What is the OPEN-i community doing?

The community will manifest its value in  a sense of both producing something in common, and in engaging in  interesting conversations, but the idea is that the interesting conversations will have some form of structure/goal, but that the community itself should produce the agenda for the conversations. we started out with a small ‘editorial board’ who i interviewed, and then we had a couple of group meetings both f2f and via web conferencing. From this we came up with a series of key topics to get the community going, which have formed the basis for the fist series of live webinars. So the overall goal for the first year is to work through this series of topics, probably returning to each of them periodically and in more depth, and then summarising the discussions to try and formulate a sense of where our practice is today and where it might be going in the future, and what we might do to try to effect positive change in that. One thing that has emerged from this is an idea to have a variety of different kinds of webinars to help work things through.

Types of Webinars

We are currently looking at several main types of webinars

1: a themed panel presentation where an invited/volunteer group of 3-4 ‘thought leaders’ in the community (or from outside of it) each present on the same theme/concept, then a q&a with the audience. This is how we plan to initiate each major conversation we want to deal with

2 A follow up, or series of follow up, sessions where a smaller group meet to discuss that topic of the panel presentation in much more detail – a kind of workshop session to actually try and come up with some new ideas/insights

3 more ‘portfolio’ like presentations about geographic or organisational themes e.g. one about what is happening in photojournalism in Africa, or an individual photographer presenting their work

4 presentations linked to events e.g. real world conferences where we put together a panel to engage in a series of questions in a round table discussion

5 seminars based on specific groups within the community e.g. non profits/NGO’s where they would meet to discuss issues specific to them

We would be very interested to get some feedback on this approach, and any other ideas for how to help a community achieve a sense of common purpose

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