Best Bits: Agenda Organization Options

Jeremy Malcolm jeremy at
Tue Sep 11 22:20:37 EDT 2012

On 11/09/2012, at 6:18 PM, michael gurstein <gurstein at> wrote:

> Rather than starting with the inputs to the event (the agenda, the background concepts, the expectations of the participants) it might be more useful to have a clear idea (consensus?) on the desired outcome.
> I personally would opt for the outcome identified by Parminder below i.e. "basic global civil society coherences of vision and possibilities of common action" but go beyond that to having as an outcome not only a shared vision but at least the framework and initial commitments towards a broad coalition within civil society to move forward with some coherence and common strategy in this area (to match as Parminder goes on, similar such coalitions in other areas such as human rights and climate change…
> If we can agree on the desired outcome then how we best optimize the use of our time together should follow fairly straightforwardly.

I also want to see such an outcome (and the last session in the tentative agenda provides for discussion of this), however I think we may need to explore the dynamics of working together before we can put in place such a framework for doing so on an ongoing longer-term basis.  In other words, put the "running code" first.  Two days of actually working together will demonstrate to those who are yet unconvinced about the merits of doing so (and to funders) some of what can be accomplished.

I'm not trying to be obstinate about changes to the agenda, they are welcome and we will make changes.  On the other hand I am trying to be sensitive here to those who don't want to feel like they are being pushed into something.  I've had at least one phone conversation with a group that is worried we are trying to usurp existing initiatives, or at least to add an extra layer, that will tax already thinly-stretched resources.  Also (separately) from someone who is worried about lack of tangible outcomes (ie. documents).

Dr Jeremy Malcolm
Senior Policy Officer
Consumers International | the global campaigning voice for consumers
Office for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
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