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
And when you're done with that submit
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:
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