PROUD partners in Lancaster and the design of meetings

One of the joys of academia is that you get to collaborate with great people that you really like. This is certianly the case with the PROUD project. The flip side of this is that you offten meet up with these great people in meetings, endless meetings. For big EU funded projects like PROUD these can take over 2 days and after that much time with 15 people or so sat around a table its pretty easy to loose the will to live.

To counteract this, and look at how meetings in general can be more fun, productive and efficent we have prought together the PROUD project and New IDEAS project to open up a new initative on the design of meetings. This is not just about self preservation (in Imagination we have a number of multimillion projects at the moment) but its also about undertaking spoem fundimental research on this very well used but under examined mode of knowlege exchnage – the meeting.

We started this area of activity with a series of interventions in the recent Proud partner meeting held in Lancaster in January. We came up with a series of interventions, including a rethink of the reporting and action point activites (described in the post below) but we also dewsigned a series of activites for each activity workplan. This also included bringing in an external facilitator for some of this in addition to facilitating ourselves. The photos here document some of the activies we undertook as part of this process.

The outcomes were very interesting, most of the interventions worked well and feeedack was very positive but there are a few issues arising that we need to think about next time. Most fundimental of these is the structures underlying the meeting, things like chairing, agenda structures and participation pre-meeting of participants. This has a profound impact on the landscape of the meeting allowing interventions and more dynamic activites to flourish or not work at all.