This event has been inspired by the Back to the Land UnConference that took place in Chennai in August 2013. Most of the photos on this site are from that event.
The second leg of that event is taking place on 12-13 July 2014. An idea was shared that parallel events can take place in other locations. So, some volunteers in Pune took it up and are doing it, a week later, on 19-20 July 2014.
Pics from Chennai's Back to the Land unConference, Aug 2013
What's an UnConference?
Also called Open Space, the sessions at an unConference aren't pre-planned, and there are no pre-determined "expert" speakers who'll lecture everyone. Everyone has something to share. The sessions are spontaneously organised by the people attending. Multiple sessions happen at a time and are completely optional.
Click here to read more and see a video.
Four Rules and a Law govern most unConferences:
Law of two feet:
Who can come for this event?
Anyone and everyone, kids and elders included!
The participants include people who are practicing sustainable farming, growing food in terrace / balcony gardens, working with NGOs in environment related sectors, people volunteering in these fields, students, and just simple citizens who are interested in these topics and want to know more.
The sessions need not be hosted by any experts; if you're interested in a topic, then you can simply host a discussion about it. Everyone has something to share.
Help us spread the word! Download and share this poster.
What will the sessions be on?
The sessions will be co-created in each morning gathering by the participants present, based on their interests. We're expecting to have sessions on topics like urban gardening, sustainable cities, off-the-grid living, permaculture/organic farming, composting, rainwater harvesting, sustainable governance, sustainable lifestyles, holistic education... it can really go wherever you as a participant wants to take it. What are you passionate about? Come and host a session on that!
There will be 3 session times in the day, and 3 or more parallel locations for the sessions. They will be put up on a common board like the one in the picture.
You're also encouraged to bunk sessions and spend the day interacting with newfound friends! Everything is optional.
[there's more! scroll down the page...]
What about my Kids?
Kids of all ages are most welcome! We have to take care to not litter the premises of course and parents hold the final responsibility, but we want them to have the place available for exploring, meeting and interacting with others.
Specially for our teenaged citizens, we want to encourage them to host sessions of their own and proactively seek more information about their topics of interest! We're also trying to organize a hands-on activity area for them. They'll meet new friends and have a wonderful time. And besides, this unconference will be a very relaxed, informal environment. No need to hush-hush the little ones. Attend the sessions with your child in your lap or scampering about; we will all love it!
Note: Inviting young volunteers. Help us arrange things, make charts, name tags, welcome and guide people, entertain the crowd with your music... dazzle us with your skills! We'll write you a letter of appreciation, and feature you on this website. Contact us!
Food & Accommodation?
You can of course bring your lunch from home (pls don't create too much plastic/paper waste, and try to carry it back with you.. ).
There are plenty of snack and meal options just outside and nearby the venue, ranging from roadside stall to restaurants.
We're currently exploring the possibility for having an organic meal catering service, optional for the participants (but you may have to book in advance. We'll email you once you've registered).
We're not providing any professional accommodation. But Homestays / couch-surfing for those coming from out of town can be arranged at organisers and volunteering participants' homes; if you let us know at least 10 days in advance.
If you would like to offer a homestay, please mention it in the registration form, or contact us.
What are the fees?
Zero! This is a zero-budget event, organized by a bunch of enthusiastic volunteers and sponsored by no one.
We invite you to contribute by helping out at the event, bringing in resources like charts, marker pens, drawing and painting tools, playing some music, etc.
There is a concept of "Gift Economy" at work here; by which people contribute what they can towards any costs incurred, there are no compulsory payments, so the event can be as inclusive as possible. Alternatives to monetary means are explored for getting things done.
The venue has been gracefully provided by the Environment department of Pune Municipal Corporation, for free.