We have begun sending notifications to those who submitted a session proposal. Due to the overwhelming response to the Call for Proposals, these notices will take some time to roll out. Please note that if you applied by the Call for Proposals deadline (June 3, 2011) you will hear from us no later than Friday, September 16th.
Below are suggestions of possible formats for your Forum session. Please consider what format will best achieve the objectives of your session in about an hour and a half. You are also welcome to use your creativity in designing another kind of format for your session. Please keep in mind that Forum participants are a very diverse group and consider how your session can be relevant and useful for participants of diverse experiences and identities.
Interactive panel or debate:
Up to 3 speakers and a moderator speak in turns in a panel-style discussion. Alternatively, two sides could debate a question formally, prepared with research and other documentation to bolster their position. A significant portion of the discussion should be devoted to audience interaction. The audience should come away with a much richer idea of the complexities involved in the theme.
Share specific, hands-on knowledge and how-tos regarding particular tools, skills, or processes relevant to the Forum theme. Ideally, there should be opportunities for participants to not only learn about a new tool or technique, but to also try it out for themselves and receive resources they can take with them to help them practice the ‘skill’ being shared. These session sizes tend to be smaller, to facilitate audience interaction.
World Cafe session:
Discussion is held in multiple rounds of 15-30 minutes. Participants are seated around small tables to discuss the issue at hand around their table and at regular intervals they move to a new table. One participant (the table host) remains and summarizes the previous conversation to the newly arrived participants. By moving participants around the room the conversations at each table are cross-fertilized with ideas from other tables. At the end of the process the main ideas are summarized in a plenary session and follow-up possibilities are discussed.
Artistic or creative session:
These sessions focus on the use of arts, culture and creativity to stimulate new ways of thinking and create change, and are intended not merely to discuss the use of art, but to actually display, perform, debate, and/or create it collectively during the session. Examples of artistic or creative sessions include such things as film, mural painting, creating public art for activism, and popular theatre.
A disparate group of people are brought together in television “talk show” style, with a “host” who moderates the discussion, posing questions as well as taking questions from the audience. Fluid and improvisational, this type of session takes its cue from the audience.
Individuals or groups come together to discuss a concrete situation (be it a problem or opportunity) they are facing, with an eye to strategizing with others in the session and planning campaigns or other kinds of actions. The momentum from these sessions aims to carry beyond the forum itself into action.