Defra Data Function Unconference
Defra Data Function Unconference

Defra Data Function Unconference

Event Information

Share this event
Date and Time




United Kingdom

View Map

Friends Who Are Going
Event description


We have an incomplete picture of who we are. If you were standing in a room filled with colleagues from across the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) group, it is likely that there are many people you would not recognise. This has to change.

If you have anything to do with data (in its broadest sense) and you work in the Defra group, then you work in the Defra Data Function.

You are invited to the next Defra Data Function unconference on the 29 November 2016. At Innovation Birmingham Campus.

At an unconference the sessions will be created by the attendees at the beginning (session pitching). Anyone who wants to initiate a discussion on a topic can claim a time and a space. We expect discussions will cover a huge range of data-related subjects, from the technical to the strategic and everything in between. James Cattell has expained how this works in a video.

We will provide a session grid with links to collaborative documents to capture the discussions.


  • 0900 doors
  • 1000 intro
  • 1005 session pitching
  • 1030 session 1
  • 1130 session 2
  • 1230 lunchtime
  • 1330 session 3
  • 1430 session 4
  • 1530 session 5
  • 1630 wrap-up
  • 1700 close

We expect the event will help you to:

  • improve professional networks
  • find other people working on similar problems
  • learn about best practice in other organisations
  • find partners for collaborating on our big issues
  • develop new project proposals 

We will supply a venue for pre event gathering on the 28th – please check this page for updates.


How is an unconference different to a conference?


An unconferences focuses on discussion and collaboration. At the start of the day, everyone has the chance to pitch an idea to discuss. These pitches become the agenda for the day and it’ll be published online. You can pick whichever sessions interest you. You can swap sessions at any time – for example if you find that the one you’re in isn’t interesting, or if you think you can contribute more to another session.


How does a session work?


People who are interested in the session gather together when the time slot starts. The person who pitched the idea runs the session. The exact format can vary depending on what the subject is and who is running the session. Someone, often the pitcher, will take notes so these can be shared during/after the conference.


If there’s no agenda, how do I know it’ll be worth going?


An Unconference depends on the contributions of attendees. Attendees from a wide range of roles across the Defra group will be sharing thoughts about data. You’ll get the most out of the unconference if you participate and share your own experiences and opinions. Here are some things which may help you get the most out of the day:


  • Pitch a session about something related to your work
  • Extend your professional network by connecting with other attendees
  • Take part in discussions over Twitter #defradata
  • Find others who face the same data problems as you


What are the rules of an unconference?


  • Everyone’s voice is equal
  • Swap sessions if you think you can contribute more elsewhere
  • Chatham House rule applies unless agreed otherwise


But... I’m too technical/not technical enough/not experienced/too senior/not senior/not data-y enough to go


No, you’re not. If data (in its broadest sense)  is some part of your job then this unconference is for you. There will be a cross-section of people attending from all across the Defra group so people are likely to pitch sessions that will cover a wide range of interests.


What should I bring?


Bring your normal work ID badge, ideas for things to talk about and your mobile or laptop so you can connect with people and access documents online.


Share with friends
Date and Time




United Kingdom

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved