Dear All - I would like to facilitate a 60-minute Fishbowl Session prior to the end of this calendar year. This will be with two main objectives: 1) to share the fishbowl facilitation technique; and 2) to take one of the recent engaging
SIKM discussions and delve further into it. Many of you have probably facilitated or participated in (as "fish" or observers) a fishbowl session. In the last few months, I have had the pleasure in my capacity as a consultant for the IOM (International Organization
for Migration - a branch of the U.N.) to facilitate several fishbowl sessions. They tend to be a nice way to conduct a tacit knowledge exchange, while deepening insights in the flow of the session.
To make this happen, I need help from you. I need two things: 1) your ideas / votes on what recent discussion to focus on; and 2) ~Four volunteer "fish" to enter the fishbowl. The candidate discussions to explore further are below
(we will select one of these only). You can share your ideas with me via the SIKM discussion or via my email - danieleranta@....
Fishbowl conversations are a form of dialog that was born in what is known as unconferences, also known as participant-driven meetings that
try to avoid standard conference formats such as presentations followed by Q&A sessions. A fishbowl conversation is used when discussing topics within large groups as several people can join the
discussion and this allows everyone to participate in the chat. They can be done face-to-face or virtually.
An advantage of a fishbowl conversation is that it shortens distances between the speakers and the audience and is useful for larger groups. The focus is all on the conversation that emerges as the participants
are the custodians and curators of the conversation. The initial questions for a compelling discussion need to be accurately prepared as well as the conversation starters, which must be carefully picked- participants must know how to listen before speaking.
The success of the fishbowl is dependent on the moderator who ensures that individuals, either those beginning in the fishbowl or joining the discussion at a later time, do not dominate the talk or take it off track.
Fishbowls are not meant to reach consensus but instead generate an intimate and spontaneous conversation used for building dialogue between participants. Also, the open-ended questions are meant to explore what was not known before.