Conference Background

Leigh Blackall is a member of the Teach and Learn Online eMail list. That list includes over 230 people from around the world who have something to say or do with online education. They organise annual face to face meetings called TALO Swap Meets.

Last year's meeting was held in the Blue Mountains of NSW Australia. This year's meeting is to be held in Dunedin New Zealand.

A few of the TALO members managed to convince Stephen Downes to join them in Dunedin. Brandi Fischer, organiser of eFest heard about this and was hoping Stephen would speak at eFest as well.

Leigh agreed to align the TALO Swap Meet dates to a time where it was possible for Stephen to attend efest as well.

With Stephen Downes accepting the invitation to Dunedin, Leigh asked him who in the world would he like to meet face to face most of all to talk about "The Future of Learning in a Networked World". Stephen nominated 3 people, Leigh contacted them, they were available, they nominated a few people, and that is more or less how this list developed.

Everyone on this list has accepted the invitation to come to Dunedin, stay in New Zealand for 10 days, ending in Wellington for eFest - so long as we can cover their expenses. They are charging no fees.

The concept developed further from a 10 day meeting into a road show, offering regional institutions the opportunity to host the guests for a day or two, in return for those institutions paying for 1 or more of the airfares.