Discussion is always a huge part of the NetHui experience—in fact, it’s what makes the event special. This isn’t a traditional conference where you’re just a passive attendee. That isn’t to say that we don’t have heaps of great content on the main stage as per every year, but it is to say that what makes a NetHui a NetHui is that you have the chance to join discussions and share your point of view too.
This blog post is about how we will be doing that a bit differently this year. Usually at an in-person NetHui, we have 3-4 smaller group discussions throughout the agenda—deliberately designed smaller rooms to explore topics in more depth together. We’ve had to try a different approach this time to take into account the online format.
Being online means that we are also freed from some of the limitations of physical space, which also then means that there will be NINE different streams of conversation you can join throughout the event! Rather than exploring different topics together, these rooms will be about exploring different perspectives on similar topics. They’ll also be hosted by some persistent facilitators that you’ll see throughout the event, meaning that we hope the conversations will continue across the two days and go deeper than ever before.
As an attendee, you’ll be able to duck in and out of these rooms and perspectives according to your changing interests. Maybe you’ll want to stay in one lane throughout and follow the conversation; maybe you’ll want to whisk around and try out a variety. Either way, its your NetHui and how you want to participate is up to you.
Here’s the options for the different discussion rooms:
- The Learning Corner, hosted by Anna Wu: The learning corner is about educational contexts, and what and how we bring NetHui thinking into these spaces and equally what the Internet can appreciate from our educationalists. If you’re keen on understanding how we work with schools and academia to bring out the best of the Internet for New Zealand, then this could be a great space for you.
- Social license, hosted by Anna Brown and Andrew Chen: Social licence is one of the big topics of our time. What responsibility, or obligations, do or should large tech and the Internet have to our communities? How is that social license honoured and enhanced, and what are the challenges in doing that? These are the sort of topics that are up for discussion in this space - as well as wherever you want to take it too.
- Disinformation, hosted by Mandy Henk and Ellen Strickland: Disinformation is false or misleading information deliberately spread to create confusion or deception - and it’s another big challenge that we are seeing right now in the context of elections both here and in around the world. How do we preserve the great things about being online - the permissionless ability to share information around the world, with the tricky bits of sharing deceptive information? Who decides and how are those decisions made? And how do we do so in a way that builds trust? Come and join this discussion room to chew on that!
- Platforms, hosted by Erica Pearson and Kim Connelly-Stone: The Internet has changed over the last 25 years. Far more of our online experience is influenced, hosted, tracked and conditioned by the large platforms that host and power our online lives. What does that means for us here in NZ - a little country at the bottom of the world that has had some big challenges with platforms, and little ability to write law to have an impact on them. So what can we do? Join this conversation to find out more.
- Inclusivity, hosted by Vivian Chandra and Lisa Conti: An inclusive online world is just as important as an inclusive offline world. We want a space at NetHui that is able to explore the opportunities, challenges and issues in having diversity at the heart of how we build our online communities. Come and join this space if you’d like to learn more and collaborate on how we can do that, together.
- Te ao Māori, hosted by Kaye Marie Dunn: Would you like to join a space dedicated to exploring perspectives from Te ao Māori, and how we work together to honour Te Tiriti online, how we include Māori perspectives in the online world, and how we work together with Māori to make online better for everyone? Then this is the space for you.
- Intergenerational, hosted by some fine people we are still confirming: Younger New Zealanders have different perspectives on things from older New Zealanders. We also see different challenges emerge from some of these perspectives. How can we bring the younger and the older together to work on these together? That’s the theme of this space, so if you’re keen to learn more about those perspectives and what it means to include all of us, then come along.
- Silver linings, hosted by Andrew Cushen: This space is all about awesomeness—what’s already awesome, and how we build more awesome in. It’s about potential, strong suits, risks we can take and opportunities we can explore to do things differently for a better Aotearoa and a better world. The Internet has already transformed so much of our lives for the better; what can we do to build off that and make things better still?
- Barcamp, hosted by Malcolm Nabbs: Finally, this thread is about whatever you want it to be. Standing on the shoulders of the fine history of barcamps at NetHui, this is a space that can go as deep or as broad as it likes, on whatever topics you want to bring to it. So if you’re keen on the mystery box experience, or have something burning inside that you just want to explore with others, this is the room for you.
Sounds cool, right? All you need then is a ticket to come along and join us.
We will see you next week at NetHui!