Programme FAQs

Below, you’ll find some FAQs about the OKFestival programme. If you can’t find the information you need, please get in touch.

What is the timeline around session proposals for the OKFestival Programme?

  • February 20: call for session proposals launched
  • March 30: session proposals submission deadline
  • May : session proposers notified of whether proposal is accepted or declined
  • End of May: festival programme is announced
  • July 15: sessions facilitators meet on-site in the morning
  • July 15-17: OKFestival 2014!

How are sessions selected?

Sessions will be reviewed by the Programme Team members, who can ask Programme advisors of their choice for further feedback. Reviewers will consider the following criteria when evaluating session proposals:

  • Does the proposal advance the overall mission of the event

  • Does the proposal offer participants a concrete, valuable outcome?

  • Does the proposal advance the conversation around its area of open?

  • Is the proposal interactive? – hint: slides and lectures strongly discouraged

  • Does the proposal value or build on OKFestival's principles of inclusivity and diversity?

The OKFestival Programme Team will use these criteria to make informed decisions on the festival programme, subject to available space in the event schedule.

I want my session to run for 5 hours!

OKFestival is a big , crowded event and we’re aiming to welcome a very wide variety  of sessions; as many as time and space will allow us to accommodate. For this reason, please think about formats which are short and effective – anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes – to allow your fellow community members time for their sessions too. We’re all in this together! If, at the end of the session, participants want to keep working on what you’ve started, that’s great! There is plenty of alternative space to continue your session informally.

Can I still facilitate a session at OKFestival if my Call for Proposals submission is not accepted?

If your submission hasn’t been accepted through the call for proposals there are ways you can still facilitate a session (or organise an independent gathering on the spot). In addition to the scheduled programme, OKFestival includes time and space for short impromptu talks; a special section of the programme where you’ll have the opportunity to pitch your session in the morning for a slot later in the day, as well as plenty of time and space to team up or meet up around spontaneous projects and activities.

I’ve submitted a session proposal and it’s been accepted / I’ll organise a fair stand – will that entitle me to a complimentary ticket?

While we’d love to be able to give out free tickets to all of our amazing session convenors and fair stand organisers, doing so would actually prevent us from being able to run the festival at all! The aim of this festival is to empower our community  by giving you a platform to host sessions, but this means that many attendees will be running discussions, workshops and other types of sessions at the festival. Unfortunately, if we gave all these people free tickets, we wouldn’t be able to afford to run the festival because we wouldn’t be able to break even! However, we will be launching a financial aid programme for those of you who feel you just can’t afford the cost but have something really valuable to gain or give by attending. Keep an eye on our blog for  updates around the financial aid programme.

What's type of equipment do you suggest that I use to facilitate my session?

We suggest that you make the most of the time with the participants in your session by using simple equipment that  encourages interaction. Think paper, post-its, markers – and portable /mobile devices or hardware equipment, where required. Interactive is everything!

Will you provide a projector for each session?

We'll have some projectors at our disposal, but we strongly encourage you to think about formats that won’t  require them. Get your group working, discussing and making, keeping any presentation slides to a minimum if possible.

If you think you’ll benefit from having a projector in your suggested session, let us know in your proposal.

Will you live stream or video record sessions?

We aim to record and live stream plenary talks by a selected number of main speakers – but probably only those. Other sessions ( 90% of the programme) are unlikely to be recorded because we’re encouraging sessions which focus on participation and interaction, rather than just presenting. We don’t think that a video will represent these types of sessions very accurately or usefully to those watching online later. (You wouldn’t be able to see what's written on the post-its or follow all the group discussions, for example).

This said, if you want to make a video of your session anyway and know someone who is be happy to record it for you, we welcome your initiative! On-site reporting in all its forms, from tweets to video, audio and pictures is always welcome! Just remember to ask your participants if it's ok with them.

How will the work done during sessions be documented?

We'll provide an etherpad for each session (linked to the website). We’ll encourage all session facilitators to make the most of them, using them to share documents/ resources/ links before the event, to take notes of the work done during the session and to follow up with plans for the next steps afterwards.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of running a session in English. Can I speak in my mother tongue?

We welcome anyone who doesn't feel comfortable with running a session in English to contact us to discuss your situation. We will strive to create constructive spaces for all participants.

Why are you using a Google Form? It’s not open source!

We know! We have been working on finding a suitable open source alternative. But the fact is that right now, Google Forms are the easiest available tool for large collaborations (like our call for proposals!) and this makes it more effective for you and for us than the open source options we tested. But we aren’t giving up! If you know of powerful open source tools to manage data collections via forms, please get in touch and tell us about them. We’ll follow up!

How do I propose a fringe event for OKFestival?

To further extend the festival spirit and to make the most of this unique global gathering, why not organise a fringe event around OKFestival? OKFestival won't be able to cover the costs of fringe events or do any of the organising, but we can promote your event on the website and put you in touch with like-minded folks who might want to help you put together your event. Come up with your idea, book your space in Berlin and then let us know about your event – we’ll happily discuss your ideas with you and provide some organising tips.