Some principles for Make:Shift

Perhaps you’ve never been to an unconference like Make:Shift before and you’re not quite sure what to expect.

In our latest blog we explain a bit more about an unconference, the principles behind it and how it’s going to make 9 November an absolutely brilliant day.

Make:Shift is going to be an unconference. Everyone will be coming along to participate in some way, whether they are taking part in discussions or leading a session. Think of it like a giant slightly formalised networking event. We’ll be creating an environment where you can let everyone know what you’d like to discuss and we can all share our expertise.

There is only one rule at an unconference. That’s the rule of two feet. This means that if you’re in a session at Make:Shift and you’re neither learning or contributing, you leave and join another session. That doesn’t mean that we’re encouraging you to be belligerent or rude in any way. If you’re not benefiting from the discussions you owe it to yourself and the other people there to find a group where your unique talents can really shine.

Have you ever been at a conference where the session wasn’t what you expected, or the person leading it rankled you, and you wished you could just walk out. You didn’t because you thought it would appear rude or you thought it wasn’t allowed? Well, at Make:Shift not only do you have permission to do – it’s expected!

There are some other general principles, not rules, that we will apply to Make:Shift. They are about going with the flow.

  1. Principle One. The people that come are the right people. At Make:Shift the most important thing is having the people that care about Wolverhampton – the people that are really committed to the city – the people that will turn up!
  2. Principle two. The time it starts is the right time. Of course we’ll be following a schedule to make sure that everyone gets to run their session. But we’re not going to be clock watching at Make:Shift. This is designed to bring out the spirit of the event, which is about creativity. If a session finishes early or over-runs by 5 minutes, we’re not going to lose any sleep over it.
  3. Principle three. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened. We’ll accept what happens on the day as the only thing that could have happened and move on from there, rather than raking over problems and issues with the day
  4. Principle four. When things end, they are over. If our discussions reach a natural conclusion, there’s no need to prolong them just because there’s time left.

What do you think of these principles? Do they resonate with you? Do you disagree with any of them?

Leave your thoughts on the blog.

One final thing. Tickets will go on general release to the public next week so make sure you’ve got yours before the rush begins.

Go to to get yours


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