Open source idea for a new kind of conference: RandomCon

During one conference season, people give the same talks over and over again. No one feels they learn something. It doesn’t have to be that way!

Conferences try to wow us with revolutionary, all-new conference designs – Different setup! New impulses! Discuss like never before!

Still, conferences seem to stay exactly the same: Over and over again the same people come together and tell the same presentations. All we see is repetition and it’s hard to feel any kind of new horizon.

It seems like we’re doing the good of bringing together the brightest minds, but constantly bore them and us with the same questions and answers every time.

Why not do it differently, every single thing?

Change it all

Let’s change some key aspects of a conference or barcamp:

  1. Presenters submit their topic at multiple events
  2. Attendees buy their tickets and read the finished program
  3. Presentations are being given repeatedly
  4. After the talks, attendees have the chance to ask their questions

Let’s replace these mundane steps with the following fresh ones:

  1. Attendee buys ticket and can ask a question to be answered at the conference
  2. Attendee can also decide to register as a presenter when buying the ticket
  3. All questions are collected and randomly assigned among presenters – two days before the event
  4. Each speaker prepares and holds a talk discussing a questions they probably wouldn’t have asked themselves

We call that the RandomCon.

Why random?

By seperating the topic of the question from the area of expertise of the speaker, we make two things sure: The agenda is crowd-sourced, and the experts are challenged to ponder an unusual question.

The potential lies in interdisciplinarity.

Think of all the inventions that come from one expertise colliding with another – by chance. Don’t know any? Ask for an answer at the first RandomCon!

Our call? A better TED.


PS: Why Open Source? First, conferences aren’t my business, and second I’d like to see this idea taken further by other people.