A while back I was sitting at my desk job, bored, and decided to read an article on this cool technique for running meetings called “Open Space Technology.” It was based on the knowledge that, at any conference, convention, or structured meeting, the most productive stuff happens in the spontaneous gatherings outside the planned events. The group that huddles in the hall, that goes out for coffee, that sparks a conversation in between the structured speakers.
The “Unconference,” as it was proposed by the business & tech geeks who founded it, was an attempt to have nothing but those kinds of moments. To come up with a structure that would be self-organizing, self-running, and see what came of it.
“Huh,” I remember thinking. “Wonder if that would work for a kink event?” And like any good top, I decided to experiment on my friends. I chose the catchy title of “Graydancer’s Ropetastic Unconference Extravaganza,” (aka the GRUE) and, well, the rest was history.
Since then we’ve had GRUE’s in Madison, WI, Lansing, MI, Minneapolis, MN and St. Louis, MO. If you plot it on a map it looks kind of like one of those CDC contagious disease forecasters…and we’re about to make it international.
TORO! TORO! TORO-GRUE!Â
Thanks to my friend the Control Enthusiast, we have a venue, we have time, and we have interest, so we’re throwing a GRUE over the border. You can read about the details here, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted. If you’ve been a participant in a past GRUE – and there are hundreds of you out there, at this point – I’d love to hear what you think of the idea now, long after it’s done. And if you’re interested in knowing more…well, let’s talk. I hear Toronto is very nice in October…