We live in a society where we are constantly fed information, and one where we take in most of the information without question. Our children know how to find information from TV, or maybe in newspapers, occasionally from books, and most often from the ubiquitous internet. What they are not being taught often enough is the skill of questioning, of not accepting everything at face value, of developing filters for information in their own minds, but also the ability to assess information without bias, and to turn the information prism like, looking for where the light shines through most brightly.The stream of information and its availability on a 24/7 basis will continue to grow, the statistics are astounding (ie 24 hours of content uploaded every minute to YouTube) and the ability to assess what is important to us will remain critical.
From a conference perspective we must also find ways for our participants to process the information they hear and find ways they can make it relevant and applicable to their situations. Imagine if at a meeting we allowed "prism" time, where participants are able to reflect, turn the information looking at it from the new point of view presented and how it fits into their own context, and to be able with others extend the conversations sparked by the sessions? Imagine if questions were not only encouraged but integral to the sessions… imagine the possibilities.