L&D Unconference - No Agenda!!

So a few months back I saw a promotion on L&DConnect (Twitter @LnDConnect) called "L&D Unconference" and this one was local to me.  I think this caught my attention due to the word "unconference".  I'd attended many conferences where there was an agenda and details of speakers, but this was the complete opposite. No agenda, the group set the discussion.

Being fairly new to the L&D world, I picked up the courage to book my ticket. The 28th of September came, feeling a tad nervous about what the day was going to bring and if anything could I contribute anything!!

Well for me this was absolutely worth attending and I would recommend it to anyone new to L&D or people with wealth of experience, you all have something to contribute. 

Remember I said there was no agenda, by the time we had all said what things we have burning away at the moment it certainly lead to an agenda.  It was for the group to decide which of the topics where burning issues that we wanted to look into for the morning and what could be left until the afternoon.  Experienced or not experienced everyone had something to contribute, we can look at things from different angles, talk about experiences which helps come to solutions (though I'm not sure we found one for Compliance issues :-))

Will I be attending another?  Absolutely. If there's an L&D Unconference near you, get your ticket!


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  • Hi Louise,

    I hadnt heard of this but I love the concept. I have spent some time on looking at decision making at work and the "unconference" idea can definitely be utilised in a work capacity too. 

    BAP meetings (bring a problem) can be very useful for people all over a business or company because you can learn from others, share your own experience and knowledge and increase internal awareness of other departments and their challenges. Such a useful process if done in the right way.


  • Hi Louise,

    Thank you so much for sharing the story of your experience. Like you, I had no clue what an 'unconference' was all about until I first bumped into one arranged by LnD Connect. Whilst the idea of having the freedom of having no agenda appealled, it also made me quite nervous. Thinking back t's probably because I've been conditioned over the years to believe that learning must always have an agenda.

    I ran an unconference style session with the facilitation team at an away day we held for them a couple of years ago. Rather than a full day event, the unconference format took up just the afternoon. There was some stuff to share with them in the morning that we needed to get across, so the morning part of the day had that familiar agenda led structure. The afternoon, however, was dedicated to just the conversations they needed and wanted to have. After lunch, as a large group, we followed the typical unconference approach and got the 'topics' that people were interested in listed and organised into a schedule. 

    The feedback on the afternoon was great. 'It was just what we needed' and 'the afternoon flew by' and 'it was really nice to have the space to talk' were some of the comments we heard back.

    Have you had any thoughts Louise on how you could use this format in your own organisation?




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