How to describe the UnConference? Well, I can’t tell you much about what was discussed in our sessions Saturday and Sunday. That’s because all attendees observed a strict no-social-media policy from our meeting area throughout the weekend. So I’m not here to give you a blow by blow rundown of what was presented.
Now that that disclosure is out of the way, let me back up a bit. Let me tell you about what the Diabetes UnConference was.
It was a place where adults living with diabetes, of all types, from all backgrounds, were engaging with each other in a safe, protective environment, rather than sitting in their chairs and looking up at someone’s PowerPoint presentation. It was an absolutely judgement-free zone 24 hours a day.
Instead, the experts at this conference were the attendees. Their presentations were on a number of subjects and drew on the collective experience of nearly 2,000 years of living with this chronic condition.
There was laughing and crying, there was criticism and praise, and there was support and a lot of listening to each other.
There was not always agreement. There was always respect. There were diabetes veterans meeting the newly or relatively newly diagnosed. There were tips and tricks exchanged.
People shared some of their most closely held fears and secrets. People emerged stronger. People emerged not feeling so alone. People were empowered to take another look at diabetes and their friends who live with diabetes, making a collective investment in a better future for all of us. We are all in.
In the end, I can tell you how I’m feeling a day after the conclusion of this event. Thanks to the people in the photo above, my heart is soaring today, without the help of anything but insulin and the support, understanding, and empowerment provided by my fellow compatriots.
And I would be honored if you brought your expertise to the UnConference next year.
No disclosure to see here, folks. I paid for conference registration and for travel to and from Las Vegas all on my own. And I’m damn glad I did.