n.— «Unconferences are gaining popularity in the high-tech community as self-organizing forums for idea sharing, networking, learning, speaking, demonstrating, and generally interacting with other geeks. The unconference format is based on the premise that in any professional gathering, the people in the audience—not just those selected to speak on stage—have interesting thoughts, insights, and expertise to share.» —“Understanding the Unconference” by Jonathan Follett Digital Web Magazine Aug. 8, 2006. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. Ben Zimmer says:

    Unconferences were all the rage in ’07, but here are a couple of interesting predecessors…

    1966 _Washington Post_ 19 Jan. A20/2 Periodically Moscow renews its year-old commitment to a world Communist conference that, in its theory would somehow reunify the movement … They want to pursue Communist unity but not to the point where pursuit would bring them face to face with the Chinese. They want, in the Orwellian fashion, an unconference.

    1968 _Chicago Tribune_ 25 June 1A2/1 It was after a luncheon with about 30 Republican women leaders that she [sc. Pat Nixon] had a news session with a half dozen reporters, one of those coffee-drinking things she calls unconferences, not press conferences.

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