Last year, the Ripple Conference hosted its first national, virtual conference. Normally, we would gather on Elon’s campus to gather around breakout sessions, meals, speakers, and other settings. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hosted Ripple entirely online.
As a result, we had national participation not only during the conference, but also representation from multiple schools on our planning team.
The conference was overall successful, but feedback suggested that in-person conferences are preferred and that community spaces did not offer the same engagement as they do in person.
This year, we are suggesting a “hybrid” Ripple. In order to offer students, faculty, and staff at Elon an opportunity to gather in person, we suggest having meal offerings, community spaces, and a service project at Loy farm to encourage in-person participation. Simultaneously, we will offer breakout sessions, our keynote, and a panel online. We would have some breakout sessions offered on campus available to just folks at Elon, and some breakout sessions online. We would lean on students from other campuses to program some “extra” experiences for students off Elon’s campus. We also suggest a Sunday morning service project for faculty, staff, and students to participate in and inviting schools to plan their own “cleanup” or activities pertaining to our theme: Sustained Interfaith.
Event On-Campus Off-Campus
Keynote/Panel Yes, streamed live Yes, streamed live
Meals Yes No*
Community Spaces Yes No*
Affinity Spaces Yes, online Yes, online
Service Project Yes No*
Sacred Sounds Yes No*
Shabbat Yes Yes, streamed live
Breakout Sessions Yes Yes
*we encourage campuses to do this themselves