Creathon 2014

Posted on Thursday 23 October 2014

In 48 hours from a business idea to a tested prototype

From August 28 2 pm to August 30  2 pm 2014, unBla run the Creathon at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Participants of this creative marathon were more than happy with the results – check out the video (English) or read the (German) report in the Live Blog.

schegalka @ 09:58
Filed under: Events
Unconferencing for Sustainability, Patricia Wolf

Posted on Friday 25 January 2013

Unconferencing as a method to initiate organizational change towards (societal) sustainability

Keynote by Prof. Patricia Wolf, unbla co-founder, at the CreaLab Summer School, Lucerne 2012

Peter Troxler @ 01:51
Filed under: Events
Upcoming Event: SAGUF-Jubiläumstagung 2012

Posted on Monday 13 February 2012

unbla is proud to support the Swiss Academic Society for Environmental Research and Ecology (SAGUF) in designing and facilitating their 40th anniversary event in June 2012 (see
SAGUF is a multidisciplinary scientific society, which campaigns for the promotion and coordination of environmental research in Switzerland. It is especially active for inter-and trans-disciplinary, and applied environmental research.
The SAGUF was founded in 1972. It is a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences SCNAT Switzerland and the Platform Geosciences and an Associate Member of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS).

Peter Troxler @ 05:45
Filed under: Events
Unconferencing is a way to initiate organisational change

Posted on Friday 17 June 2011

In 2008 we had the chance to design and run a 24-hour creative marathon for ETH Zurich (for details see here). The over 100 participants generated 17 project proposals how to reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption at this university.

Not only was this great fun to do; Patricia Wolf* and Ralf Hansmann, both ETH Zurich, and Peter Troxler*, Square One, Rotterdam, studied why the event was such a success. Together, we wrote an article revealing the mechanisms behind unconferencing. This article just appeared in the Journal of Organizational Change Management and is available at this link:

Patricia Wolf, Ralf Hansmann, Peter Troxler, (2011) “Unconferencing as method to initiate organisational change: A case study on reducing CO2 emissions of a university”, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 24 Iss: 1, pp.112 – 142

While we had to transfer our copyrights on the article to Emerald Publishing, I may legally provide a private reprint over at Square One (direct link to pdf).

Our second paper focuses on the sustainability part and unconferencing as a tool to start it: Patricia Wolf, Peter Troxler, Ralf Hansmann, (2011) “Moving Universities: A Case Study on the Use of Unconferencing for Facilitating Sustainability Learning in a Swiss University”, Sustainability 2011, 3, 875-896,

* Patricia and Peter are unbla board members

Peter Troxler @ 12:39
Filed under: Events
unBla Leads Students to CO2 Reduction Success — Again

Posted on Thursday 25 November 2010

On 3 November 2010 an unBla team once more unleashed the creativity of students at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, to find new ways how this leading university could reduce their CO2 emissions. Here is a report in German, and here are the project descriptions (English). A first event of this kind was held in 2008, and we showed in extensive studies why an unconferencing approach works … this paper will be published in January 2011… stay tuned, subscribe to updates via e-mail:

Peter Troxler @ 10:21
Filed under: Events
How to Improve Conferences

Posted on Friday 8 October 2010

Bell and King (2010) explored conferences as spaces where newcomers to a community can demonstrate their proficiency as members of that community. To improve conferences, they suggest—among other things—to ‘explore other ways of conferencing, like “unconferncing” (Wolf and Troxler 2008)’.

The paper they reference is of course explaining the fundamentals of unbla and is still available from Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2), at

Reference: Bell, Emma, and Daniel King (2010). The elephant in the room: Critical management studies conferences as a site of body pedagogics. Management Learning, 1–14. Online at:

Peter Troxler @ 11:11
Filed under: Events
First European Living Labs Summer School

Posted on Saturday 10 July 2010

unbla is proud to announce the First European Living Labs Summer School, where participants will create a guidebook, covering issues such as

  • a map of domain of living labs innovation;
  • living labs as a domain of practice and research;
  • building bridges between the many disciplines in which living labs are rooted;
  • mutual benefits of theoretical and applied living labs development;
  • original experiences and insights from practitioners and students;
  • build and strengthen international networks;
  • contributions to Living Labs theory.

unbla is providing the facilitation for the event.

Living Lab Summer School 2010 from vandicla on Vimeo.

admin @ 05:36
Filed under: Events
It’s official: “un-” designates a change of paradigm in business

Posted on Thursday 17 December 2009

The most recent edition of Swiss think-tank GDI‘s magazine GDI Impuls is devoted to 2 letters that have started to change business and society. “Der Boom der englischen Vorsilbe «un» kündigt einen Paradigmenwechsel in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft an”. Guess why this is no surprise to us … let us have your answer below

admin @ 10:45
Filed under: Events
Recent comment after an unBla workshop

Posted on Wednesday 9 September 2009

“I found the afternoon we spent together exciting and I had the impression that at the end of the workshop the participants discussed and asked questions more openly than seldom before.”

“Ich fand unseren gemeinsamen Nachmittag sehr spannend und es kam mir so vor, als ob die Teilnehmer nach dem Interview-Workshop so offen wie selten gefragt und diskutiert haben.”

admin @ 12:08
Filed under: Events
unBla Helps Cutting CO2 Emissions

Posted on Thursday 22 January 2009

On 13/14 November 2008, unBla was brought in to facilitate an event at ETH Zurich, which brought together 110 students, faculty and staff to develop proposals how the university could reduce it’s CO2 emissions.

A report on the event (in German) is linked here:

The event was co-designed by Ed and delivered by Patricia and Peter. It proved to be a good success — not only in terms of potential CO2 reduction, but also in terms of popularity of the unBla methods with the participants:

A participant survey was handed in by 48 of the 110 participants (44% return rate). Quantitative questions on the overall event, its content and the facilitation methods applied showe a satisfaction level of more than 90% (answers ‘quite a lot’ or ‘very much’ satisfied).

Even more valuable, in their qualitative answers the participants highlighted that they benefitted most from meeting other people through the networking exercise (28 answers), working on own ideas and bringing them forward (8 answers) and experiencing a large group moderation process (16 answers).

They furthermore acknowledged that their major learning gains where from other people’s expertise and generating new ideas in the area of CO2 reduction (20 answers), and also included an increase of their capabilities for working effectively in a team (19 answers).

Without having been asked for it, 11 participants affirmed their motivation to further work on their project after the event.

Patricia, in her capacity as researcher, is currently working on the detailed research results which are to be published in due course.

admin @ 08:16
Filed under: Events