Advance Praise

In India, Kiruba is one of the pioneering practitioners of all things “open”. If you think a Foocamp is about food or an unconference is a typo, or even if you’ve been to an occasional barcamp, this book will introduce you to lots of possibilities that exist out there.
Amit Somani
Chief Products Officer,
MakeMyTrip.com


Whether you are simply curious about unconference or you are planning to participate in (or even organize) an Unconference, you will find a wealth of information in this gem of a book!
Rajesh Setty
Entrepreneur, Author and Speaker.


Kiruba being a practitioner of unconference, his masterful work brings clarity and understanding of unconference. It is a superb guide to unconference. I highly recommend it.
Kesava Reddy.
Co-Founder NUMO Solutions.


A quick insight into what tools and what forms are available to hold unconference, the informal meetings that stay focused on airing and sharing of ideas and thoughts.   Kiruba’s insta-guide can help you access the wisdom of “your” crowd in an hour after you picked up this book
T R Santhanakrishnan
Chairman & CEO, TaurusQuest


Mr. Shankar´s work helps solving an important issue: audiences often know as much (or more) than the speakers in a conference. So, how to create an environment where the knowledge present in a group can be truly shared? His more than two dozen “unconference” are a good answer to that question, making you think about the evolution of group discussions, and how the traditional conference model is in need to evolve to a more read/write format.
Ronaldo Lemos
Director, Creative Commons, Brazil
Director, Center for Technology and Society.


In a business world, where meetings are getting irrelevant, conferences a bore and conventions leave us wanting  for more, the ‘Unconference’ came as a breath of fresh air.   I was fortunate to attend the first of the few Un-conference organised by Kiruba.  It was like attending college for a day, where only my favorite teachers were presenting with my very best of friends there in class with me.  Wait a go, Kiruba for trail-blazing this format and codifying it in this book so that it becomes more main-stream.
Arif Vakil
Managing Director
Vakil Housing Development Corporation Pvt. Ltd


“Different forms of unconference are spreading at a phenomenal rate because they can be tremendously effective in eliciting quality results and learning from modern communities. Like many new innovations however,
unconference are often misunderstood and so not fully utilized. This book provides a much needed guide for navigating around these exciting new methodologies.”
Jason Hall
Media Studio, United Nations University, Tokyo


I attend dozens of conferences every year and I’m bored of the traditional lecture with PowerPoint. At any industry event, the audience will have more collected knowledge than a single speaker. It makes sense to use that knowledge through the techniques Kiruba describes in this book. Read, learn and enjoy!
Mark Kobayashi-Hillary
Computer Weekly blogger and author of ‘Who Moved my Job?’ www.markhillary.com


Kiruba takes us on a fascinating tour of unconventional yet effective methods for achieving the most from collaborative group sessions. I gained a valuable new perspective by reading unconference and will use a number of the techniques Kiruba describes in sessions with clients, partners and internal staff.
Jeff Zweig
Chief Guru,
Web Guru Asia Digital Marketing Specialists


This is a very detailed attempt at what an (Un)Conference format is all about. The writer has obviously attended many such, and has done a brilliant job in capturing the entire gamut. Kudos to Kiruba Shanker for giving it a structured approach, of a topic which in itself is unstructured in nature. His observation has been rather incisive and this book will appeal to the beginner and the more experienced practitioners alike. A must-have for event managers.
Avinash Raghava
Regional Director – North, NASSCOM


Kiruba Shankar is an excellent communicator! I realized it four years ago when I had the opportunity to participate in an Unconference, organized by Kiruba and his friends, in Chennai. By this thoroughly researched, lucid and well-crafted book, he proves once again his competence at print media as well. This book, which acquaints the reader with a wide-range of technologies (like Dotmocracy, innovation game, speed geeking, UnPanel etc) for organizing informal conferences, is a must read for all those who intend to conduct one or wish to know more about it.
J.Murali ,
Technology Columnist, Hindu.com


Everyone has known for years that the standard format of typical conferences and meetings leaves much to be desired. Happily, recent years have seen an explosion of new formats that better match the times. Dive in to unconference to get a rich sense of where things are going!
Todd Porter
Founder, Citizen Labs, Tokyo
Curator, TEDxTokyo.


This book is a neat compilation various ‘new’ ways in which meetings are conducted and business is done. I have been part of one the early ‘unconference’ Kiruba organized and found it interesting. By design that meeting was ‘unstructured’ but over achieved its set goals. I have known Kiruba for over 5 years now and know he has conducted several ‘unconference’.. so this book based on his ‘real’ experience… there is something for everyone to learn from this book.
Ram Viswanathan
CoFounder, Deepam NGO
CoFounder, Chennai Runners Club


It’s like hitting the refresh button for conferences, big time. It has to be done. It has to be read. Bye bye boring, unproductive meetings.
David Feng,
Blogger, TechBlog86


I have also had the opportunity to work with Kiruba professionally on multiple occasions. He is a very good trainer who sets the floor on fire and ensures that everyone in the room are on the edge of their seats brimming with energy even it it’s the graveyard session.
Anu Thampi
Project Manager, International Climate Champions (India and Srilanka)
British Council


I have known Kiruba for some time now and hear him speak at Conferences. He keeps the audience spell bounded with his simple delivery but has in-depth knowledge on the subject and able to articulate the same very crisply. Kiruba is a charmer and a good thinker. The book *unconference* is really a reflection of his intelligent mind and complex issues simplified.
Bal Tarakad
CEO & Director, Energy Save Technologies


I have attended many conferences but i still remember my first unconference experience with Kiruba. Highly physical, proactive and even you get to be heard. The very idea of bringing together a heterogenous mix of people from different domains into one big gathering where there will only be discussion initiators was something that we at The Knowledge Foundation have been doing quite effectively since 2006. Our unconference has been a learning journey to understand that the wisdom of the crowd is not just the sum total of individual knowledge but something beyond. And Kiruba’s contribution to capture the essence of the amazing dynamics of unconference in this book is a commendable effort to share it with all . A must read for those who want to try this format.
Syed Nazir Razik
Managing Partner, Fuente Systems
CoFounder, The Knowledge Foundation.


Kiruba does a superb job of distilling essence of ‘Unconference’ philosophy, and provides practical insights for practioners.

It’s essential read for stakeholders responsible for leading next-generation organizations by fostering a culture of openness based on  creativity and agility.
Rajmohan Krishnamurthy
Chief Architect, JackBe Inc, California.


Unconferencing allows its participants to candidly narrate their life experiences for the benefit of listeners and discussants. Kiruba Shankar has been dedicatedly pursuing this idea and his learnings from the get-togethers are the essence of this book.

By reflecting in it the best of the experiences during unconference, he provides a wider audience an opportunity to learn from the offerings at such retreats.
S.Muthiah
Renowned Author, Historian & Journalist


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