Commit 17a941d2 authored by Malvika Sharan's avatar Malvika Sharan

Update 2019-28-08-watercololer-effect.md

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......@@ -17,6 +17,8 @@ Since 2000, the Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC) has been bringing t
![](https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1557734864-c78b6dfef1b1?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&ixid=eyJhcHBfaWQiOjEyMDd9&auto=format&fit=crop&w=2091&q=80)
Image on Unsplash by [@zainulyasni6118](https://unsplash.com/photos/QiIxg_q2vh0)
I attended my first BoF on the topic of “Unseminar” at the BOSC 2013, where I first met Aidan Budd who was leading this session. Aidan chose the World Cafe method to facilitate this session, where participants could form smaller groups to discuss related topics and switch groups to join different discussions. This informal setting was quite different from the usual speaker-centric format of conferences because it was participant-driven. Everyone immediately felt welcome and included in this session because the emphasis was on learning about the topic at hand together as a group. For a fresh grad student like me, this was a very special experience because I could truly co-exist as a scientist with people of varying levels of experience without feeling like an imposter or someone who didn’t belong there. This discussion didn’t end with the session itself, but catalyzed a much longer discussion after the conference over emails and shared documents, which finally led to a crowdsourced publication on “Ten Simple Rules for Organizing an Unconference”, several long-lasting collaborations among the participants, and Aidan became my mentor and a close friend.
As a community manager, informal discussion sessions are hands-down my favourite way to connect with others, promote collaborations between the existing members of the community and welcome new members while encouraging active participation from them. Since my first encounter with BoFs, I have participated in and led several discussion sessions. In particular, I facilitated one BoF session at BOSC 2017 in Prague, and one session this year in Basel during my participation at BOSC 2019, which was supported by the OBF fellowship, granted to me in December 2018 application round.
......@@ -49,4 +51,4 @@ To conclude, informal discussion sessions are useful for collecting ideas, gaini
Do let me know on twitter ([@malvikasharan](https://twitter.com/MalvikaSharan)) which of your favourite tips are missing in the post.
*Cover photo by [@] on [Unsplash]*
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*Cover photo [on Unsplash by @productschool](https://unsplash.com/photos/5H0p6JPUHbI)*
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