Planning a Conference: PANO & Creating the Future

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ConferenceThe next planning meeting for the joint PANO / Creating the Future Conference will happen right here on Tuesday, Febraury 11 at 1pm ET. Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch it live. To participate, tweet to the hashtag #CTFuture.

During the last meeting of the Conference Planning Team, we talked about the format of the conference itself – how each piece could contribute to our overall objectives.  As we noted in this post (which also contains the video of our last meeting), the objective of this conference is to be "a celebration of what conferences have the potential to be – places of vision, of intentional relationship and trust-building, places that deliberately and mindfully build upon the wisdom in the room."

Planning for the nuts and bolts of the conference therefore means incorporating those objectives into every aspect – from the length of the sessions, to the topics, to the non-workshop activities and everything in between.

The following summarizes the results of our discussion:

1) The importance of modeling that one can incorporate the values and philosophies of such technologies as Open Space into any discussion, rather than making the technology the focus of the event. Because this is an education-focused conference, it is important to demonstrate that any education program can model vision, relationship building, mindfulness, trust-building, honoring and building upon the wisdom in the room – that what it takes is mindful intent to do so.

2) The conference will therefore include 4 breakout sessions of 90 minutes each – two on Day 1, and two on Day 2. This will allow each session to begin with conversations about vision, to show how that context can lead towards more empowering results. It will allow for relationship and trust building, and will allow time to build upon the wisdom in the room.

3) There will be two keynote addresses, one on Day 1, the second during the morning of Day 2.

4) The rest of the conference (annual meeting, awards, etc.) will fit around those foundational pieces.

5) There will be 4 main subject areas addressed in those workshops:
• Leadership & Governance
• Resource Development
• Planning & Strategy
• Relationship Building / Colllaboration / Engagement

6) There will be 5 lenses / points of view through which each subject area will be addressed:
• Tool and Technique-based workshops (exploring and practicing with new tools)
• Skills Development workshops (exploring and practicing new skills)
• Transformational workshops (going deep into cutting edge approaches)
• Cross-sectoral workshops (addressing the topic across all sectors e.g. leadership, strategy, etc.)
• Peer coaching workshops (led by specialists and facilitators, a place to address specific issues facing your organization, related to the topics. E.G. "How do I deal with X happening on my board?" etc.)

At Tuesday's meeting, we will prioritize the events that are not plenaries or breakouts. Will there be one-on-one coaching? Events for supporting parnters? Post-conference education and continued conversation? Evaluation of actual impact?

Join the conversation right here at 1pm. (If it is a bit after 1pm and the video does not appear, please be patient – we may just be getting a late start.) See you then!

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