Changing future Flocks to have fewer presentations?

I love this idea and it seems to tie together a lot of the discussion thus far. Maybe pick an initiative or cross-functional topic each day; the ~9AM-12PM sessions could be curated to relate to that initiative/topic, 12P-2P social/lunch time, and 2P-5P to break into working group / mini hackfests to apply / ruminate on / etc. the info learned in the morning.


Thanks for your input and for weighing in!

So, here is another approach for Flock. Assuming a 3.5 day conference, the first three days could each fit this “talk–social–hackfest” format, and we could group each day around a particular theme or objective. The fourth day would continue to be a read-out day mostly and final closing plenaries. Our traditional evening socials, which I have enjoyed, would continue to happen for more casual downtime and socializing.

This is almost identical to how we have done it before with a few key changes:

  • Instead of dividing talk and workshop days, they would now fall on the same day but at different parts of the day.
  • Each day now has a major theme with sessions selected based on the theme. (Can we fit Flock 2023 into three themes?

Something that might be interesting to try is to have an ‘ice breaker’ session either immediately before or after the opening presentation. The key would be to sort the attendees randomly in some way into multiple rooms, and then do ice breaker games, and/or a quick team building workshop of some sort (for which there are lots of ideas online!). Ways to ‘sort’ people might include colors or codes on badges, grabbing something out of a box on the way in/out of the main conference room, random numbers/qr codes sent to phones via text/email, etc.

The point of this, is to allow particularly new contributors who haven’t been to a Flock before (or for those who haven’t been to one for a while) to meet each other and get to know at least a few other peoples’ names and faces, etc. For folks who have been to Flock before, the conference isn’t likely to be intimidating, but if you don’t know anyone, it can be quite scary to attend a conference and just walking up to people and saying ‘hi’ can be quite hard. Ice breaking games and team building workshops, meant for the right sized group could be a great way to start the conference and allow people to ‘get to know’ each other.


Hi @gonyere, welcome to Fedora Discussion and thanks for your sharing your feedback! :pray:

I would like to do something like this too. I’m wondering if it would be enough to do it the day before the conference starts as a pre-event social, or if it should be part of the conference programming.

In the past, I think our evening social activities have done a good job with this, but it would be nice to not have all the socializing and networking to only happen in the evening.

For sure. This was my experience at All Things Open a couple weeks ago. It can be totally overwhelming!

That’s a great idea, and specifically I think doing it right after the opening presentation would - in addition to the icebreaker-specific topics - guarantee that folks have some very recent shared experience in a mutual interest that they could talk about (the presentation) and use as a jumping-off point.

“Hey, I’m A” “Hey, I’m B - what did you think of C’s talk?” “It was da bomb, but what does that mean for X?” “You use X too? I thought I was the only one!”

And the only reason I’m thinking that - re: Justin’s point about pre-event - is maybe that takes some of the pressure off of the more classically “social / personal” icebreaker topics, and still gives folks who aren’t as into those kinds of things something to help the conversation flow?

I’m sufficiently convinced that a short icebreaker / social warm-up would be a good idea to follow Matthew’s traditional State of Fedora keynote to open the conference. :grinning:

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FWIW I think the problem with doing it the day before the opening, would be that some people may not have arrived yet, and many might see it as not really ‘part of the conference’ and not attend.

By doing it immediately after the opening talk, you ensure that everyone (or nearly everyone) will actually be there, and make everyone much more likely to participate. And getting both newcomers and those who have been to many Flock’s is the key to such an event’s success.

If you only have those who have never been to a Flock attending, sure, they’ll know people, but they’ll still be part of a very insular ‘newcomers’ group. This is, IME the problem with ‘newcomers’ workshops. Newcomers don’t get to know many (if any) longtime contributors, and often well known people tend to steer clear of similar things. By getting a (hopefully) random mix of newcomers, longtime contributors, etc, everyone will hopefully meet people they both know, and people they don’t - or at least people they don’t know well!

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