We are putting a priority on innovation at the Information Futures Summit, including in how we organise our time together.

In this context, we’re excited to be trying out some new formats, including: Open Fishbowl Sessions, Pitch Sessions, and From Trends to Practice. Each of these emphasise opportunities to engage and help us ensure the Summit is truly a conversation bringing together the whole global library field.

Open Fishbowl Sessions

What makes this different?

Unlike a traditional panel, in this, our speakers are in the middle of the room, in a small circle. There is one extra chair. The original participants each have 6-7 minutes to set out their perspective on the issue at hand, with a focus on sharing an original perspective on a question which either highlights an opportunity, or sets out something that libraries will have to deal with in future. The speakers can then respond to each other’s interventions. Then, members of the audience are invited to join the group at the additional chair, and suggest either something that builds on the original proposals, or a new, relevant idea or perspective.

Goal: to come up with the start of a mind-map around the particular aspect of the future and information on the agenda. This will subsequently be shared so that others can input their ideas.

Pitch Sessions

What makes this different?

These sessions are designed to be fast-moving panel sessions, allowing for discussion between panellists and audience, with a strong focus on identifying potential priorities and actions that participants can take back home.

While the physical set up is like a normal panel, each speaker has only 5-6 minutes to share their concrete idea for what libraries can do. We then have 15-20 minutes of structured discussion between panel members (using pre-set questions), before opening up to the floor, inviting them to pitch ideas in 2-3 minutes maximum.

Goal: to come up with practical ideas that can be shared and implemented when participants get back home. These can also go up on a Miro board, and be annexed to the forthcoming Brisbane Declaration.

From Trends to Practice

How is this different?

This is a very open session, focused on taking the insights from the Trend Report, and thinking about how these will shape into how libraries work firstly with each other, and then with communities. The session would start with a brief reminder of relevant sections of the Trend Report, before encouraging people to share ideas via online polling in order to ensure maximum sharing.

This then opens up to an informal session, where people are encouraged to indicate why they might agree with one of the ideas shared on the screen.

Goal: The idea is that we come out of the session with at least three ideas on how we can act on the trends/scenarios chosen