Culture

We’re Bringing 200 Of Australia’s Best And Brightest Young Minds Together For Something Pretty Amazing

Junkee's very first unconference, Junket, will take place in Canberra from November 1-3. And if you have an idea to bring to the table, you're invited.

So. Today is an extremely exciting day for us. We get to announce the biggest, most ambitious project we’ve ever put together. And you could be a part of it.

From today, Junkee will start sending out invitations to 200 of the best and brightest young people, handpicked from all around Australia. This group will be taking over the QT Canberra from November 1-3, for our very first JUNKET: an unconference featuring a diverse group of incredible minds, sharing ideas, learning from each other, inspiring each other, and networking — all with the wonderfully lofty aim of helping set the agenda for Australia’s future.

This video explains it a bit. We’ll explain it a bit better below.

What Even Is An Unconference? 

An “unconference” is not your usual conference: at Junket, there will be no set agenda or program decided in advance. In the lead-up, delegates will be encouraged to pitch an idea, topic or issue they want to talk about; at the event, the other delegates will decide on which sessions they want to form the agenda.

And from there, things get even more interesting.

The Junket program will be action packed, with delegates choosing between up to ten streams happening simultaneously — making up a total of over 60 sessions throughout the day, with everyone encouraged to contribute to the conversation. 

According to Joshua Kauffman, one of the forefathers of the unconference movement, there are only two rules:

  1. Nobody is giving a presentation – unconferences are all about conversations;
  2. If a session doesn’t inspire attendees and they are not contributing, they should get up and find a different one.

Junket isn’t expecting to find solutions to all of Australia’s problems (although of course, that would be nice); it’s more about starting the right conversations, and connecting the best kinds of people to keep those conversations going.

Who Is Going To Junket, And Can I Come Too?

The 200 handpicked delegates will represent a range of interests, cultures, identities and fields of expertise — entertainment, medicine, advocacy, business, engineering, fashion, politics, tech, media, and everything in between — and will come from all around Australia. Thanks to the generous support of Visit Canberra, Telstra, QT Canberra and Qantas, we are covering the cost of the conference, accommodation, meals and a whole bunch of other surprises. All the delegates need to do is get themselves to Canberra — and those who need a little help in that area can apply for a Junket Travel Grant.

Many of the delegates have been picked out by a diverse programming committee, overseen by our event curator Jess Scully (who’s worked on Ted x Sydney and Vivid Ideas), and including mechanical engineer, social commentator and founder of Youth Without Borders, Yassmin Abdel Magied; Paralympian and world champion Dylan Alcott; writer Michelle Law; Australian youth representative to the UN, Shea Spierings; playwright Nakkiah LuiArcher Magazine’s founding editor and publisher, Amy Middleton; Junkee’s managing editor Steph Harmonand Ted x Youth co-curator (and ex-Junkee intern) Andy Huang.

We’re scouring the country for young leaders, experts and innovators, who will start receiving invitations over the next couple of weeks. So if you have an idea or issue that needs to be brought up — and think you’re the right person to champion it — we want to hear from you. Now.

You can’t buy your way into Junket; you have to earn it with your ideas. If you want to be there, contact us via this form and tell us why we should know about you, and what you want to bring to Junket.

If I’m Not Going To Junket, How Can I Be Involved? 

Unfortunately Junket is only available for the delegates to attend; unlike a usual conference, there will be no audiences for this one. But Junket is sending a big team of reporters who’ll be covering the event, drawing attention to — and extending — the conversations that begin there.

Expect a whole lot of news bites, features and videos, during the event and in its aftermath. And, of course, you can follow it all on Twitter via the hashtag #junket.

I Have Like A Million More Questions. 

Yes, we thought you might. Hopefully we have most of them covered on the FAQ page of the Junket website, which we’ll be updating frequently.

Junket takes place at the QT Canberra on November 1-3.

Visit the Junket website here.