So when I was asked to write a commentary to accompany this piece, linking theory to practice around unConferences, it got me thinking that the event I’m organizing wth my co- conspirator, Teresa Chinn, founder of the Wecommunities (@AgencyNurse on Twitter), is less about herding cats and more about herding chirps.
Let me explain…
The Chirp, in its various guises is now synonymously associated with the WeCommunities and has become a symbol that represents each of the 85,000 Tweeting Health Care Professionals that are connecting, learning and sharing good practice together.
Of course though, there is no substitute for real life connections and conversations and that is exactly what led to our idea for a #WeGetTogether. For us though, it’s not just about creating a conference that provides us with an acceptable excuse for meeting up. It’s also really important to us that the style of the day reflects our social media values about community, conversation and collaboration.
We rejected from the start, any inclination towards organizing a traditional conference with its rigid formality and typically didactic format. This just felt far too dull and unsociable for a #WeGetTogether event.
We were perhaps instead predictably drawn towards the unstructured, participant driven design of the unConference as we think this more closely mirrors the vibe of many conversations that occur in the digital space.
Apart from the theme of the #WeGetTogether event which is ‘5 Years Forward- Where is Social Media in Health Care heading’, we felt that it shouldn’t just be the structure on the day that should be led by the people. So, in true social media style, we have turned to our community to help us shape up the whole event, right down to it’s funding. Details here of our crowd fund page.
What is more, we pride ourselves on being inclusive, so for all those Tweeters who can’t get to the #WeGetTogether on the day, we will take the conversation to you, through the use of live blogging, tweeting and periscope to encourage as much online interaction as we possibly can.
So back to the original analogy about herding cats (or chirps), who wants to even try that? You often hear people say that creativity and innovation tends to occur at the edges. Well, if we are going to bring together the thinkers, dreamers, doer’s and collaborators who represent the ‘We’ Twitter Community, to talk about the Digital future in Health Care, lets make it colourful and unstructured. As Friedrich Nietzsche once said “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star’.
The #WeGetTogether will be held at the University of Salford on February 29th, 2016. Booking details to be announced very soon.
Commentary by Vanessa Garrity, Health Care Consultant. Founder and Managing Director of Sociable Angels Ltd.