Panel discussion

Panel discussions are a good way to start a kick-off event for a new local group. Together with experts, the relevance of the topics "Data4Good" or "Data analysis for civil society" and the associated need to found a new local group can be discussed. Panel discussions often revolve around a provocatively formulated question that can possibly stimulate a diverse debate.

The planning of a panel discussion should start 3 months before the date of the panel discussion at best. At the beginning it should be defined which main topic the podium discussion basically should have (partly also depending on the objective of the local group (see three columns above)). Then you have to decide how many perspectives on this topic can be raised and define a corresponding number of discussants. Building on this, potential discussants must be addressed and contacted. It makes sense to first refer to the contacts of CorrelAid Germany. Johannes or Arndt can give you the best feedback. In addition to these "celebrities" you should ensure that at least 1-2 discussants come from your region, so that the interested can see a familiar face. It is best to contact a method professor. However, also pay attention to maintaining a balanced gender mix for the panel discussion. When contacting the discussants, be sure to formulate the most concrete invitation email - it should be clear when the event will take place, who else will be invited, what questions you will ask, and why you have contacted exactly this person. It should also be clear at this time who should act as moderator for the panel discussion. At best, this is a member of the CorrelAidX group with a bit of experience in speaking to larger groups. The moderator should start thinking up questions early on and distinguishing between questions for all discussants and special questions for individual participants.

After the discussants have agreed, you must ensure that you book a sufficiently large room. For this purpose, it is advisable to work together with a student council of the university. They may normally reserve rooms from universities free of charge. Offer the student council that this can be a joint event so that they can also benefit from it and provide you with a little more WoMen-power. The room should have at least 50 seats; depending on the size of the university, the room may be larger.

Three weeks before your event takes place you should start promoting the event with flyers and social media postings. For flyers, ask your student council. If you organize the event together, it should not be a problem to provide 100€ for flyers. When promoting the event, make sure to choose the most appealing title and ask the discussants how they would like to be promoted. Often, discussants have more than one position. It is important to clarify the function in which they come to your event. Make sure that there is a bit of activity in the social media posting for the event - once a week, remind the participants that the event is about to start.

The room should be booked at least one week in advance to give you an overview of the premises. Furthermore, consider whether you want to organize a bit of catering. At least for the discussants it is necessary to offer water and glasses. Check several days in advance to see if you have access to the electronic infrastructure and if it works. If that is not the case, the university administration can certainly help out.

On the day of the panel discussion, make sure that the room is free and tidy at least one hour before the start of the event. Ensure that especially the external discussants are picked up and taken to the room and hang a few (direction) signs for interested and potential visitors. Please make sure that the discussants can be seen well from anywhere and adjust the seating accordingly. Furthermore, a photographer should be present who can take pictures from both discussants and guests well.

At the beginning of the event the moderator welcomes the guests, explains the topic of the panel discussion and introduces the discussants. Here, the discussants can already articulate input statements on the subject of the discussion. Afterwards the discussion should develop relatively fluently between moderation and discussants. At the end of the panel discussion, also the guests should be invited to participate and a conclusive statement should be made by each discussant.

If financial reasonable, the presenters may recieve small gifts. Sometimes, chocolate, flowers or CorrelAid-specific souvenirs should be fine.

Following the podium discussion, attention must again be given to social media. The best photos and a short text about the success of the panel discussion should be published. Furthermore, you can send the information to the press office of the university, so that the range is further increased.

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