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Unconference 2022: Regrowth and revolution

When: September 8th and 9th 2022

Where: Online and in person

In Beta’s name reflects the fact that we are always in a testing phase with our teaching. Always looking for the problems in the old code and how to improve for the next iteration. Fittingly, our unconferences have shown a similar continual evolution as we try out alternative approaches to create a space to pause, unpick, understand and share our learning and experiences in order to improve on what we do next as a community of physiotherapy educators.

After our first face to face unconference in Lausanne in 2019, and our second fully online unconference back in the early days of the pandemic in 2020, we are really please that for our third unconference we will be continuing to experiment and innovate with a hybrid event!

How will it work?

We will be combining the best parts of the brilliant experiences that we had at HESAV 2019 and online in 2020 and some new ideas that we wanted to try out, all designed to create friendly and inclusive environments which are free to attend and in which conversations and ideas can flourish.

There are three ways to participate in the unconference:

  1. Join us in person at University of Birmingham in the UK
  2. Join us online from wherever you are in the world
  3. Set up your own In Beta unconference venue to run some or all of the activities with your colleagues

Click here to register to attend or fill in the form at the bottom of this page

Face-to-face unconference discussions in Lausanne

The Unconference format

Whichever way you participate you can access up to 2 full days of interactive activities aimed at physiotherapy educators. Each way of participating is free to attend and is based on the principles of an Unconference. This means that the agenda is set by those who are attending, there are no selected speakers and everyone is an active participant contributing their knowledge and experience. Everyone who attends will be able to suggest ideas relating to physiotherapy education that they want to discuss and we will vote as a group to decide which ones to begin working on together.

The aims of the unconference are to:

  • Facilitate meaningful interaction between all attending delegates.
  • Stimulate all delegates to think about aspects of their teaching practice and share their reflections with others in a collaborative learning environment.

We will abide by the 4 rules of unconferences:

  1. Whoever shows up are the right people
  2. Whatever happens is fine
  3. Whenever it starts is the right time
  4. It is over when it’s over


Running a hybrid unconference allows us to be more flexible with attendance and format. All activities are participatory and built around discussion and sharing of ideas. The focus and content of some activities will be decided on by participants on the day whilst other activities will be on a pre-planned topic. Whether you join us in person or online we will be asking you to moving outside and away from the table or computer for some activities.

People joining us in Birmingham will have a programme of activities to participate in loosely scheduled across the two days.

People joining us online will do so using an online hub built on the Canvas virtual learning environment. there will be a schedule of online activities spread over the two days which will include a mix of asynchronous and synchronous engagement and might take place online or offline. You can choose to participate in with all of the activities over the two days, or just pick those that most appeal to you. Participants in Birmingham may also choose to join the online conversations to engage with the wider In Beta community.

Anybody organising their own unconference venue can choose to follow the same schedule as in Birmingham, with guidance available on how each session can be run, or to make use of the resources such as the podcasts and utilise them in your own way. You may choose to join some online elements through the online unconference hub too.

Activity streams

The unconference activity streams will include:

  • Participant-led unconference discussions and unposters (topics proposed and voted on by participants)
  • Guided reflection podcast walks (topics include simulation, learning spaces, student-led approaches and post-professionalism in physio education) 
  • Teaching material hackathon (bring a teaching idea / session / activity that you would like to improve or develop and work on it with others)
  • Social media flipped poster session (opportunity to share and discuss physio education research or teaching and learning projects)

Keep an eye out for videos which will be coming soon to give a brief overview of how the different activities will work

Social event

Unconference participants tasting wine
Wine tasting in Lausanne

One of the absolute highlights of the first unconference was eating together and socialising as a group. For people joining us in Birmingham, we will be organising a social event and meal on the Thursday evening.

If you are organising your own unconference event then we encourage you to consider incorporating a social event.

For people joining us online, we found that in 2020 the online social events were sparsely attended (although Ben and Michael enjoyed synchronously watching the diving bell and the butterfly!). However, if you have an interest in arranging an online social event then please let us know and we will be happy to support this.

Accessibility and sustainability

In line with our principle that everything that we do as In Beta is free and open to everyone, there is no cost to participate in the unconference, all you need to do to register is provide your contact details on the form below.

One of the real benefits of a hybrid model is that it offers a greater accessibility for people to participate irrespective of individual circumstances. We are however conscious that digital does not guarantee equality of access. We are therefore approaching our design of unconference sessions with consideration of accessible learning design.

We are also very conscious of the environmental impact of academic conference travel and believe that hybrid models can provide a more sustainable way of organising conferences that still allow for interaction and collaboration with colleagues from diverse places whilst reducing the need for international travel. We warmly welcome everybody who wants to join us in Birmingham, but do ask you to think carefully about how you travel and to avoid travel by car and plane where possible. University of Birmingham has it’s own train station that is only 7 minutes from Birmingham New Street station. The campus is also well served by local buses and is on the A38 cycle route.