At State level
LVI Forums are great places to meet people and soak up what other people are doing, but when you drive all that way to a Forum, you want to do more than sit and listen. We need more ways to exchange knowledge than Powerpoint presentations!
CLEA is testing out formats for problem-solving by peers that bust open difficult issues and pull together current knowledge. Let’s look at just one example ....
The 2017 Professionals Forum was designed as a total peer-to-peer event: the agenda was set by Landcare staffall and presenters were Landcare staff (not outside experts). We used several different ways to learn peer-to-peer:
Different perspectives on one theme. The theme was set by Landcare staff, the session gave alternate and complementary perspectives, with a mix of theory, first-hand experience and practical experience, and the presentations were short and sharp.
"How-to" sessions where individuals shared their knowledge on a specific subject worked because the presenters had first-hand experience of the Landcare job and could relate their material to the work situation of their colleagues.
"Knowledge harvest" sessions to gather knowledge on an issue. The format was simple enough for each group to facilitate itself. The focus on appreciating what worked or needed to work meant the groups did not get sidetracked into complaining about difficulties.
"Conversations that can't wait." On the evening of Day 1, participants had one hour to follow an issue they really wanted to talk about. We organised this on the fly, based on what people wanted then and there.
The Loomio website. Participants were invited to discuss three of the Forum topics before the event, and continue discussion after the Forum. Five people posted before the event, and three people after. There just weren't enough people using the site to make an on-going conversation viable. Face-to-face wins!!
Open the PDF at right to see the amazing agenda we built with Landcare staff, and Review of the Forum to hear what those who came thought of the Forum and its peer-to-peer methods.