Oxford Girl Geek Dinners 3
..was a very nice evening, thank you to everyone who made it so!. I have learned that building community is a long term process and we need to take small steps but we do need to keep moving. I have been dragging organising of this particular event for quite a while now and I am happy that we have finally met! I have asked everyone for the feedback, so I should probably start. What worked?
1. We had a lot of new people – which is great! One of the core ideas behind the GGD events is promoting the notion of women in tech and trust me: we had amazing guests this week!
2. We had quite a few gentlemen – I personally like the idea of mixed group and the fact that it is not an event exclusively for women. We promote openness, so we should remain open!
3. Networking and presentation – I like the balance of the two. I hope we can build on that in the future.
What needs more work:
1. Communication – keeping in touch with everyone interested. Let’s hope that the mailing list helps!
2. More presentations – at the moment I am working a little bit in the dark, I would prefer to know what topics others are interested in and see other ladies presenting too – glad to see Kate and Wendy involved and others proposing new ideas.
3. Dinner itself – we need more food. Pizza at least!
So now over to you – what would you like to see at an event like this one? Let me know!
My thoughts on Oxford geekgirl I think it would be good to decide a definitive goal of this particular geekgirl group. My thoughts on that are – Knowledge sharing and up skilling – Inspiration and thought leadership – Networking and making friends with likeminded people Format ideas I think we should look at the format of the evening and decide an approach that makes it a bit different. These are my ideas for that – but it would be good to hear other people's perspectives. At various times I have experienced all of these formats in action and they can all work well. 1) Offer a limited number of places for each event and create a round table style group discussion to tackle important issues We could consider keeping the numbers for each night limited in order that the evening becomes much more about group discussion and tackling issues rather than a series of presentations. This could give it a very different feel to the other Oxford Geek night in Jericho Tavern. One ‘issue’ could be discussed each time and the sessions used to generate ideas for consideration beyond the group online – to propel debates happening elsewhere. I was thinking issues like: why women don’t take on science / engineering type careers, encouraging children and schools to develop better tech curriculum, privacy, data protection, freedom of information online etc. I like the fact that the people who came last time came from a wide range of disciplines – IT, Chemistry, Engineering etc. This in itself brings different perspectives to the table which can create interesting output. We could then possibly actually have sit down dinner each time – although not if that restricts younger or lower income people from attending – maybe this food aspect could be a target for the sponsorship and in return the sponsor can use the outcomes of the session within their own communications (not exclusively) 2) Knowledge sharing and inspiration focusedMaybe consider two presentations each evening – but always from two very different perspectives. One that is focused on a topic that will help generally up skill the capabilities of the people who attend and perhaps another one that is more inspirational. It would be good to do just get everyone who attends to do ‘a typical day in the life of’ style 5 minutes. 3) Workshop format Similar to the first format but more flexible for larger / smaller groups. A selected issue is tackled in smaller groups, maybe from different perspectives and then there is a feedback session to close. This would encourage lots of discussion and debate – but would require people to facilitate each discussion group. It is also a good way of encouraging people to actively participate and get involved. Other considerations – How it fits with Geek night – I for one will want to keep going to both- Is it a goal to go for growth in numbers or create a long term sustainable group – How regular – maybe once a quarter is a more achievable until fully established