To set the stage for this year’s work, we’re holding a grand meeting of all collaborators and partners and students using an unconference format. But of course we’re still in lockdown, so we’re going to use the  service which allows for a kind of spatialized meeting to take place. We used it to great effect for HeritageJam last month – drag your avatar close to another avatar, and a local video chat window opens up. As the organizer, you can also broadcast to the entire room when necessary. Folks are welcome to wander between groups as their interests take them, so long as they feel they are in the place where they can best make a contribution. We have areas in the room dedicated to some of the big-ticket ideas we know we want to discuss – we determined these using the All Our Ideas service. Normally, in an unconference, ideas are suggested on the day, typically with post-it notes, and from that the organizer determines a schedule for ideas to talk about. With AllOurIdeas ideas are gathered together, and then presented in pairs; a participant selects the one idea in each pair that most interests them. They continue looking at paired ideas this way until they’ve had enough. Since all possible pairs eventually get shown to everyone, the sum of the preferences eventually floats the most compelling ideas to the top. I used the top five ideas to demarcate spaces within the Wonder.Me room.

We’re keeping notes with google docs, and from these notes we will generate the nucleus for an eventual whitepaper on what CHI might mean in our current context – workshopping the ideas from today’s discussions into a paper will be the task of the next workshop.

Using Wonder.Me to kick off HeritageJam in April