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event format

about Open space unconference


This is a participatory event, there are no keynotes or panels, and it’s all about exploring the agenda topics with professional peers from a range of identity areas. This is a participatory event, there are no keynotes or panels, and it’s all about exploring the agenda topics with professional peers from a range of identity areas. Like the Internet Identity Workshop, we will co-create the agenda together live each morning.  The Open Space unConference process will be professionally facilitated by Heidi Nobantu Saul and Kaliya (Identity Woman) Young

Once agenda creation is complete there will be a full Agenda Wall of sessions posted, each with the time and place it will occur.  Session topics are not voted on and all sessions put forth by participants at the start of each day will take place. Sessions are run as breakouts and attended by those who want to attend. There will be 5 session time slots a day, each with multiple concurrently running sessions. 

When people register we have asked that they list potential topics of interest to them, you can see the growing list of potential topics here However, nothing is decided until the day of the event and all topics are welcome. 

Through dozens of sessions, lunches, welcome reception, and a conference dinner provided by our Generous Sponsors, you'll have plenty of chances to exchange ideas and make new professional connections. The Open Space unConference format is perfect for a rapidly moving field where the organizing team cannot predetermine what needs to be discussed.

We do know great people who will be there and it is the attendees and their passion for learning and contributing to the field of Digital and Decentralized Identity that all combine creating a successful event.

Read about how to prepare for an unConference here.  

Read more about Open Space here.


Europe has seen many government-driven digital identity initiatives in the past few years and became a hotspot for decentralized digital identities. A key initiative was started in Germany by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in 2020 with the title “Showcase program Secure Digital Identities” which aims to develop German eIDAS solutions, which are equally user-friendly, trustworthy and cost-efficient and to make these solutions easily accessible for administration, businesses - especially SMEs - and the population. This program is funding 4 national digital identity projects with up to EUR 15 Mil each between 2021 and 2024.

In parallel, the European Commission launched in September 2020 a major revision of its electronic identification, authentication, and trust services “eIDAS” regulation which came into force in 2016. The aim of the revision is to introduce an EU-wide mobile-based “EU-ID” for all European citizens that can be used in all 27 EU countries. First proposals for technology architectures incl. wallets (eIDAS Architecture Reference Framework and the EU Reference Wallet proposal) were presented in early 2023 and four cross-country “EU Large Scale Pilot” projects were funded by the European Commission in April 2023 - among them, EU Digital Wallet Consortium focused on Travel, Digital Credentials Four Europe, EuropeaN digiTal Identity wALlet (POTENTIAL)

Another major project in Europe is European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSIwhich has been fostering ecosystem development since 2018 with 19 conformant wallets. And an early adopter program with 200 organizations participating

Switzerland has seen a rejection of its national E-ID legislation by a citizen referendum in March 2021 given concerns around privacy and the public-private partnership approach which foresaw private sector entities issuing E-ID to Swiss citizens in the name of the federal government. Switzerland’s Ministry of Justice then started to work immediately on a new approach to introduce a citizen E-ID for all Swiss residents based on the key principles of Self-Sovereign Identity with the respective law going into parliamentary discussions in Fall 2023 with the aim to introduce the national E-ID in 2025. The first pilot project on a national trust infrastructure “sandbox” operated by the federal Department of Technology started in April 2023.

There are many good websites and other resources about these efforts but ultimately it is people who are making it happen. This event with its opportunity to co-create the agenda live each day means the most relevant and pressing topics by those making these initiatives happen can be shared and discussed. The key to effective alignment and interoperability is having forums like this where no one entity is “setting the agenda” and where all interested parties can show up in a neutral space and shape the agenda together.