A month has passed since the First Annual COPUS Invitational Unconference took place. I am honestly still buzzing from the excitement of the adventure. Most of the evaluations are in now, so I thought it would be helpful to share the results and take a quick look at whether we were successful in meeting our goals for the event.
We set out to:
1 - Strengthen and expand the COPUS network by creating new connections among attendees during and after the meeting.
2 - Create an architecture of engagement for future science convenings that cross domains of science outreach (informal, formal, academic, and corporate) that do not normally interact, but need to.
3 - Provide direction for future activities of the COPUS community by evaluating what is currently being done, identifying new needs, and building upon ongoing successes.
4 - Provide a new forum and recognition for those conducting public outreach.
We also wanted to bring people together who often operate in isolated pockets to create a space where they could build on one another's knowledge, support one another, and encourage them in their efforts.
You can read the results of the evaluation at a glance.
We definitely expanded the network, moving from the COPUS Core to the COPUS Corps. The Unconference format was a refreshing change from the usual and helped to facilitate creative conversations. It also provided a forum for new "friends" to meet, recognize one another, and leave replenished and refreshed. As one attendee put it "it was like fitness camp ...and a relaxed spa....for my brain."
To top it all off, we were able to salute the 2012 Paul Shin Memorial Award recipient - Bill Gomez. Paul would have been so proud to be honored among such a warm, fun group of kindred spirits.
So, for me, overwhelmingly, the event was a success... and it even had a little dash of magic (snow in the Southern Arizona desert in March sound magical enough?). Where are we meeting next year, everyone??