Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kaleidoscope learning - part 2 - Questions!

I think of conferences and events as if they are a kaleidoscope, where every person will see it through their own lens, and hear information through their own filters. Imagine if you attended a conference and in addition to hearing from seasoned professionals and experts in various fields sharing their knowledge, you could then extend the conversation, and share your own point of view. Then you could hear another point of view, and another, and truly create a dialogue about a topic.  Dialogue that could lead to new ideas, solutions, innovations.

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.


  1. Yes! We shouldn't just imagine prism time for application and reflection, we have to intentionally built it into the design of the various conference segments. If everything falls into the "what" bucket and there isn't ample "so what?" and "now what?" time we are unlikely to leave participants with the value they need to receive.

  2. Thanks Jeffrey, that is a great point. I think planners are often so used to programming all the time to show value that we neglect to giv the value of the relationship building - to me the key for attending face to face - the time it needs. Great perspective.