Propose a Session

For the event to work, we need discussion topics.

How do I propose a session?

Once you register for the event and have received your confirmation we invite you to consider a seminar-style discussion related to gender issues in academic employment that you would be willing to lead (or co-lead). Session ideas should include a question or topic, and a one paragraph description that can be used to get the ball rolling if the session goes ahead. We will pre-circulate all session ideas to participants well in advance. The morning of the event, all participants will vote on those proposals (and probably come up with several new ones), and then all together will work out how best to put those sessions into a schedule.

Remember that you will be expected to facilitate the sessions you propose, you should be prepared to summarise the issue, begin the discussion, keep the discussion going, and end the discussion. We’re hoping these sessions will result in some good tangible ideas to take forward, so you should also be prepared to write up and share the findings of your group. We’re hoping to sow seeds for future change here, and we hope you’ll consider being a part of that.

When do I propose a session?

You can propose a session as soon as you have received your confirmation of attendance. It is best to make sure we have received your ideas at least 48 hours in advance so we can circulate them to participants. If you get inspired on the morning of the event, you will have an opportunity to propose last-minute idea to the room. This is the first session of the day, when ideas are pitched and the audience votes for the ones they’d like to attend.

Why are sessions proposed this way?

This ‘unconference’ approach ensures that the event meets the needs and interests of the people who are attending. Rather than set a rigid schedule of activities, we facilitate what we hope are fruitful discussions, collaborations, and paths towards solutions to real problems. The process is meant to be informal, but collegial and professional. It’s a safe space to discuss the things you find important. We believe everyone’s ideas are important, and so we’re going to listen to you, rather than make you listen to us.

What do I propose?

If you propose a session, you’ll also have to agree to lead it, so it’s best to choose something you’d be willing to talk about with a group of people for an hour. Something you have at least some experience with. You needn’t be an expert, but knowing enough about how an issue affects people, or possible ideas for solving the problem is probably a good starting point. You needn’t have THE solution, but you should have an informed opinion on the matter. Your age, title, professional status, and gender have nothing to do with your ability to propose a worthwhile session. We expect you all have it in you, so please do help us make this event the best it can be.

If you’d like to chat informally about your idea, you can email either Jen Evans (j.evans5) or Adam Crymble (a.crymble), both at herts.ac.uk. We look forward to hearing your idea.


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