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News > Starting regular “unmeetings” to bootstrap Epic Collaboration - 26 February 2015

Starting regular “unmeetings” to bootstrap Epic Collaboration - 26 February 2015

Starting regular “unmeetings” to bootstrap Epic Collaboration - 26 February 2015


After our first informal strategy session for Epic, attendees expressed an interest in rolling up their sleeves and help make Epic a success. As a result, we’re inviting volunteers to join us in helping create a strong base for Epic Collaboration, so that we can help it grow to involve many future participants. Epic Collaboration “unmeetings” are a great a way to gain experience working in a collaborative environment, meet new people, and contribute to a valuable initiative.

Register your interest on eventbrite, or read on to learn more

What do you mean by “unmeeting”?

Unmeeting is a concept Collabforge developed as an alternative to regular meetings, which we think are typically a bit boring and unproductive. Many meetings focus on talking about and planning the work, so that we can all go back to our lonely desks to get the job done. Unmeetings about doing the work together, because it's often more productive, more fun, and more engaging as we learn from each other along the way.

There’s a new Framework explaining unmeetings in the Epic Collaboration library.

Why unmeetings?

Epic Collaboration has been underway for more than six months now, and in that time, we’ve done and learned quite a bit. Collabforge has been leading, with some amazing help coming from a few passionate early contributors that have joined us along the way.

In talking to those folks and others, we learned that there is lots of interest to get involved in Epic Collaboration and see it succeed. At the same, people still feel a bit confused about how best to get involved. There are a lot of improvements we could make, in order to make Epic Collaboration more accessible, but it would be hard for us to do all those things alone. More importantly, it wouldn’t be very collaborative if we didn’t invite others to help!

In our experience, we’ve found that the best way to get a new collaborative project up and running is through a regular series of unmeetings. They help bring a rhythm and heartbeat to the project, and they deliver tangible outputs that move the project along.

In order to get started, we’ve had a couple quick and dirty unmeetings with Hailey Cooperrider and Mark Elliott of Collabforge, and our friend Alvaro Maz who works with Code for Australia and Creative Suburbs (among other awesome things). Together, we worked on the unmeeting Framework, and the plan for this session. In fact, most of the work consisted of collaboratively writing this blog post and the unmeeting framework that we added to the library!

So consider this your invitation to be a part of the next unmeeting, to help us move Epic Collaboration one step further.

What will we do?

At this early stage, the unmeeting is about doing the things that will enable Epic Collaboration to become more inclusive of a wider range of participants.

This work is spread across 5 big areas:

  1. Content - adding new knowledge to the Epic Collaboration library
  2. Events - creating opportunities to connect to new people
  3. Comms - showing the value of Epic Collaboration 
  4. Projects - working on specific pieces of the Epic Collaboration puzzle
  5. Coding - making it easy to participate virtually

Because we need a bit of direction, Collabforge will guide the process, according to the unmeeting framework. We envision that unmeetings will enable diverse work, on what people want to work on, and we will get diverse outputs from each session.

At the same time, we understand that people who are new to a project often just want to get started with a clearly defined piece of work. Therefore we will be preparing some work that is particularly focused on content, like:

  1. We have some stories from Collabforge and elsewhere that can be developed further
  2. We also have a pressing challenge about how we best tell our story - help people understand what EC is about and how they see themselves involved
  3. If there are any web designers or developers, there are always improvements to make to the web platform

However, anyone who shows up with something to work on that has a clear output will be welcomed and supported!

Make sure you bring you tools like laptop or other web-enabled device, and brains switched on.

What comes next?

It’s important to close an unmeeting by reporting on what was done, so others who weren’t present can easily get up to speed.

So, at the end of the workshop, we will take time to make a quick blog post (or maybe a video) about:

  • The awesome work we did
  • What we think needs to happen next
  • When the next meeting might be

Who should come

It’s an unmeeting, so we’re doing real work, like a roll up your sleeves thing. Everyone is welcome, but it’s for people who are interested and motivated to help with Epic Collaboration.

Come collaborate with us!

Still interested? Be sure to register and share this event with others who might like to come.

When and Where

445 Swanston Street Melbourne, RMIT Building 80, Level 10, Room 007 

Thursday, 26 February 2015 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM (AEDT)

(Thanks to RMIT and Marius Foley for providing an epic space!)