Health100, a curated unconference – what the heck is that?
Health100, a curated unconference – what the heck is that?
With our five years of experience of organizing a traditional conference (Upgraded Life Festival), we have learned that the most valuable discussions are not taking place in the auditoriums, but in the corridors and over the coffee breaks. It’s not uncommon to hear people say “I’ve had so many interesting discussions today, that I haven’t had time to see any speakers.”
We started wondering, how can we make the conference all about the talks in the corridors? And instead of just exchanging business cards, build real connections already at the event? The answer – a curated unconference.
Health100 – from nice ideas to concrete actions
On the 2nd of October, we will gather 100 health influencers at the curated unconference Health100 to discuss how we can create the best possible healthcare in the Nordics. Health100 will host top-level discussions, with a focus on the already foreseeable future: the challenges, opportunities and strategic steps on how to implement the concrete innovations into practice. Rather than just “beautiful words” and “nice ideas” the focus is on concrete actions.
We chose to steer our new event away from the passive sitting and listening to maximize the value of discussions and the building of relationships. We wanted to have the right people discussing on topics that really matter, and collaboratively work on important issues of common interest.
What is an unconference?
An unconference is an engaging and interactive event format, where the attendees are offered to set the agenda and discussion topics. Compared to a conventional conference, where the agenda is set well in advance to the event, the informal and flexible program of an unconference allows guests to suggest topics of own interest, host the discussion and choose sessions accordingly.
Though this format is not yet very popular in Finland, it has been around for more than two decades and proven to be very successful (1). The relationships built during an unconference often continue for years.
There are many different types of unconferences, when it comes to the level of organisation and curation. Health100 will be organised as a curated unconference, where the discussion topics will be locked before the event. It makes the event more structured, and gives time for preparations in order to have truly successful discussions from everyone’s perspective.
What happens before Health100?
Before Health100 the guests can send in their suggestions on a topic they wish to discuss at the event. Suggesting a topic is optional.
The topic suggestion closes two weeks before the event, which also starts the time for voting. Every guest has the right to vote, and the most popular topics will be presented and discussed at Health100. The voting closes a few days before the event, and facilitators will have some time to prepare for facilitating their discussions.
What does it mean to be a facilitator?
At an unconference, when you suggest a topic, you are also expected to facilitate it. For some guests this might bring pressure, as facilitating a topic might not be in your liking. At an unconference, the facilitator is not expected to know all the answers, he or she only needs to be genuinely interested in finding the answer. You can do as much preparation as you want – only raise the question, or go all the way and send background material for the guests to familiarize with.
The role of the facilitator is to ensure all contributions are considered equally and some sort of an action point is agreed on at the end of the discussion. The facilitator will succeed best in finding the answers to their question, by creating an environment of trust and respect between the guests joining a particular session. Giving everyone a voice, encouraging to share own thoughts, listening to others’ thoughts and comments, and most importantly taking all different views into consideration when formulating an answer is the backbone to creating a successful discussion at an unconference.
What happens at Health100?
We will start the networking on a relaxed pre-event dinner cruise on the evening before Health100, onboard of Kuunari Kathrina. Our guests will get to take part in the actual sailing, enjoy beautiful views and a delicious dinner at sea and of course, start networking and discovering connections with other guests.
The Health100 main day consists of an opening session, two breakout sessions and one closing session (or as we wish to call it, starting session – more on that later on). The chosen topics will be very shortly presented on the main stage by the facilitators, after which the audience scatters into smaller discussion rooms according to their interest.
The discussions that happen at Health100 are aimed to lead to actions; the summary of insights will become a part of the joint Nordic Health Resolution.
At the end of the day in the starting session, the facilitators will shortly present the key findings and next steps. These will be then collected in the Nordic Health Resolution, that becomes a joint creation of all guests at Health100.
The reason why we call it a starting session, is that even though it might close the event day, it will be the start for new thoughts, collaborations and actions. The Nordic Health Resolution is just a start, where the action points are stated. The next step is to continue the discussions and actually start doing concrete actions!
Health100 is organised on 2nd of October, in the intimate privacy of the luxurious Hanasaari culture and conference center, surrounded by beautiful Finnish nature. Are you one of the 100 health influencers and have not been invited? Apply for your invitation.
Health100 would not be possible without our partners – Pfizer, Health Capital Helsinki, Fazer and Dattaca Labs. Nordic Innovation supports the event as a part of a 1,5-year project to target Nordic sustainable and smart healthcare. The project is conducted together with our partners Nordic Center of Sustainable Healthcare and DTU Business, a part of the Danish Technical University.
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