What started out as an experiment has now become a fact: when you bring intelligent, engaged people together in the right space, great things happen.
At your average conference, we know the best conversations happen in the hallways. They happen over late night drinks, and on the walk from point A to point B. Those chance run-ins with esteemed colleagues, heroes, mentors– even strangers– can lead to conversations that propagate new ideas, concepts, and relationships. Sometimes, the results might even drive an entire industry forward.
Yes and Yes Yes is different from your typical conference because it inverts the concept of a topical event: The community is built first, and the topics emerge as its members interact and develop their own content and experiences. As a result, conversations at YxYY are fresh, creative, and futuristic. The connections one makes at YxYY are authentic and intimate. Participants leave feeling connected, and re-energized with new perspectives and novel solutions to the work they've been engaged in, both professional and personal.
SO, HOW DOES ONE PARTICIPATE IN YXYY?
You are already one of the intelligent, engaged people that we have brought together. So, you've got that down. Beyond that, there are just 3 simple steps to remember.
Joining In - If you hear a group having an interesting discussion, or starting to engage in some fun, join them! There are no velvet ropes, closed groups or exclusive cliques here at YxYY. All are welcome into any discussion or activity.
Inviting - If you see someone who looks like they want to join, or know of someone who would like to be a part of what you're doing, invite them! If you have started an interesting conversation, or come up with a great idea that you think others would be into, post your location on the YxYY app to invite others to join you.
Wander - We have the Ace to ourselves and there are a hundred different bits of interestingness happening at any given time. If you find yourself bored, or wondering what people are doing, wander around! You're bound to find something to pique your interest. You can also check the YxYY app where folks are posting the locations of their impromptu fun!
WHAT ABOUT THIS 'UNSCHEDULING' I KEEP HEARING ABOUT?
The idea of unscheduling (defined as no pre-published schedules) was part of an experiment that occurred during our inaugural year.
Originally YxYY was supposed to only be about great conversation that spontaneously erupted from this excellent gathering of people. When we realized that folks had ideas around bringing films, talks, food, games, and other architectures of participation we were excited but realized it could become a highly organized (and traditional) event very quickly and move away from our original concept. So the middle ground was to invite people to create and share as much as they wanted, but with the caveat that they not pre-publish any schedules.
This makes space for a strong sense of spontaneity and a lack of stress about scheduling for the participants. Think: 'Ooh look at that cool thing happening over there!' Not: 'I have 10 things scheduled that I wanna try to make it to today' or 'I feel obligated to go to my friend's thing at 2pm so I need to leave you now'.
It is not without it's challenges, especially for those of us that spend a lot of time in a heavily-scheduled world, but the benefits of pushing through the discomfort are immense and are why people report feeling so changed by the YxYY experience. We had plenty of folks tell us when we started that without structure, people wouldn't know what to do with themselves. Nothing could have been further from the reality. Given space to play and create, people are playing and creating! And the space that opens up in people's brains when they don't spend too much time planning and perfecting, helps them tap into their own well of creativity and wisdom.
I HAVE AN IDEA! HOW DO I BRING IT TO YXYY?
Ooh, we like you already! You're more than welcome to keep it under your hat until the event, but we've found that it can be stimulating to toss it into the ring ahead of time to see what your idea brings out in others. This can be done by posting on the FB group or the Hackpad Wiki (which you gain access to after purchasing your ticket) and inviting others to participate in the planning or even just to brainstorm around your idea. If you aren't a member of the FB group and want to be, let us know at help [at] yxyy [dot] us!
But remember, don't announce the date & time before the event! You can post it to the YxYY Events section of the app a little while before it happens to allow people to gather. We have lovely unobtrusive LED marquees that scroll whatever is happening, viewable from each pool so you won't have to feel tied to your phone to know what's going on!