Tranforming conferences

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I absolutely love this post from Chris Corrigan over at the Parking Lot about how to improve conferences. Ours this week was relatively conventional (so to speak), though we tried to build in some interactivity and create spaces where people could do some of that off-the-cuff talking that gets so much done. But what I'd really like is the kind of thing Chris calls "keynote facilitation":

The keynote facilitator combines the attention and energy of a keynote address with the process care of a facilitator. Instead of giving you great ideas from MY head and experience, as a keynote facilitator I help to set the context for your own learning, and guide process that invites you to turn to those in the room and begin to craft innovation together in collaborative conversation. I have been using World Cafe as a process for doing this recently at a national conference on Aboriginal forestry and a regional gathering on Aboriginal economic development and I believe that it does provide added value for participants who are able to get quickly deeply into the issues and questions they face. The process also helps to develop an emergent sense of what the conference as a whole is thinking about and it provides individuals with an opportunity to reflect on their reasons for attending and to become more intentional about that. With the hour or so assigned to traditional plenary keynote speakers, I can have a conference of people talking to one another, creating connections and seeking out partners.

I'm not entirely sure how this works, but it's something we'll learn more about for our 2nd annual Pharmaceutical Meetings Planners Forum!

I absolutely love this post from Chris Corrigan over at the Parking Lot about how to improve conferences. Ours this week was relatively conventional (so to speak), though we tried to build in some interactivity and create spaces where people could do some of that off-the-cuff talking that gets so much done. But what I'd really like is the kind of thing Chris calls "keynote facilitation":

The keynote facilitator combines the attention and energy of a keynote address with the process care of a facilitator. Instead of giving you great ideas from MY head and experience, as a keynote facilitator I help to set the context for your own learning, and guide process that invites you to turn to those in the room and begin to craft innovation together in collaborative conversation. I have been using World Cafe as a process for doing this recently at a national conference on Aboriginal forestry and a regional gathering on Aboriginal economic development and I believe that it does provide added value for participants who are able to get quickly deeply into the issues and questions they face. The process also helps to develop an emergent sense of what the conference as a whole is thinking about and it provides individuals with an opportunity to reflect on their reasons for attending and to become more intentional about that. With the hour or so assigned to traditional plenary keynote speakers, I can have a conference of people talking to one another, creating connections and seeking out partners.

Pharmaceutical Meetings Planners Forum!

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