Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Unconferencing: From Keynote Speakers to Key Listeners

I am sure everybody has been to a conference where he has been unsatisfied with the outcome. But the most unsatisfying part to me is usually that only few people can contribute and the majority is condemned to wait for the question/answer sessions to get a chance to speak. This is particularly true for big conferences of international organizations where dialogue during the core sessions is a rarety.

But last November in Yaoundé, Cameroon, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership of WHO has taken the chance to change this by designing its Forum V meeting as a participatory event. The goal was to give every participant a voice to share his experience and to jointly come up with action points. This lead to lively discussions, increased participation and a sense of ownership of everybody involved. I can proudly say that the Constellation successfully facilitated this event.

Hopefully such participatory conferences will become the norm rather than the exception. Regarding this topic there is an interesting recording (podcast) of a discussion accessible online that debates so-called "unconferencing". It's all about how we can get away from unsatisfying conferences where the audience is often bored, towards much more engaging learning events?

>> you can find the podcast (recording) on this blog

>> or download it directly here

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