One of the ideas we are floating around for this year's Health & Life Sciences Developer and Solutions Conference is "Open Spaces Technology" or OST.
"Open Space Technology (OST) is a way to convene people for a conference, retreat or meeting. "Technology" in this case means 'tool' - a process; a method. Attendees are asked to generate the meeting agenda as well as participate by leading small group break-out sessions during the meeting time. There is usually a facilitator, but no official meeting leader who demands compliance."
I am a big fan of OST. =) One of the draws for me at conferences is always the networking aspects. It is great to get insight on how other developers are tackling the same issues I am but sometimes in completely different ways, not to mention completely different companies and cultures. OST really enables that. Think you got a really good solution you want to share with your peers? Volunteer it as a topic! See something happening in your industry that you want to get others' insights on? Write it up on the board!
We are running a poll up on the HLSDevCon site now where you can select a list of topics. Feel free to write your own ideas up there and don't be afraid to shoot me some Feedback on what your thoughts are on this. OST is about making the conference center around what is important to you, instead of what we decided to put on an agenda. Make sure you are heard!
We're not the only ones either.. Mix 08 is also going OST!