What is this?
The Conscience Un-Conference is a one-day “un-conference” co-hosted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. It will be held on Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 8:30am to 5:30pm in Washington, DC.
What’s the point?
Recently, museums and other educational institutions have embraced social media—media that encourages multi-way communication and the building of networks—to connect with their audiences. But, participating in social media raises a lot of questions that include concerns about balancing accessibility of collections with control; grappling with authoritative and personal voice; and measuring impact and outcomes. While these issues are of concern to many institutions, they need to be addressed with special tact by those who deal with sensitive subject matter and vulnerable populations, and who hold in trust the memories of victims of tyranny, human rights abuses, and genocide. This un-conference aims to hash out these concerns with people interested in these issues.
What is an “un-conference”?
That’s actually up to you. Popular definitions describe it as a conference that is more informal in tone and execution than your average conference. No suits, no reading papers, no bullet-pointed PowerPoints, and the schedule is driven by the participants. (See Wikipedia for an extended description.) In this case, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Center for History and New Media are providing the theme, location, and some food, while the participants will shape the sessions and agenda.
Who should apply?
Anyone with energy and interest in how “institutions of conscience” use social media to serve missions of social good. We’re hoping for a diverse group of people with a range of experiences—that is, you don’t have to be an expert in museums, libraries, non-profits, or social media. Techie geeks, luddites and everyone in between are welcome to apply.
How do I apply?
Due to limited space, we ask that people who want to attend in person register for this blog to apply. Follow the prompts to let us know who you are, why you want to come, and what you might want to talk about – and please keep it short. The final day to submit applications is Tuesday, October 13, 2009.
The application process to attend the Conscience Un-Conference is now closed. We encourage you to follow the conversation remotely via the RSS of this blog and Twitter (#conconf).
What happens after I apply?
Applications must be submitted by completing the registration process for this blog by Tuesday, October 13, 2009.
Applicants were notified of the organizing committee’s selections on Tuesday, October 20, 2009. (If you did not receive a message of acceptance or regrets, please check your junkmail folder or e-mail unconf[AT]ushmm[dot]org.) More fully elaborated proposals and comments on others’ proposals should be posted to this blog by Tuesday, December 1, 2009.
On Saturday, December 5, 2009, the day will start with breakfast at 8:30am, during which the schedule and locations of the sessions will be hammered out. Participants will then scatter to their sessions for discussion, followed by a lunch at noon. The group will rescatter at 1pm and finally reconvene for closing thoughts and plans from 4:30 to 5:30pm. (The Museum will also arrange tours of the Museum and a social gathering the evening before the un-conference, Friday, December 4.)
What should I propose?
Sessions might include, but are not limited to, project demos, discussions of research findings and ethical issues, or brainstorming sessions to figure out how to turn kernels of ideas into realized projects.
Where is it?
If you were accepted to the un-conference as a physical participant, you should have received an e-mail from Amelia Wong with the location information and directions. If you did not get such an e-mail, please e-mail unconf[AT]ushmm[DOT]org.
Where do I stay?
That’s up to you. Museum staff is not allowed to give out recommendations for lodgings, but if numerous participants are out-of-towners, the Museum will likely reserve a block of rooms.
If I can’t get there, how do I participate remotely?
The un-conference will is using the Twitter tag #conconf. Please feel free to comment and ask questions using that tag.
How much is it?
The un-conference is free to all attendees.
Who’s facilitating this un-conference?
Tom Scheinfeldt (CHNM) – @foundhistory
Michael Haley Goldman (USHMM) – @mhaleygoldman
David Klevan (USHMM) – @dklevan
Heather Ratcliff (USHMM) – @hratcliff
Rebekah Sobel (USHMM) – @rsobel
Amelia Wong (USHMM) – @amelialikespie
Still have questions?
Send an e-mail to email@example.com