Tactical Philanthropy is currently covering the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations conference with the help of a blog team. This is a guest post by Barbara Kibbe of Monitor Institute.
By Barbara Kibbe
As I’ve gone from session to session here at GEO I’ve been hearing from friends and colleagues that this is their favorite conference; that they really look forward to it; and that they find people here that really help them with real issues. I love hearing that GEO has held on to the let’s be practical and helpful vibe. Maybe the people with big criticisms don’t approach me so I’m not saying it’s perfect. But I am proud of the energy here at GEO, of the openness and generosity and the efforts to do things differently.
I haven’t been on a GEO conference planning committee in six years but I am bubbling over with ideas for next time. What if we break out of the 90 minute sessions for at least part of the time and sprinkle some TED-type talks around? (Short, pithy, great presentations, made to provoke.)What if we facilitate some open space sorts of conversations? (attendees build a list of topics and folks self organize around what they want to discuss with the help of facilitation.) What if some session leaders think of their time as a focus group rather than a presentation and we document the knowledge in the room on a given topic? What if we run a rapid prototyping exercise to uncover opportunities to innovate? What if we run a live Twitter Feed on the screen during a presentation? (Just to see what it surfaces.)
Those are some of my ideas. What do you think?