An unconference in trains to grow your professional nomadic practices.

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NomadConf Canada 2018

NomadConf are unconferences to grow your professional nomadic practices… and to spend a good time between ephemeral coworking in trains and meeting local communities! This edition will take place in Canada in the second week of November 2018 and is organized by Clémentine Hahn and Matti Schneider.

Ottawa train station

When slowing down allows us to go faster, further… or simply elsewhere?

For this edition, we want to explore our relationship to time and productivity. Agile and lean methods recommend to move fast (and break things). Deliver quickly. Test quickly.

But why? Has moving fast become a goal in itself?

The widespread adoption of these practices leads to their application to all types of problems. Service design, public service design, design of systems that become embedded in the lives of users or in society. Can we really approach this type of system unaware of its slower time? And can we do this while in a hurry? Since we need to change our spatiality (“get out of the building”) to fully understand the problems we are trying to solve, why not also change our temporality?

Without going back to waterfall, we aim at questioning agile and lean practices to identify the occasions when we wrongly believe that going fast holds some intrinsic virtue.

The invitation

Each person brings a topic they are working on, and that is complex enough to deserve a few days of work. A topic where one feels that their usual approach may not be the best fit is the most relevant. This topic may be technical (a software architecture to be rebuilt…), organizational (the limits of a team…), professional (a career change…), philosophical (a change in lifestyle…). It can be anything as long as it is scoped well enough to measure progress, important enough to want to think about it and work alone on it for several hours, and understandable enough to receive help.

We will individually and collectively seek to identify the moments when we mix ends and means. Our aim will be to reclaim our ability to use slower time. To do this, we will use leverage two opportunities brought by soft mobility:

  • First, working on usual subjects in an unusual situation by creating a temporary remote working space on the train. This shift in cognitive constraints (fewer interruptions, a changing landscape, less connectivity, shared space…) changes our relationship to the problems we are trying to solve.
  • Second, by sharing these cognitive changes with others who are also experiencing them, creating a variety of experiences and interpretations.

Proposal 1: The Transcontinental

From Saturday, November 10 to Sunday, November 18, 2018, from Toronto to Vancouver: 2 segments / 8 days / 2200 CA$. Is this rate too high? You can apply for a grant, or travel in a reclining seat instead of a berth, for a total of $900 CA$.

Pre-register here until October 6th! Don’t delay!

Train in the rockies

Departure: Toronto

Meet at a restaurant near the station at 7:30 pm. We meet around a dinner to discover each other and define everyone’s expectations.

Segment 1: Toronto - Winnipeg

  • Departure: Saturday, November 10 at 10:00 pm
  • Arrival: Monday, November 12 at 8:00 am
  • Duration: 1 day 11 hours


  • Night in sleepers.
  • Upon waking up, breakfast in the restaurant car, we present the subjects that each person brought while admiring the landscapes.
  • We work in pairs for a few hours, alternating subjects and pairs. Peer support to learn how to work in this context.
  • Sharing and retrospective of this first time at lunch.
  • Individual working time (or in pairs if some pairs wish).
  • Meeting time: in the dining car, each pair dines with other travellers who are not part of the group.
  • Sharing and retrospective of this second time by admiring the landscapes and then the sky in the observation car.
  • Night in sleepers.

Throughout the journey, several intermediate stops allow to stretch your legs.

Learn more about the train.

Step 1: Winnipeg

Three days in Winnipeg, in the middle of the continent. Temperatures will be between 0°C and -10°C, with the beginning of snow cover.

Accommodation in a loft with shared space for cooking and working. Visit to the[Museum of Human Rights] ( Working from space[NorthForge] ( and meeting local entrepreneurs (under confirmation). Two half-days of hiking to get air, get active, and explore another form of soft mobility.

With the experience of the first segment, the group collectively defines the experiences to be conducted for the second segment.

Segment 2: Winnipeg - Vancouver

  • Departure: Thursday, November 15 at 10:00 am
  • Arrival: Saturday, November 17 at 6:00 pm
  • Duration: 2 days 10 hours

Schedule: Participants apply the schedule that was defined in the first step.

Throughout the journey, several intermediate stops allow to stretch your legs.

Arrival: Vancouver

Closing: discovery walk of the city in the evening, retrospective of the week.

Possibility to extend the time in Vancouver to the freedom of the group.

Pre-register here until October 6th! Don’t delay!

Proposal 2: the Corridor

On the weekend of November 10 and 11, round trip between Montreal and Toronto: 2 segments / 2 days / $250 CA$.

Pre-register here until October 6th! Don’t delay!

Ottawa station tracks

Step 1: Montreal

Saturday, November 10 at 8:00 am, meeting of participants at the station. We meet each other over breakfast.

Segment 1: Montreal - Toronto

  • Departure: Saturday, November 10 at 09:00.
  • Join from Ottawa: station stop from 11:04 to 11:40.
  • Arrival: Saturday, November 10 at 16:03.
  • Duration: 7h 3m

Discussions and feedback on the theme “questioning agile practices to identify the occasions when we wrongly believe that going fast holds some intrinsic virtue”.

Step 2: Toronto

  • Discover the city on foot at the end of the day and in the evening.
  • Retrospective of our exchanges of the day.

Overnight in Toronto in shared accommodation.

Segment 2: Toronto - Montreal

  • Departure: Sunday, November 11 at 10:45am
  • Stop in Ottawa: from 3:02pm to 4:10pm
  • Arrival: Sunday, November 11 at 6:05pm
  • Topics covered :

Step 3: Montreal

Closing: retrospective of the two days and ideas for next steps.

Pre-register here until October 6th! Don’t delay!