would
>> inclined to stay active and recruit
knowing there was a pool of
>> could personally draw upon?
>> talk:Samarista|talk]]) 17 July 2012 (UTC)
>> I personally liked the intros. Perhaps suggest a common topic or two
>> people can discuss at tables?
>> Or have a separate meetups - a couple at different times, perhaps with
>> different themes. That might answer her concerns ?
>> Note that in the feedback section two of us mentioned that
meetups needed to be better.
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