Posted on February 23, 2020 by Noon van der Silk | Back to recent posts

Workshops in 2020

Tags: thoughts

Noon and Esmeralda, with their new banner, at the Datathon for Social Good!

This year, we’ve been thinking about our prior workshops: what worked well, what what should change, and what we’d like to focus on this year.

A few ideas have emerged.

Technical Workshop (on the 10th of April)

#1 Smaller classes

The idea is twofold. For our first workshop, we had 17 people and two instructors. We had people work in groups. I think this is a nice idea, but we found that the skill-level of people was quite varied, and teaming people up didn’t necessarly mean that they worked together well as a group, in terms of bringing everyone up to the same rough skill level.

We think that if we limit the number of attendees, say to six people per session, then we can still have two groups, but give closer attention and support to everyone. And furthermore, the skill variance should be smaller, so it will be easier to manage.

Furthermore, and importantly, we can also change the workshop content to suit the interests of the participants.

While we were able to do this a bit in the larger workshop, I’m sure that there are things we could’ve covered.

#2 New schedule

From chatting to a few people, I’ve learned that it’s probably inconvenient to do the workshop over 6 weeks, where most of the time commitment is actually outside (typical) work hours.

So, we’ve decided to drop the workshop down to two eight-hour days, followed by an afternoon post-workshop session. The eight hour days roughly cover the original content, and the final afternoon is intended as a kind of project kick-off session. The idea is that either you bring something you want to work on, and we get started together; or you work through one of our projects that we’ve thought of; that explores a particular aspect of deep learning.

We’ve also put the workshop so that it has a weekend during the middle of the two days.

AI For Leadership Workshop (on the 23rd of March)

We’ve run a few of these now, and overall they’re going well. The one-day format works really nicely, and having a group of about 10 people allows for really interesting exchanges and interactions, as well as good group activities.

We won’t really be changing a lot, but there are some thoughts floating around of other areas to cover:

We already cover a few case studies, but we’ll try and add in a few more.

I also want to allow this workshop to develop along the interests of the attendees, so perhaps we’ll find a way to work in a bit of the themes of the afternoon session from the tech workshop into this format. I.e. a “BYO Problem” discussion section.


In general, we’re keen to learn and adapt to what works, and what helps us build a sustainable business.

We’re always interested in hearing from you, in any capacity, about what is of interest, what would suit you best, and what kinds of formats works well.

Overall, our aim remains the same:

If you have any thoughts, please send them our way!.

In particular, if you’d like to join a workshop, but have some specific needs that we’re not meeting, or concerns that are holding you back, please reach out! We’ll do our best to help.