Small working groups are the heart of the conference. Consisting of no more than 12 people, each has an opportunity to share their “work-in-progress” with the group. Working group members often develop lasting relationships with each the others in their working group.
Working groups meet three times during the conference, for two hours each time. Taking turns of no more than 15 minutes, each person shares a bit of data or analysis (appropriately contextualized and framed). Media, other data, and/or data analysis and interpretations are shared. After the first 15 minutes, the group discusses the work shared for 15 more minutes, offering suggestions for analysis and alternative interpretations; probing for additional insights and engage in a collegial conversation. While brief clarifying questions may be asked, the presenter mostly listens during the second 15 minutes. All comments and discussion should be respectful of the risk that everyone is taking in sharing work-in-progress and should be supportive.
(Note: Although we do not prohibit the use of PowerPoint or similar presentations, we discourage them. These sessions are intended to be informal, conversations among scholars in supporting each other. Use notes as needed, but please do not read a prepared paper or lengthy text.)
How do we make each working group? At best we can, we try to include both senior and less senior scholars, people from different universities, and people who may have similar topics. It is not always possible to balance all of these dimensions, but we try. The members of a working group stay together for the whole conference so they hear and talk about the research of each person in the group. We ask that everyone commit to being at the whole conference, so that can benefit from the intellectual power of the whole group.
IMPORTANT: All participants should submit the title of their small working group presentation by April 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org (If your title doesn’t clearly explain what the topic of your research is, please add a sentence to help us out).