Recap of Table Talks at ONA17

Table Talks are a unique unconference format provided during our annual conference. Now in their third year (and third iteration — we really do listen to your feedback!), Table Talks remain one of the most popular formats of the entire conference.

How Table Talks work

ONA invites presenters to share a topic they are extremely passionate about. It can be related to their presentation at the conference, or an unrelated issue they’ve been thinking about.

On Friday morning, attendees gather together in rooms grouped by conference track, and listen to all of the exciting ideas. They are then free to jump into a coffee-shop style discussion on the idea that excites them most.

Trained facilitators are on hand to answer questions and provide general guidance. Otherwise, the conversations are free-flowing and evolve quickly!

Table Talks have several goals:

  • Surface complex topics often too challenging to address in a standard conference format; no “top 10 tips” here, just earnest, interactive dialogue about sticky problems or revolutionary ideas
  • Make great conversations openly accessible, rather happening in isolation during coffee breaks or at the bar; attendees get to talk about a subject they are extremely passionate about with others who share their interest
  • While our presenters are experts who are free to share their insights, they also act as hosts, inviting everyone to participate
  • Each group takes notes with key discussion summaries that are publicly available, so even if you missed an interesting discussion, you can read the summary – and participants have something to refer to later!

How do I get the notes?

Whether you participated in a Table Talk and want to refer to the notes, or whether you’re eager to see a summary of an interesting and challenging discussion, the notes are publicly accessible here:

See all the notes in one place!

As ONA's head of programs and events, Trevor connects journalists to emerging tools, technology, training and resources, and leads programming for our annual conference and beyond.