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Michelle Frisque's picture

Around the World Discussions

Participants move around the room participating in loosely structured discussions that are of interest to them.

Procedure

1. Topics can either be identified before the session or the first part of the Discussion Group can be spent identifying the topics for discussion.

2. Topics are then distributed around the room. One topic per area and the topic should be displayed so that it is easy for participants to identify the topic being discussed in that area. Areas can be tables, flip charts, sections of a wall, etc. Paper with markers, or post-it notes with pens should be placed in each area so that ideas discussed can be documented. The ideas discussed can be documented using words or pictures.

  • Facilitator: a facilitator should be assigned for each topic. Facilitators can be chosen in in 3 ways:
    1. The facilitator can be assigned before the Discussion Group begins.
    2. The facilitator can be selected by the first group that discusses the topic. In this model the facilitator stays with the same topic during each round.
    3. The facilitator can rotate each round. The facilitator in the first round can either be assigned ahead of time or selected by the first group who discusses the topic. The facilitator then stays with the topic for the next round. Before the next round is over the facilitator can ask for a volunteer to become the facilitator for the next round. If there is a volunteer the first facilitator can move to another topic. If no one volunteers they remain at the station for the next round.

3. Round 1. Participants select which topic they want to discuss and go to the area of the their preferred topic. The group then discusses the topic for a specific amount of time (to be determined before the first round begins). Ideas should be captured on paper, sticky notes, online, etc. The recorder can either be the facilitator, another person identified in the group or each person is responsible for documenting their own idea. It is best of each area has between 4-8 participants.

4. The first round should last no more than 20 minutes but can be as short as 5 minutes.

5. Round 2. After the first round is completed, participants select another topic they want to discuss and go to the topic area. At least one person from Round 1 needs to remain with the original topic, they will be the facilitator for Round 2. The facilitator gives a brief synopsis of what was discussed in Round 1 and then opens the floor for discussion. Ideas should be captured on paper. The recorder can either be the facilitator, another person identified in the group or each person is responsible for documenting their own idea.

5. Round 3. After the second round is completed, participants select another topic they want to discuss and go to the topic area. At least one person from Round 2 needs to remain with the original topic, they will be the facilitator for Round 3. The facilitator gives a brief synopsis of what was discussed in Round 1 and Round 2 and then opens the floor for discussion. Ideas should be captured on paper. The recorder can either be the facilitator, another person identified in the group or each person is responsible for documenting their own idea.

6. If time remains, conduct additional rounds.

7. Debrief. After the last round is completed it is time to debrief. The facilitator from the last round summarizes what was discussed at their topic during all of the rounds. Each topic should be given 3-4 minutes.