Taking It Upstream will incorporate some of the most innovative interactive engagement techniques that place a premium on gathering and sharing information, including:
A fishbowl conversation is a way to support dialogue in a community about critical issues. It is called a fishbowl because a circle of people have a conversation and those sitting around them watch. The advantage of fishbowl is that it allows the entire group to participate in a conversation. One option you have is to break the conversation that the circle is having and go around the audience and see what folks are thinking about the conversation. This creates a feedback loop and gives voice to the rest of the room. You can have a break and continue the dialogue using the fish bowl method.
Participants discuss issues at small roundtables, moving to different tables at intervals. One person stays at each table and briefs the next group, in order to promote the cross-fertilization of ideas.
Presenters are given the chance to present 15-20 slides, with each slide automatically advancing after 15-20 seconds. Attendees are rapidly engaged with all presenters, with ideas ranging from architecture to planning, hip-hop to online marketing.
A series of intimate, roundtable conversations focus on specific, interconnected topics or dialogue streams. A common thread of the roundtable discussions is the goal of bringing new intellectual insight to the examination of issues through lively, informal exchanges.
Movers and Shakers
Participants are seated in rows of five, facing one another in very close proximity. This spacing creates a sense of intimacy and also enables participants to hear one another as it does get rather noisy when everyone is speaking at once. One row (the 'Movers') is asked to move down every 5-10 minutes and/or with each new question or task. The other row (the 'Shakers') stays put. Some practitioners see this technique as being akin to 'speed-dating.' With each move, participants are able to share a new question (or task) with a new partner or reiterate an earlier question, etc. to a new set of ears. Like the World Café process, these questions and conversations link and build on each other as people move down the row, cross-pollinate ideas, and discover new insights into the questions or issues that are most important in their life, work, or community. This technique is a wonderful way to warm up participants, or to generate a broad range of questions, etc. in a short period of time.