Winter Unconference 2022

█▓▒▒░░░ Intro

The last time we gathered the Thingscon community, June 9/10 of this year, the compact and intense energy a smaller crowd brings turned out to be really powerful. To deliberately target those qualitative interactions, we decided to bring a focussed community together in an ‘unconference’ style event on December 9th in Rotterdam.

In practice, this means we have only set out a rough structure of how the day will progress. This leaves space for the community to prepare topics / short talks / ad-hoc sessions either by editing this document leading up to the event or on the day itself. Brace for semi-structured chaos, but let’s all keep trusting the process!

Check our aftermovie to get an impression of the event!

█▓▒▒░░░ Starting themes/topics

To kick discussions and sessions off, some leading lights need to be set out. These can be added on to, nuances made, or edited as we please along the way.

┣╺Topic 1: Real Real // Virtual Real

Some months ago, the talk of the town was about metaverses and moving between the ‘real’ and ‘virtual’. After we’ve all gone through a couple of years in which virtual seemed to be more prominent, we’re now starting to re-value the physical. What does this mean in relation to the products and services we use (or would like to use)?

┣╺Topic 2: Protocol Economy

“When it’s not on-chain, it didn’t happen” – after a lot of speculation on Web3, its pitfalls, and opportunities, it feels like we keep scratching the surface. What could be our communal stance regarding the idea of moving towards a protocol economy? Does everything need to become a transaction? Or should we be consciously rolling back to a less digitally connected world?

┣╺Topic 3: Fluid state of IoT

A topic that will never grow old. We find ourselves to keep using the term IoT to refer to internet-connected products. At the same time, this idea has become so standard … why even bother referring to IoT at all? Or do we need to be more aware than ever that something is digitally connected?

┣╺Topic 4: Agency and AI

AI systems seem to be popping up all over the place. What relation should we build with these systems? Several examples show that AI-supported design can work very well, but don’t we risk losing agency as creatives or as people in general? Time to put some heads together and learn about each other’s first-hand experiences.

┣╺Topic n: Your topic here

<description to be added>

█▓▒▒░░░ Schedule

We set out several timeslots and invite you to pre-fill them. If you have something you want to share on stage or beyond – add it here!

Practically speaking, we’ll have an auditorium for presentations as well as an open space for discussions / workshop-style stuff. In the open space, multiple things can happen at the same time.

Heads up! Basic stuff such as markers, paper and post-its will be provided for and made available in the open spaces. All other material or practicalities related to a session or activity you have will need to be self-supporting or provided for by yourself.

13:00 – lunch and meet
14:00 – welcome, talk (and demos) by Olivier Mével*
14:45 – grouping & organizing
15:00 – self-organized sessions part 1
16:30 – break with connected light objects from HHS
17:00 – self-organized sessions part 2
18:30 – sharing, wrap-up
19:30 – drinks and bites
(For the World Cup fans: we will stop on time to see that certain match)

█▓▒▒░░░  Questions & suggestions

We realize this is not ‘your average conference format’, and you may have questions about it. Also, you might have some ideas of your own that you’d like to add or propose.

Ideally, you can use the collaborative writing pad (we send the link after registering) and add stuff you think or would like to change. In case you prefer to reach out elsewhere, get in touch via mail at:


We are happy to have Olivier Mével share his new initiative Multiplié, a publishing house for creative, poetic, living technological objects. Olivier Mével is one of the pioneers of the Internet of Things, co-founder and creator of the Nabaztag, he also founded one of the first french digital agency in 1994 (BaBeL) and co-founded and directed for 10 years the first engineering house specializing in connected objects and environments (Enero).

Connected Light Objects

Just like the last edition, we organized in Het Nieuwe Instituut back in 2019, the students of The Hague University of Applied Sciences will finish the smart object course one day before our event, and three of the projects will be present at our event.

Practical details

We will further detail the program, but these are the plans for now:

  • Unconference on December 9th 2022 14:00-19:30
  • Including lunch before 13:00-14:00 and drinks and bites after
  • Location: Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam
  • Limited number of participants (cap at 50)
  • Program (talks/workshops) planned on the day itself
  • We arrange location + catering (including lunch and drinks with bites)
  • Thanks to the partnership with CLICKNL the registration will only be €15
  • No online or hybrid replacement in case of lockdowns

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