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The At-Large Summit Needs You! (If You Can Facilitate or Chair a Meeting)

Are you someone who has past experience facilitating meetings?

Do you know someone who does that’s coming to the At-Large Summit?

The draft programme of the first-ever At-Large Summit is almost finished! Besides the 5 subject-based working groups, the agenda is chock full of briefings, sessions, a social event, and much more.

Several members of the ALAC and RALO community have already offered to prepare and conduct these sessions for the Summit, but the success of the Summit is in large part going to hinge not only on programme design but on execution. The weak link in each working group, workshop, and panel is going to be how it is *facilitated*. Chairing a meeting is a different skill than facilitating a working group or workshop. Dharma Dailey of NARALO emphasised this and made four suggestions:

  1. Identify any topics, workshops, or sessions that are likely to be contentious or require care to get people working smoothly.
  2. Ensure that each of those sessions which may be challenging are facilitated by someone who has a PROVEN track-record of successfully shepherding people through such sessions to positive outcomes.
  3. Identify all facilitators of sessions in advance - create ground rules for facilitation, chairing - "Here is what we are expecting you to do: …”
  4. Ensure that facilitation ground rules / expectations are covered right off the bat at the conference.

The Summit programme sessions will be conducted by:

  • (one or two or more) people who have expertise in the subject, concentrating on the content.
  • a *facilitator* of each session to moderate the proceedings in an inclusive manner (assuming a heterogeneous composition of participants) and “successfully shepherd people through to positive outcomes”.
  • one or two rapporteurs for notes and summaries and reporting back.

If you know any people in your RALOs and among your ALSes who have skill and experience in facilitating meetings, forums, workshops etc., please send a note to, or ask them to! We’ll then get back to them and help them find a ‘home’ in the programme. Thanks for your support identifying this rare subspecies of humans for us!