What is an “unconference”?
How is The Diabetes UnConference different from other diabetes conferences?
Traditional conferences focus on a group of experts or panels to share information with an audience, with a question and answer period at the end. The agenda and tracks are set well in advance. Participants may have to choose between sessions, so that if they attend one presentation, they’ll miss another. There is very limited time to participate in group discussions between participants and often the only time to learn from peers is in the hallways or during meals.
At The Diabetes UnConference, every participant is an expert. All attendees can ask and answer questions and learn from their peers in a safe setting where there is no judgement or wrong answer. Topics may include: diabetes burnout, depression, sex, discrimination, financial issues, getting inspired to exercise, family, or even what the best treatment for hypoglycemia is for each person.
Who should attend The Diabetes UnConference?
This conference welcomes all adults with diabetes. The Diabetes UnConference is the only multi-day conference that welcomes all male and female adults with diabetes to share their thoughts and feelings.
It’s important to understand why we are not choosing to only have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes represented here at this conference. Those with diabetes, regardless of type (Type 1, Type 2, LADA) all have thoughts and feelings about living well with diabetes. All of us have fears about complications. All of us have ideas about how to live well with diabetes. All of us want to feel good about ourselves and stay healthy. None of our pancreases work like they should. Diabetes is diabetes. We can all learn from each other.
What about our spouses/significant others/friends who love us? Can they attend?
YES! The 2017 Diabetes UnConferences have separate sessions, called People who Love Us (PLU) sessions just for caregivers to talk with peers about diabetes and its impact on the caregivers‘ lives. Sessions may include caregiver burnout, fears, dealing with hypoglycemia, being supportive without “policing,” dealing with medical professionals, and much more.
What can I expect when I attend The Diabetes UnConference?
As the agenda is created by the attendees leading up to the conference, so expect the unexpected! That being said, expect that you’ll be surrounded by those who understand how you feel about living with diabetes (or a loved one with diabetes). Expect to feel safe and not judged for expressing your feelings and thoughts. Expect to meet people who will become confidants and friends. Expect to not feel alone. Expect to leave with new knowledge and ideas for living a healthy life with diabetes. And of course, expect to have fun.
What’s the schedule?
Who’s running The Diabetes UnConference?
This is a dream becoming reality for the founder, Christel Marchand Aprigliano and the non-profit corporation, The Diabetes Collective. (The Diabetes Collective, Inc.’s mission is to inspire and support the diabetes community and is an official 501(c)(3) public charity.) Without the help and support of a phenomenal team of facilitators that joins her in creating this unique event, this conference would still be just a wish.
What’s the weather supposed to be like during The Diabetes UnConference?
Alexandria, VA: Alexandria, VA is like blood sugars… it could be higher or lower in October, depending on all sorts of factors. Please remember that the pool is heated and indoors!
That all being said… no matter where you attend The Diabetes UnConference…
We suggest packing a sweater or light jacket, as conference rooms can be chilly.
Have additional questions? You’re probably not the only one! Please contact us.