Friday, January 30, 2015

Reinventing Education: a "What If...?360" Event in Asheville, NC, Feb. 27 - March 1

I'm very excited to produce a second year of this event, this time collaborating with Matt Murrie's "What If...?360" format for the main day. I hope you'll consider joining us. If you've not been to Asheville, it's an amazing city with incredible people and a terrific food culture.

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."  -Alan Kay

Join us for this two-day opportunity to connect and collaborate with colleagues from the school, library, museum, and home learning worlds--and anyone interested in reinventing how we think about and facilitate learning. To sign up, go to

This event combines the unconference format of Steve Hargadon's Learning Revolution events with Matt Murrie's better-than-TED "What If...?360" format of short talks and action collaboration. We hope you will join us for an engaging, dialog-filled, highly-participatory retreat with lots of opportunities for deep-dive conversations.

For those who arrive early or on Friday, we'll facilitate your connecting to others for early dinner plans, and then hold an informal evening screening from the Alt Ed Film Festival, followed by conversation.

Saturday morning will start with a series of short talks in the "What If...?" format , followed by breaking into groups that collaborate to design action steps based on the questions asked and the discussions. The afternoon follows a traditional unconference format with 45-minute conversations on topics participants have come interested in talking about, held in multiple tracks.  Dinner groups are formed by self-sign-ups to continue conversation or explore Asheville's dynamic food culture.

Sunday morning deep-dive topics are also participant proposed, with attendance at any topic by self-selection and held at locations of your choice (hotel lobby, coffee house, cool vegan brunch place, etc). These conversations will allow for further exploration with those holding similar interests.  Afternoon hikes, activities, or exploring can be coordinated through the group online bulletin board.

FRIDAY (Feb 27th)
6:00pm Dinner Groups
8:00pm Film screening and conversation

SATURDAY (Feb 28th)
8:00am Check-in, "All About Me" poster Building, and posting of unconference topics.
9:00am "What If...?" Round 1 - three eight-minute talks followed by action brainstorming in topic areas of choice.
10:15am "What If...?" Round 2 - another three eight-minute talks, followed by action brainstorming.
11:45am "What If...?" Round 3 - final set of three eight-minute talks, final action brainstorming.
1:00pm Included lunch, individual conversations, and finalization of unconference conversations schedule.
2:30pm Unconference conversation set 1
3:15pm Unconference conversation set 2
4:00pm Unconference conversation set 3
4:45pm Unconference conversation set 4
5:30pm Break
7:00pm Dinner groups convene

SUNDAY (March 1)
9:00am "Deep Dive" conversations
Afternoon - self-selected activities

The conference fee is $199, with an early registration discount at $149 before 2/15/2015.  Email if you would like to apply for a scholarship.

To register, go to

If you would like to be considered to present a "What If...?" talk, email and we'll send you a speaker application. Registration fees are waived for speakers.

The conference will be held in Asheville, NC. Asheville is accessible directly through the local airport (AVL), an hour+ from the Greenville-Spartanburg airport (GSP), and two hours from the Charlotte Douglas airport (CLT).

Saturday's events will be at Alumni Hall on the UNCA campus in the Highsmith Union building.  Parking is free.  Friday and Sunday event venues will be announced before the conference, and will be in the downtown Asheville area.

Asheville is a tourist town and an amazing place to visit--the Biltmore is here, and the scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains is wonderful. There is lots of terrific food and shopping. Lunch on Saturday is included in the cost and will be on the UNCA campus, and vegetarian/vegan options are not only available there but quite good. Other meals are on your own.  Hotel prices downtown match the tourist nature of the city, but you can also find deals nearby for any budget. You can start your search at

RESOURCE LINKS (coming soon)

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