abstracted from SAMPADA issue-151

Before I go on to share my experience at UVCE Unconference, I want to try and explain what an un-conference is. Simply put, it’s everything a conference is not, which means no preparation, no slide deck, no hard rules on the topics to speak. It is a platform where anyone can volunteer and speak on a topic, share their views, and even initiate a discussion with the audience. And this isn’t a new phenomenon and has prevailed for some time now where colleges and universities organise this on a larger scale, even as a one- or two-day workshop. This was the first time something like this happened at UVCE and the response it received was quite gratifying. We had students and alumni register to speak choosing between topics such as Health and Technology and Bangalore history – Art and Culture.

On the day of the event, students and alumni slowly started gathering in the quadrangle, interacting with each other over some tea and biscuits. There was some jittery energy you could sense because we didn’t know what to expect from this event. What session to choose from or what to expect from the speakers and mostly how to behave at an un-conference were some of our thoughts. But soon we started to settle in and in a huge way the speakers helped ease the tension and break into these topics seamlessly.

On one side, we had speakers talking on neural networks, their scope in the present world and entrepreneurs who spoke on how technology played an essential role in the health sector. It was really inspiring to listen to how we as engineers can touch so many lives across various domains. On the other side, we had speakers talk about the hungriest topic there is and share some wonderful stories on the eateries in Bangalore. The conversation got the entire crowd engrossed in sharing their eatery experiences and nostalgic memories at UVCE. And the best part was that we got to choose and shuffle between the speakers and get the best of both the topics discussed.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the event look effortless. UVCE Unconference, the Monsoon edition was indeed a good start and I hope that we unravel more topics and share more stories at UVCE in the days to come. Each one of us has a story to share and how we need to just find the right stage to inspire matters most and I am very grateful to all the speakers who not only chose to share their stories but also treat us with their memories and conversations.

– Meghashree G, 2016 Batch