Conscience Un-Conference


December 5, 2009, Washington DC.
Applications due by October 13, 2009.

Can a tweet confront hatred? Can tagging photos prevent prejudice? Can a Facebook fan page promote human dignity? Can a mobile phone strengthen democracy?

The Conscience Un-Conference: Using Social Media for Good is a free, one-day “un-conference” co-hosted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media. It intends to bring together interesting and interested people to talk about the problems, practicalities, and opportunities of using social media to further the missions of “institutions of conscience”—those concerned with violence and atrocities, human rights, and related issues. 

The “un-conference” will be held on Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 8:30am to 5:30pm at the Museum in Washington, DC. Applications are due by Tuesday, October 13, 2009. Learn more and applyWhat is this?
The Conscience Un-Conference is a one-day “un-conference” co-hosted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. It will be held on Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 8:30am to 5:30pm at the Museum in Washington, DC.

 What’s the point?
Recently, museums and other educational institutions have embraced social media—media that encourages multi-way communication and the building of networks—to connect with their audiences. But, participating in social media raises a lot of questions that include concerns about balancing accessibility of collections with control; grappling with authoritative and personal voice; and measuring impact and outcomes. While these issues are of concern to many institutions, they need to be addressed with special tact by those who deal with sensitive subject matter and vulnerable populations, and who hold in trust the memories of victims of tyranny, human rights abuses, and genocide. This un-conference aims to hash out these concerns with people interested in these issues.

What is an “un-conference”?
That’s actually up to you. Popular definitions describe it as a conference that is more informal in tone and execution than your average conference. No suits, no reading papers, no bullet-pointed PowerPoints, and the schedule is driven by the participants. (See Wikipedia for an extended description.) In this case, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Center for History and New Media are providing the theme, location, and some food, while the participants will shape the sessions and agenda. Who should apply?
Anyone with energy and interest in how “institutions of conscience” use social media to serve missions of social good. We’re hoping for a diverse group of people with a range of experiences—that is, you don’t have to be an expert in museums, libraries, non-profits, or social media. Techie geeks, luddites and everyone in between are welcome to apply.

How do I apply?
Due to limited space, we ask that people who want to attend in person register for this blog to apply. Follow the prompts to let us know who you are, why you want to come, and what you might want to talk about – and please keep it short. The final day to submit applications is Tuesday, October 13, 2009.

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