The Ronin Institute has initiated a series of “unconferences” on subjects of interest not only to independent scholars, but to anyone with an interest in how academic scholarship is funded, organized, carried out, and disseminated. “Unconference” refers to an informal format where the details of the agenda are worked out in real time, as attendees organize around specific topics of mutual interest. This format ensures a “bottom-up” organizational structure that is in keeping with the values and priorities of the Ronin Institute. It also guarantees that if you join us, we will cover topics that are of specific interest to you!

The first Ronin Institute Unconference was held November 5, 2016, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. It will be held at The Democracy Center, located in Harvard Square, at 45 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The theme was “The Future of Careers in Scholarship“.

Keep an eye on this space for information about future events.

We appreciate the generosity of the sponsors for this event:

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation ( is a leader in the promotion and understanding of entrepreneurship. They are currently seeking a Research and Policy Director to lead an interdisciplinary research program focused on understanding the conditions that best support entrepreneurs and the policies that can foster those conditions. For more information, visit

The Society of Professional Consultants ( is an organization that helps individuals establish themselves as independent consultants and helps established consultants to maintain successful careers. They are also offering a free 60-day trial membership to attendees of the unconference.

Ronin Institute Research Scholars Gordon Webster and Alex Lancaster are the principals of Amber Biology consulting (, working at the intersection of biology and computer science. Their new book is Python for the Life Sciences.

Ronin Institute Research Scholar Anne Thessen is the principal of The Data Detektiv (, which specializes in custom data analysis and inference in the biological and geophysical domains.

Research Scholar and Board Member Steven Orzack is the founder of theFresh Pond Research Institute (, which served as one of the inspirational models for the Ronin Institute.