• Langley United Methodist Church - Fellowship Hall (map)
  • 301 Anthes Avenue
  • Langley, WA, 98260
  • United States

August 12-14, 2016 marks the third annual celebration of Queer Pride on Whidbey Island, also known as QPOW! What started out as a parade in 2014 has grown into an entire weekend of free, celebratory events hosted in Langley.

The weekend continues on Saturday with the Queer Open Space Unconference, 11:00 – 2:00 pm at Langley United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Participants will experience an open format conference, where they can show up to talk about a specific topic or participate in organic conversations and stories.


Quick! What’s Open Space? It’s an attendee-created conference where all of the sessions are on the topics that the attendees feel are important that day. The facilitators give you the framework to help you be organized, a few guidelines, and an “open space” to meet. 

What are the rules? There are Five Principles and One Law. 
The Five Principles: 
Whoever comes is the right people. 
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have. 
Whenever it starts is the right time. 
Whenever it’s over, it’s over. 
Wherever it happens is the right place. 
The Law of Personal Mobility: If you find yourself where you can’t learn or contribute, move yourself to a place where you can. 

What does Open Space look like in more detail? After the introduction, we will invite those who want to propose a session to come forward and present it. It’s a simple process. You don’t need to prepare papers, slides, or flip-charts. You will simply step forward and briefly describe the session you propose. You’ll include just enough information to let people decide whether to attend…and no more. Generally, you need less than thirty seconds. After presenting a summary of your proposed session, you’ll select a time and place and post a notice on our Marketplace wall. As each person does the same…Voila! The agenda is born. As you listen, you may be inspired to present a session yourself. There are no deadlines or time limits: simply step up and describe your idea for a session. At the end of the presentation, you will browse the notices on the Marketplace for the sessions that interest you. You may attend any session you like and even move between sessions (according to The Law). 

What is the schedule? 
11:00 Doors open
11:30 Open the Space, Session proposals, Marketplace board creation, and Session shopping. 
12:10 - 12:55 Session 1
12:55 - 105 Break, Session updates, Session Shopping
1:05 - 1:50 Session 2
1:52 - 2:00 Close the Space

Who can create an Open Space session? Anyone attending may create a session. 

What topics are suitable for an Open Space session? Any topic! Ask a question, bring a current issue, offer to teach us something. 

Do I have to be an expert in the topic to host a session? No! Of course, if you intend to teach other people about something, we hope you actually know something about it. But you may choose to conduct your session as a discussion among peers or even organize a session around a topic that you know little about but would like to understand better. Be sure to explain how you intend to conduct the session when make your Session proposal. 

Can I add a session after the Opening? Yes, just speak to one of the hosts. We will have announcements of new sessions at the break between sessions. 

Will there be a record of sessions? Only what you create, record, and, as a group, decide to share. You will be able to send session notes, drawings, images, videos, etc. to our tech volunteer for sharing amongst the whole Open Space group and for future use. At the Open Space, instructions and assistance will be available so that you can enter session information while it is fresh. 

Are meals provided? We’ll have coffee and some snacks, but you are welcome to bring your own food since the conference will span the lunch hour. 

What equipment is provided for the sessions? All the spaces will have flip-chart tablets, markers, and some sticky notes. 

Can I help? Yes! After the conference is over, we will need help returning the space to rights, just ask a someone in a QPOW volunteer shirt where to pitch in.