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Click here to view this video if you don't have access to YouTube (i.e. from China)

Discussion facilitators - we need you!   The format for our events involves having one discussion facilitator with 5-6 people at each table.  Please view the above video for more information.

Click here for our Food for Thought page on this topic


Being a facilitator allows you to meet more people and to take a more active role in our discussions. Here are some FAQs regarding being a facilitator in our Meetup groups.

 

How do I sign up as a facilitator?

Sign in to Meetup.com, then go to the event page for the event, then add a comment something like: "I'll help facilitate". This comment will then be visible when you page down on the description for the event.

 

What is the purpose of the discussion facilitators?

Our facilitators help keep the conversation on track based on the chosen topic of the event, and to help create a conducive atmosphere for the sharing of insights and ideas.

 

Do you provide facilitators with notes?

Yes indeed! I spend many hours putting together the facilitator notes for each event. These notes contain philosophical quotes and questions to keep the conversation engaging.

 

Do you want me to cut off conversations to ensure we get to it all the content, or do we get as far as we get as long as the conversation remains rich?

I never try to cut any conversation short in order to get through the areas in the notes. This is what seems to work well for me - I start by going around the table asking people if there was something in particular that attracted each person to the topic of the evening. If I see a common thread, I may jump to that part of the notes, otherwise I just start at the first section in the notes. I then keep my ears peeled for potential segues in the conversation to move to other parts of the notes but only if it seems like the conversation has run its course in one of the areas. I definitely don't try to force the group to take on all the sections included in the notes.

 

Does being a facilitator mean that I cannot contribute to the discussion?

Absolutely not! Our facilitators have the opportunity to contribute to the discussions just as much as everyone else.

 

Are there any rules or guidelines?

Yes, and there are only two of them; one person talking at a time (at each table), and respect for each other. The one person talking at a time rule is only in place for the structured (facilitated) portion of the evening. Many smaller conversations usually break out after that point.

 

How often would I be obligated to help out?

There is no obligation since how often you help out is strictly your choice.

 

What specific experience or qualifications are required?

None. What is the format for the evening? The structured (facilitated) portion of the evening last for approximately 90 minutes, and then people are free to change tables (or leave) if they wish. Click here for more information how our events are structured.

 

Do the facilitators prepare in advance?

This is really not required. The discussion notes are designed so you can just print them off and you're good to go!

 

Do you (Glen Brauer) help out as a facilitator as well?

Yes indeed! I wouldn't ask anyone to do what I'm not prepared to do myself. I am one of the facilitators for each of the events which take place in the Vancouver group.

 

I offered to facilitate (by sending Glen an email) so what do I do next?

Actually, this doesn't work. If you send me an email then nobody else knows that a facilitator has been established for the event, and then more than one person may offer to facilitate which will cause confusion. The solution is to leave a comment on the event page (the Meetup page with all the details of the event) so your fellow attendees know that you've volunteered to facilitate. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a comment (i.e. "I'll facilitate"). Once you do that, then look for the link to the facilitator notes in the event description. All the instructions will be included in these notes.

 

- Glen Brauer (Founder, Facilitator, Event Coordinator - Philosophy Dinners)