At this unconference, The Board is where the conference schedule is set—right in front of your eyes. It is a giant grid of times and locations in the middle of the conference center that a team of volunteers fills with sessions dreamed up and submitted by you, the participants.
The Board is located outside Rooms 311-315. There will be staff and volunteers to assist you with submitting sessions. You can find the conference session schedule there as well as online.
What is a session?
All participants are welcome to submit an idea for what we call a “session.” A session just means one 60-minute block of time that you can use for any conversation, training, demonstration, or panel that you think folks in our movements would benefit from.
Some people will arrive with a set plan for a session they want to propose, and—most excitingly—many of you will also design sessions for Sunday based on a “We need to continue this conversation!” moment from Saturday.
Where do sessions come from?
- In-person on Saturday or Sunday: The vast majority of sessions are submitted this way. Drop off a schedule card in the morning to our moderator team and you’ll hear back by the end of the first session if yours has been added to the schedule.
- Online the week before: We will accept submissions online the week before the conference. They will be added to the stack of sessions that are dropped off in-person on Saturday or Sunday and our volunteer team will decide then if your session has been selected.
- Caucus sessions: Before RootsCamp kicks off on Saturday, caucuses will meet to connect people organizing around a similar issue. One of the outcomes of the caucus meetings will be to develop two sessions to get us started on Saturday and Sunday morning as the remainder of the schedule is being set.
- Partner sessions: A limited number of sessions are made available to sponsors. These sessions are identified as such and are frequently a great way to discover new tools and technologies, or have important conversations about best practices.
How do we set the schedule?
- Everyone will submit their sessions first thing in the morning and head off to their first session choice from the caucuses and our partners.
- Our volunteers will sort through the submissions and build the schedule ensuring a diversity of movements and issues is represented within the schedule while you’re in your first session of the day.
- By the time you get out of your first session, a full schedule of session choices will be available to choose from for the remainder of the day!
Criteria for choosing sessions:
Since RootsCamp is an unconference, we can’t say exactly how sessions get selected—especially since we are working hard to create room for conversations as they arise that weekend. That said, here are some criteria that our volunteers will use to decide:
- Does the overall schedule reflect a diversity of types of movements and organizing? Are we hearing from organizers and policy campaigns, elections, technologists, and direct action practitioners? Black liberation movements, the vibrancy of our immigrant communities, those working for reproductive justice and more?
- Does the schedule allow folks to process and learn from the 2018 elections as we look ahead?
- Are we centering people who are not traditionally deemed ‘experts’? This is especially true of—but not limited to—people of color and Indigenous folks, the LGBTQ community, women and GNC folks, and young people.
- Are local and national organizers represented? Are we hearing from different areas of the country, like the South and the Midwest?
- Would a session duplicate another room’s purpose? (Meet-ups, safer spaces, art, movement room. If people submit a movement session, we can enter them into the app and figure out how to get them on The Board.)
- If multiple people submit the same session, could you do them together?
Have an idea for a session?
Unless you are in a caucus or a partner, you’ll need to submit online the week before or at The Board on Saturday or Sunday morning.
Be ready to tell us the title, who is presenting, if any background/skill level is applicable, and a little bit about the kind of session it is. If multiple sessions are submitted for the same topic, we may encourage you to collaborate. Any sessions left over at the end of Saturday can be picked up and re-submitted on Sunday morning.
Check out our guidelines for planning a great session.