Issues Selection

Procedure for Issue Group Break-out Sessions - 2014 Summit

August 25, 2014, 8:28 pm
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What are Issue Group Break-out Sessions?

  The  Issue Group Break-out Sessions are not workshops in the usual sense.  There are no formal presenters for these sessions—although those most interested in the issues will likely come with materials to share.  The idea is to allow each group to suggest as many ideas as possible and consider/prioritize options for dealing with the issue as the group sees fit.

How many sessions will be there be?

  There will be three 60-minute Break-out Sessions in the course  of the day, with four separate issue groups meeting in each session, along with two skill-building workshops that cut across issues.  Thus, over the course of the day, there will be a total of 12 different issues and six workshops to choose from.  The building will be set up to accommodate each group with chairs arranged in a circle or around a table.

How will the topics for the Issue Groups be determined?

Ten of the twelve Issue Group topics will be determined in advance, based on proposals and expressions of interest from registrants.  The remaining two slots will be filled at the Summit, with a chance for any proposer whose topic was not chosen, and for anyone with an additional topic, to briefly present a proposal.

How can I propose a topic?

  If you wish to propose a topic for an issue group, be sure to respond to the Registration Follow-up Survey which will invite your input on issue topics, exhibits, and ways in which you might want to assist at the summit.  After topics have been suggested, we will send out a further follow-up questionnaire in which participants are given a chance to indicate their top three choices for issues sessions.

What if my topic is not chosen?

  There will be a vetting period before the second session in which new or otherwise not slotted topics will compete for the remaining two open slots.  Each proposer will have 60 seconds to pitch a topic to all summit attendees. You don’t have to be the greatest expert on the topic (expect other participants to have much to share), but you do have to show your passion for you top8ic's importance.  Come with a brief description of your proposal to be posted on an easel in the main meeting area.  If you discover a related topic already on the list, consider collaborating as one group.

Do I need to sign up or register to join an Issue Group?

  No.  In fact participants may switch to any group at any time (Law of Two Feet) regardless of their earlier preferences.  If a group turns out to be too small to be viable, it could either disband or merge with another group.  If a group seems too big, consider splitting in two.

What will happen within the groups?

  That will be largely up to the participants.  A preassigned facilitator will be responsible for seeing that the meeting runs smoothly, but will not be responsible for the content of the discussion.  This facilitator will try to make sure that everyone is heard, that no one dominates, and that the discussion keeps on time and keeps generating good ideas.  A volunteer note-taker is also needed, with newsprint provided (wall or easel), to record ideas. The note-taker should make special note of anyone who may be willing to help organize, or participate in, any kind of follow-up action or collaboration.  A sign-up sheet will be circulated in each group to record participants and to allow support post-summit contacts for participant on issues of mutual interest.

How can the discussion lead to further networking and action?

  The note-taker or other designated person from each group will give a two-minute report back in the Moving Forward session fat the end of the day – basically an overview of the ideas discussed and actions hat were prioritized. After all groups have reported back, there will be a general discussion on the opportunities that have been identified.  The notes for each issue group will be posted on a wall and later online – look them over before you leave and add your name to a topic if you’d like to be included in, or help lead, subsequent alerts, activities, or actions of this group.


Administrator, N. (2014). Procedure for Issue Group Break-out Sessions - 2014 Summit . Retrieved from
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