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 UPA Conference 2005

Idea Markets

"" Submission Information
All submissions must include a description of the idea market topic. Please use the UPA-provided template. In addition, you will complete forms online with additional information when you submit your idea market. Please use the UPA-provided checklist!

And when you're done with that submit it online!

"" Benefits
As an idea market “activator” you will facilitate and lead in-depth discussions with your peers about a Big Question you have. You do not need to be an expert on the topic on which you will lead a discussion. You don’t present anything except a short description of your Big Question and up to five “starter questions” to spur and direct the discussion.

On one flipchart, the activator posts the questions or issues to explore about the topic and on another flipchart, the activator records the ideas that come up during the discussion. As sheets fill up, the activator tapes them to the wall behind the station so attendees can see the points covered.

During the session, activators are in some ways managing a focus group in which the attendees and the group size may be constantly changing. Activators are not necessarily the experts on their topics – in fact, they don’t offer their opinions or experience during the session. Rather, activators ask questions and manage the discussion, focusing participants on the issues and eliciting responses.

The Idea Market takes place during one of the Presentation sessions. Activators summarize and “present the high points of the discussion at the end of the Idea Market session for all attendees. Activators are also required to prepare a written ”after-thoughts” summary of the discussion for posting on the UPA website. The “after thoughts” may be up to 5 pages long and are due no later than 2 weeks following the conference.

"" Idea Market example submissions

Thank you to Lori Anschuetz, David Dayton, and Deborah Sova for permission to use these examples.

""Idea Market co-chair contact information

"" Idea Markets Details

Ulf Andersson, the originator of idea markets (and member of UPA), created the session format after attending a conference during which he realized that the most interesting and useful discussions happened between sessions. Ulf, a co-founder of INTECOM (the International Society of Technical Communication Societies), developed Idea Markets for INTECOM’s first international conference.

Ulf wanted “a way to arrange a conference consisting of an entire, long break,” a format in which attendees could easily find the people they were most interested in talking with about the topics they were most interested in discussing. Ulf’s solution, idea markets, creates a temporary environment in which people from different backgrounds not only learn from the experience of others but also generate new ideas.

Idea market topics set up opportunities for discussion about burning questions – either practical or philosophical – that you have about:

""Methodologies and tools
""Process
""Findings
""Theories or hypotheses you have

Sessions are 90 minutes of discussion and interaction, of which you should use 15-20 minutes at the end to summarize your “after thoughts” about the discussion and present the high points of your discussion for the rest of the attendees.

"" Idea Markets activities if accepted

  • If you are accepted, you will be asked to confirm your participation
  • Once you confirm, you are expected to participate as an activator, or arrange for an equivalent substitute activator
  • Provide a 2-4 written description of your idea market topic for the Conference Proceedings
"" ""