Workshop organization

Before the workshop participants will be asked to prepare a position paper (min. 1 page) describing their experiences with remote conferences or/and their expectations. In order to facilitate this process workshop organizers will provide template containing a set of possible topics to consider when preparing such a paper, in the form of a set of open questions or mental exercises. The goal of this part will be for each of the participants to evaluate their experiences and realize their attitudes towards particular elements of the remote conference experience. 

Such an input from participants will ensure the effectiveness of the following main part of the workshop, that is the design session of the ‘remote conference’ understood as an innovative product, according to the five steps of typical Design Thinking methodology.

  1. Empathy
  2. Problem definition
  3. Generation of ideas
  4. Creation of a prototype
  5. Testing

During the design process participants will also focus on the valuable characteristics not directly connected to the scientific course of the face-to-face conferences, like social contact, open discussion, creation of trust, etc. that are markedly more difficult to ensure during the remote conference. Especially those issues that make attending–and presenting to–a remote conference different to publishing a paper in a journal or presenting in a traditional way. During the workshop new ways of dealing with such areas of the conference will be proposed. 

The last part of the workshop will consist of discussing the application of the technical solutions to the innovative ‘remote conference’ created in the Design Thinking session. We believe that this part will be very important in order to ground the ideas created during the design session in the available technical solutions, which will increase the chances that the ideas created during the workshop will be implemented in real life scenarios. During this part participants will get a broad overview of available free and paid software tools that can be used for video transmission, video and audio editing, streaming, chatting etc., learn what are the most critical elements of a remote conference and what measures should be taken to prepare for worst-case scenarios. We hope that in this part we’ll also be able to draw on the experiences of participants, but as the organizers of the workshop have the experience of conducting an effective remote conference (8th Machine Intelligence Digital Interaction 2020) this will also be an opportunity to share the best technical practices that we’ve tested during the conference.

Detailed schedule

9:00Introduction and explanation of the aim of the workshop.15 min
 Work plan – discussing the different stages of the process and different activities and techniques to be used (brainstorming, empathising, prototyping).45 min
 Division participants into groups. We assume the division into 4 groups of 4-5 participants each. This number of groups will enable facilitators to help if needed. It will also allow for control and facilitation by the facilitators in the online variant.15 min
10:15 – 10:30Coffee break 
 Empathy – on the basis of the material collected from the participants, Empathy Maps and Personas (a short description of a fictional person and their needs – quotes from the collected material will be used here) will be created. Thanks to the described personas, participants will be able to empathise with their needs and design solutions tailored to those needs.45 min
 Problem definition – after reading the description of the persona and its Empathy Map, each group reflects on what main problems/needs have emerged. Then participants formulate the main problem/issue regarding this persona. Solutions designed in further steps will be tailored for this specific need. Writing down an exact challenge/problem gives the group a sense of responsibility for solving this issue.30 min
 Generation of ideas – the next step is about generating ideas for concrete solutions. The brainstorming methodology is applied here. This stage participants do not care about the reality of the solutions, but about generating a large number of them. Thanks to this, when  the obvious solutions are written down, it is possible to use natural  creativity and generate ideas that are not obvious. During the group work participants are not allowed to criticize solutions, nor to discuss them. Then, from the large pool of all generated ideas (usually several dozens), the group chooses 2-3 to work on in further stages.45 min
12:30 -13:30Lunch break 
 1st round of prototyping 15 min
 Feedback from other groups (60 min) 60 min
14:45 – 15:00Coffee break 
 2nd round of prototyping20 min
 Feedback from other groups 60 min
 Final presentation of one solution 40 min