What is an Unconference?

Unconferences follow a general framework, but are designed to be flexible to meet the needs and wants of the attendees. Here’s a great explanation from Unconference.net:

The unconference format creates space for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration and creativity. At the start, the group will gather and be guided through creating an agenda.  The exact process is not important to understand in advance – the process will become clear as it happens.  The important part is that all those gathered will have the opportunity to put conference sessions on the agenda.  No session will be voted off or ‘won’t happen’ for some other reason. All sessions are welcome. The sessions convened will range from the well thought out pre-prepared talk reflecting years of research and practice to the spur of the moment ‘new idea’ that would be fun to talk about.

What’s on the Agenda?

Each Unconference will have a loosely structured agenda (see one of our past events for an example), but the content is driven by the participants and decided upon by attendees. Participants vote to decide which topics are most relevant, interesting and important to talk about for that day. There will be multiple concurrent tracks of workshops, talks, yoga/meditation, and discussion groups, and a facilitated networking event to help you build your network and collaborate with others interested in sustainability.

Typically, there are three types of sessions that are audience-built: speaking sessions, discussion groups, and workshops. Check out the links there to learn more about each.

Why should I attend?

The Sustainability Unconference brings together entrepreneurs, local businesses, activists, writers, chefs, government and community members for a day of collaboration, innovation and design in a free space to create and develop new ideas, collaborate with local business for opportunities, network with sustainable businesses, and meet new friends. There will be good drinks, great food and engaging and stimulating activities all day long.

What is Facilitated Networking?

Facilitated networking allows you to meet exactly the people you want to meet, without getting bogged down in conversations that you’re less interested in. At the Sustainability Unconference, we do one of two types of facilitated networking. The first option is a large circle where everyone gets just 10-15 seconds to introduce themselves and then say what they can offer and what they’re looking for. After everyone’s introduced themselves, people can then find those people they can either help or need help from, and have something very specific to talk about. The other option is speed networking, which we sometimes run (by audience demand) in the full-day session. Speed networking is like speed dating, except instead of trying to pick up a date, you’ll be expanding your professional network rapidly! To learn more about this super fun Unconference agenda item, watch this quick video!

How do I register?

Each of our unconferences has its own page, with registration info right on the sidebar.

How do I sponsor the event?

To become a sponsor of the Unconference and get your brand in front of the local green-minded community, click here. Note, you can sponsor one or many Unconferences. If you sponsor many, price breaks and extra perks are available. Each of our unconferences has its own page, with sponsorship info right on the sidebar.

Who is Important Media?

Important Media is an online sustainability media company that reaches ~4 million readers each month, and is the parent company of the Sustainability Unconference. The company has a network of over 20 blogs that cover sustainability news in a broad array of industries, including politics, business,  clean tech, food, building, water, personal care, and transportation. Check out all of Important Media’s sites here!


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