Te Hui Nui o te Tai Tonga 2018

The Great Southern
Unconference 2018

A weekend for Canterbury's thinkers, problem solvers, doers and makers.

26–27 Whiringa-ā-nuku 2018, Te Matatiki Toi Ora, Ōtautahi
26–27 October 2018, Arts Centre, Christchurch

What is Te Hui Nui o te Tai Tonga/the Great Southern Unconference?

The Great Southern Unconference (GSUC) was first run in 2016 and involved over 50 participants and volunteers coming together at the University of Canterbury for a weekend of discussion, knowledge-sharing, inspiration and more. The event is returning for 2018, this time with a central-city venue (the Arts Centre) and room for more attendees.

The GSUC seeks to promote the interconnectedness of science, technology, arts, humanities and social sciences. It uses the proven 'unconference' format as described below. There's no set agenda—the plan for the weekend is determined on the first night.

An unconference is…

"… peer-to-peer learning at its best and everything a traditional conference isn't—open, informal and creativity focussed."

"… a conference with no formal set agenda, where every attendee is a worthy keynote speaker on their own. All topics of conversation are on the table: from technology to infrastructure, science to arts, politics to education and so much more."

What's happening?

The GSUC will be happening on 26–27 October 2018, from Friday evening to Saturday evening. It will be held at the Great Hall and UC Arts campus, situated in the Christchurch Arts Centre.

The unconference format lets people pick their own topics for talks and workshops.

On Friday evening (4:30pm onwards) and Saturday (9am until 5:30pm) attendees:

  • run their own sessions on whatever they want during the day
  • network in the evening

The schedule is punctuated by prepared lightning talks and more.

Who's going?

The unconference is invite and application based. Attendance is completely free, including catering during the day.

We're inviting people from…

Business, politics, the humanities, creative arts, education, local government, academia and the whole community to collaborate.

Selection criteria include:

  • A track record of doing interesting and productive things
  • A willingness to work with others
  • Working across disciplines/silos

The criteria also allows for diversity, past attendance and referrals from past attendees. You will be also be able to apply to attend.

2018 Sponsors

We wouldn't be able to run this event without the generous support of our sponsors.

What's the point?

This unconference exists to connect people across communities, as well as achieve some concrete outcomes.

Last time around, one of the outcomes was the 'Kindness in Science' initiative, an "inclusive approach that fosters diversity, respect, wellbeing & openness leading to better science outcomes".

"… what gave the 'Kindness in Science' initiative wings was the impromptu discussion that included Shaun Hendy (Te Pūnaha Matatini), following the session that Rob Elshire and I co-chaired."

"All biases included, I reckon it was something concrete that came out of the inaugural GSUC."

This year we're aiming to keep the community going after the unconference, with regular catchups scheduled following its conclusion.

Apply to Attend

Interested in coming along to the Great Southern Unconference? Please complete the application form, accessible below.

Applications close on 17 October 2018, or when all available places are filled up—whichever is first!


Social Media

We're on Twitter! Follow @gsucnz and use the hashtag #gsuc.