Virtual Unconferences are an innovative method that was born in the Agile Methodology, and has a positive impact on remote teamwork.

Due to the pandemic, a year ago Paula stopped going to the office, to work from home. Responsible for a large team, she has scheduled a daily videoconference with leaders of different areas of the company
 to keep them involved in this reality of remote work and at the same time, being informed about the well-being of employees and the challenges they’re facing.

 Although this format worked in the beginning, today it’s no longer enough. Employees need to be connected in a more dynamic, cohesive and flexible way and traditional videoconferencing is not enough to satisfy these needs.

Do you feel identified with Paula?
Are you facing a similar situation? 

There’s a format that has been used for many years in agile organizations and it’s emerging in traditional ones, due to the popularity of remote work: virtual unconferences. They’re an innovative and dynamic solution to keep teams connected and motivated in this remote reality.

Collaborative, online and flexible

This is how virtual unconferences are. Online events that aim to make teams know each other better, reinforce cooperation between collaborators and achieve a unified reflection. An innovative concept that differs from the top-down format of a classic conference, in which one or more spokespersons have 'the voice of command' while an audience listens passively.

“These events generate more engagement and commitment in companies, by promoting an inclusive and participatory culture, open to new ideas and the experimentation of different dynamicsˮ, explains Ingrid Astiz Jensen, agility expert and CEO of  Wise Work   an experienced company in facilitating virtual unconferences.

“In addition, we noticed more motivation in collaborators to explore and connect with coworkers outside their team every day, and also more curiosity to learn new things,ˮ clarifies Marcela Ospina, co-founder and communication director of  Wise Work.

One concept, many formats

As we mentioned, virtual unconferences are adaptable and can be carried out in versatile formats such as Hackathon, World Café or the popular Open Space.

“In the latter, for example, the agenda is not predefined: hosts invite participants to assemble it together during the opening. Each person has the opportunity to suggest a session, simply by saying the title, a brief description and the format. This is how an agenda is put together with several slots with many sessions simultaneously, with their respective link for the sessionˮ, explains Ingrid Jensen Astiz and adds:There may also be coffee spaces, with tools such as Spatial Chat, which generate an entertaining and fun dynamic. Then, at the end, the hosts and participants meet in the plenary room to share how the sessions and the dynamics of the event have goneˮ.

As you can appreciate, the role of a facilitator with expertise in the dynamic is key to carry out this format and get the most out of it.

Adaptable organizations, the key to success

Organizations with the greatest capacity to adapt and adopt new tools that facilitate and promote changes, are those that will succeed in the new normal imposed by COVID-19..

Therefore, implementing new dynamics such as virtual unconferences, implies being one step ahead and promoting a healthy and innovative business culture that facilitates the achievement of objectives and contributes to the well-being of teams in this context of remote work

At Wise Work we know how to design and facilitate virtual unconferences to contribute to the achievement of strategic objectives. We carry out a comprehensive accompaniment of our clients, from the beginning to the end of the process. From understanding the needs and concerns, to making the most appropriate format decisions, facilitating the organization and designing internal communication actions to achieve the objective. Likewise, we include the subsequent evaluation of the event to measure the impact and identify opportunities for improvement for the organization.