My request for input on ways we could structure the Tactical Philanthropy track at the SoCap conference so that we move beyond potentially boring panel discussions has generated some solid, supportive ideas.
But I just got the following email from Ken Berger, CEO of Charity Navigator (published with his permission):
My basic assumption is that people come to panel discussions at least in part because they want to hear the views of the panelists (at least I do). When it goes otherwise I find myself frustrated that in the push for participatory process, we minimize the valuable nuggets of wisdom we can get from good presenters.
Along those lines, I believe short presentations by panelists are of value. Red and green cards in the audience would piss me off by the way. Again it is false participatory process rather than meaningful feedback. Yes we want audience participation and engagement but we also want panelists to share their knowledge in some substantive way. Good old fashioned Q&A after brief presentations work. If the problem is boring speakers, then don’t invite them next time based on audience surveys post the presentation.
Finally, I find those supposed informal discussions in a round table fashion another false effort at informality and homeyness. It does not allow a panelist with knowledge to provide depth of information. Everybody get’s little sound bites and the audience again is left hanging.
What do you think? Frankly, I agree that poorly executed panel alternatives are worse than a traditional panel. The real question is what does the audience want? A number of you will be attending SoCap. How do you want to see the sessions structured?