Unconferences: “Engineering Serendipity”

I rather like the phrase: “Engineering Serendipity” which – as I choose to interpret it – means something like ‘creating conditions which maximise the chances of good stuff happening’.

I’ll come back to engineering serendipity a bit later. Please bear with me in the meantime, however, as I veer off-course to talk briefly about TV chefs.

Don’t watch, just cook

I love good food, and also enjoy cooking, but I never watch cookery programmes on television. I totally ‘get’ why people find the genre entertaining and informative, it just doesn’t do-it for me personally. My view is: if I have enough time to watch someone else cooking, then I might as well spend the time preparing a meal.

Just do it!

TV Chefery

When I say I “never” watch cookery programmes, that isn’t strictly true – I did watch some TV chefery a while ago, as an episode of the “Hairy Bikers” was on in the background during a family get-together. In this particular episode – filmed in Bangkok during a tour of Asia – the Hairy Bikers were seeking the perfect recipe for Thai Green Curry.

Big break

They visited Aunty Daeng, a self-taught cook with an international reputation. Apparently, Aunty’s big break came when she prepared a meal for a royal visit to the government department where she was working at the time. The royals were so impressed, they invited her to become their private chef. Had the royals not had the opportunity to taste Aunty Daeng’s food, she might still be working in a government department.

For all I know, Aunty Daeng’s old job may have been hugely worthwhile, and I’m not knocking working in a government department. My point is that a set of circumstances were created which led to Aunty Daeng’s career taking off.

“…a set of circumstances were created which led to Aunty Daeng’s career taking off”

Unconferences: Engineering Serendipity

If you have read the previous posts on the WinchBiz blog, you’ll understand a bit about how unconferences work.

By not having a pre-prepared agenda, literally anyone can pitch anything they like as long as it’s loosely associated with the theme. Then, anyone can attend any sessions they like.

Serendipity for business

As event organisers we’re trying to create the conditions which maximise the chances of good stuff happening for businesses across Winchester.

It’s up to you to bring your energy, your knowledge, your questions, your ideas…

There’s no cost to you – apart from your own time of course – as the costs of the event have been covered by our sponsors.

It’s a kinda magic

I’m convinced magic will take place at the WinchBiz Unconference, just like it does at other unconferences like Open Data Camp and UKGovCamp.

I am fully expecting that new initiatives, ideas and collaborations will ‘pop-out’ from WinchBiz – even though I’ve no idea what they might be.


  • If you’re interested in a fuller discussion of Engineering Serendipity, there’s the excellent article written by Greg Lindsay over on Aspen Ideas.
  • I previously wrote about the Aunty Daeng story in 2015 in a post published on GOV.UK. It was written a short time before the first UK Open Data Camp unconference – also held in Winchester – which has become a major national event, touring major cities across the UK.
  • Featured image thanks to Matthew Buck of Drawnalism, originally created for the BlueLightCamp unconference