2nd Think New Orleans Unconference: New Orleans Redevelopment Authority

This is a second in a series of unconferences produced by Think New Orleans. The topic is the future of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority.

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority is facing political and procedural challenges. There are many organizations working to address these challenges. The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority Unconference will create an environment where these organizations can collaborate. They can share their experiences with and concerns about the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and its mission.

We are hosting a participant driven conference which will strengthen relationships between grassroots organizations and will further the successful collaborations between grassroots organizations and government.

Think New Orleans is partnering with Mid-City Neighborhood Organization, Downtown Neighborhood Improvement Association, Trinity Christian Community, CityWorks, Common Knowledge, Citizens’ Road Home, Phoenix New Orleans and CBNO/MAC to produce an unconference format forum to discuss the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. The Trinity Christian Community has pledged financial support to produce the unconference.

The issues that surround the vast inventory of blighted, adjudicated and Road Home properties are of great concern to many of us involved in the recovery. We are in the midst of a critical public input phase of the future of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. We should get together and talk.

The Unconference Format

The unconference format is a real format that comes out of Silicon Valley, where technical people got tired of going to conferences to sit in audiences and get lectured by marketing types. Why are you telling me about the future of the industry when I’m the one who’s implementing it? Thus, they set out to create a format with more human interaction, less sitting still eyes forward. (And no, it’s not computerized or technical at all.)

The unconference is a structured format, but it allows the participants to set the agenda, not the conference organizers.

So often, we attend public hearings to try and inject our message or ask our questions in those three minutes before the microphone cuts off. As is always the case, the real information is exchanged in hallways before and after. We’re adapting the unconference format to create participant driven civic participation.

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