NetHui 2020—online, different and awesome
Andrew Cushen Engagement Director •
This year’s NetHui will be a bit different from the usual experience. That’s because we will be doing it online, and that’ll mean some changes to how we do things this year.
At InternetNZ, we’ve been thinking about what makes a NetHui special, and how we can transition it to this different format.
Here’s what we think:
- Hearing thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring content on the main stage from a wide range of perspectives.
- Discussing those perspectives and adding your own point of view in the breakout spaces.
- Networking with the rest of the audience, exploring those ideas further and figuring out ways to make things happen.
We reckon that we can do a great job of #1 and #2 on this list with our shift to an online format—though again, we will do things a bit differently—#3 is a bit harder. I’ll come back to that one later.
Here’s what you can expect from NetHui 2020 and how we reckon being online will make it different, but still an awesome NetHui experience. You can grab your ticket before reading any further.
Hearing thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring content
Thank you to the dozens of people that submitted content ideas for this year’s NetHui! We had some really tricky choices to make to do all these themes and ideas justice, and to group them together in a logical, flowing programme.
We won’t be doing one hour keynotes this year; while they’re great and we’ve had a privilege to get some fascinating, talented speakers on stage, we just think it’s too much to sit through. What I want to share more about here is what you can expect from the main stage at our online NetHui.
We want to keep things flowing—it can be hard sitting in front of a screen for a long period of time—and to manage any risk of fatigue by keeping things short, sharp and tight. You can expect to see a lot of panel discussions, with little pre-recorded videos interspersing those, and lightning talks. You can expect that we will dive into as many shorter perspectives as possible, and keep the conversation flowing and present as many points of view as we can.
It’ll be fast, dynamic and interesting. You’ll see more of what I mean when we present the programme!
Space to discuss perspectives and share your point of view
We will try something different with the breakout spaces this year too. We won’t be having three separate tracks on different topics, like we usually do at an in-person NetHui. Instead, you’ll be invited to join one of 10+ different, curated spaces that will go deeper on the issues presented on the main stage from different community perspectives.
You’ll be able to join whichever perspective you think is most interesting to you. Maybe you’ll want to hear about the views of younger New Zealanders following one session, or explore things from a te ao Māori perspective at the next, or look at things from a technical point of view after that. Maybe you’d like to move about between those groups, sampling different slices on the same core content.
The choice is yours, and we want to provide as much space as we can to look at things and give everyone a chance to contribute. Across each of the spaces, you can expect there to be an ongoing kaitiaki, or guardian, of the perspective that is in those rooms. That person or people will be there to hold the space in that intent, and to keep the conversation going in a way that allows everyone a chance to participate (and that respects our Code of Conduct too).
You have full control of how to shape your Nethui 2020 experience. All we ask of you is three things:
- Share your ideas and perspectives too! We are breaking into so many different rooms to make it workable and possible for everyone to participate online.
- Respect the purpose of the room. You’re most welcome to join any of the conversations, but please respect that the spaces are designed to honour the purpose it was created for. Don’t be the person that turns up to a room focused on a perspective and tries to force it into something else. Go find a space that’s right for you—there’ll be plenty to choose from.
- Remember the Code of Conduct. Moving online doesn’t mean we don’t do things the NetHui way. Keep it safe for everyone and give everyone a chance to participate and explore together.
This way we will have plenty of room to honour this part of the NetHui experience and still have some great conversations.
About that networking side of things
There’s no denying that having NetHui online doesn’t make things harder to have those fascinating side chats, meet new faces, and make things happen. We have some ideas we are still working on for how we might be able to bottle some of that magic.
What we will have instead is a far more regionally diverse audience. An online NetHui sets us free of the tyranny of distance in having to get everyone in the same physical space. We want to see voices all the way from the Deep South to the Far North—even overseas if they’re keen to see how we Kiwis do a great NetHui.
What you can do is spread the word and invite your friends, allies and interesting sorts to come and join us. That will make this the best it can be.
Online and different, but still awesome
There’re our plans for this year. There’s no denying that NetHui will be different being online—but different doesn’t mean it can’t be special, and doesn’t mean that we can’t capture what makes NetHui great and loved.
Sure, there will be no more hallway chats, great convos over lunch and coffee, and that in person experience that only a conference hall can give.
Instead there will be a sharp, focused and dynamic programme designed to keep you engaged. Instead there will be space for you to come together and explore issues from heaps of different perspectives, and instead there will be people from different parts of NZ and the world coming to join you.
What can you do to help make it special? Come along! Tell your friends and coworkers to come along!