The MindTree Osmosis unconference happened today, with nearly 1000 people attending the unconference and having a great time — over 30 great sessions and great music, jamming sessions. This was a great moment, because it is the first time a reasonable large organization was adopting the unconference format as the grand finale for their formal event.
Judging by the participants response, it was a huge success and a great learning opportunity for organizations on how such social, participative, self organized & emergent concepts can be successfully adpated and weaved into corporate mainstream events. There were sessions in which the venue was overflowing, jampacked and had participants sitting, squatting on the floor and in some sessions there were participants even sitting & standing behind the facilitator — literally encircling them..
There were sessions on open social, google’s android, x-treme data warehousing, indian traditions, rising rupee, software engineers in danger of being extinct, innovation.. just to name a few..
For most of the participants, it was a first exposure to the unconference format and EVERYONE loved it.. they loved the fact that they had a say ion which sessions happen, when, where and in each session they could participate by listening, questioning, debating, making their point or walking in or out any time they wanted. People loved the fact that no one was telling them which session to attend or not to attend.. they made their own choices by using the unconference wikiboard..
There were even impromptu ‘mob the leader’ sessions, where a group of MindTree Minds decided to form a large group and roam in search of senior folks and literraly mobbed them.. they had them talk on various topics ranging from technology to past to future to tips on stress management etc.. even the Ashok Soota — the Chairman & MD was not spared :-). So were Subroto and others.. And believe me, ALL of them loved it.. they senior folks loved and and the young MindTree Minds loved it..
One of the best part was that participation was open to all and there were 50+ external folks — from other organizations who attended the Osmosis unconference and even took sessions there. they also appreciated the format and hopefully they will try out the unconference format in their organizations.
The atmosphere had a carnival feel to it outside the venue, with music arranged where people could sing impromptu, dance & jamm with each other. in true spirit of user participation, there were large number of songs, dance and fun happening along with unconference sessions…
I believe that barcamps & unconferences are here to stay and it’s just a matter of time before they become pervasive in corporates as the way forward to their events to bring knowledge sharing, learning & innovation through self organized, participative concepts…