Case Study: Large Conference Design and Stakeholder Engagement

A group of about 30 science, land management, and non-governmental organizations and governmental agencies had been working together for several years to create a long-term “monitoring plan” covering a large geography.  This plan was federally mandated, and was primarily to guide policy in Washington DC about how to monitor current and future ecological activity in that region.  However, as this group began to work towards this goal, they realized that several other outcomes could be achieved: a clear set of goals about what all of these groups wanted to work towards; a shared vocabulary that could span many different disciplines; and an experience of shared-decision-making that would foster the group’s ability to work together on future projects.  They decided that the best way to do this would be to conduct a “summit,” where prior work would be discussed and confirmed.

Global Genesis worked hand in hand with this group to do the following:

  • Design appropriate and achievable outcomes for the day that reflected the needs of both the client as well as many of there partners;
  • Based on those outcomes, design a day for 65 people that was engaging as well as allowed them to discuss and decide on critical factors for the monitoring plan;
  • Helped to create and maintain a set of ground rules that allowed for strong opinions to surface, be understood, and be incorporated – not easy with such a large group with a diversity of views!
  • Created a system for “real-time” capturing of information and agreements
  • Worked with Summit Leader to create a report that incorporated the day’s work and fed directly into the end result: a monitoring plan that would be sent to Washington, DC.

By the end of our day together, we had captured enough feedback and data to complete the report; had deepened relationships between group members, established a common vocabulary amongst a group of people with very different backgrounds, and created momentum that is still helping the group move forward today.

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