Whaddya mean? There’s MORE we can do at SI?!

Have you ever found yourself at SI wishing you could find a group of folks who shared your interest in an activity or topic for discussion or just wanted to sit around and talk about what you’re experiencing at SI? You might just want to join with them once or twice or simply “go with the flow” and maybe meet more often or have lunch together. Maybe you’d like to develop a new generation of Mahjong enthusiasts. Or get together in the afternoon to talk or play board games. Or maybe some of your friends have agreed to bring their ukuleles and you all want to sit around in the afternoon and play together and share techniques and music.  

We have a new idea for you to meet a whole new set of SI friends! The Summer Institute Planning Committee is planning to test a new idea this year. We are calling them “Popups”. The idea is that anyone can decide to join or convene a group of folks who might be interested in doing the same or similar activities together (somewhat like “meetup”). These would be held in the afternoons and would be very informal groups. From there, the conveners or the group can decide how things go. These popups could be extensions of seminars. Groups might get together to discuss or research topics. They might be discussion groups about social justice issues, starting an arts business, support for parents with children with disabilities, or a book discussion – there are so many possibilities. Cooperation, synchronicity, and fresh ideas will be more valuable than planning.   

The vision is that a person or a group of people would decide to convene an activity, contact the SIPC Popup Organizer to request a space assignment and extend the invitation to the community for you. The activity, the convener, and the participants would decide how to proceed. 

In summary:

  • Activities proposed, convened, and led by SI attendees
  • Convener can decide for whom the Popup is focused – adults, youth, children, or all; those who have had experience or are new to activity or game
  • Could be tied to seminar or workshop ideas/discussions
  • Could be board or active games, focused discussions, new ideas, social justice work, movies, or even just some adult time.
  • Should be planned for afternoon and evenings
  • Could be held as often as you’d like – 1 day or 5. You could start with 1 meeting and decide together.
  • Contact the Popup Organizer at Registration or during the week to schedule your space and help you promote your idea.
  • SIPC will schedule you some space. We’ll work together to respect the space needs of the community.
  • There is no budget to repay expenses, so if you think folks who will join you need to bring things with them, feel free to drop us a note and we’ll get the word out.

We hope that you will be willing to work with us to make Popups successful. This being the first year, we know that there will be kinks to work out and adjustments to be made so that it can be a rich experience for everyone. As the process goes forward and in your SI 2016 evaluations, we encourage your feedback. As with all new programs, this is likely to evolve and become more than we see it today. The SIPC wants to invite you to partner with us and give us your support to make Popups successfull!


         Carol Dobbins