Typical organisation of a seminar


The seminars gathered 20 professionals working in firms, associations, trade unions, administrations, academia, related to the issue being debated, from the whole European Union. They all spoke intuitu personae (i.e. not as representatives of their organisation or of their country) in full freedom and confidentiality.

The seminars were held in English language, with no translation provided: delegates were expected to be fluent, at least orally.

General method

The general intention of the schedule was for the delegates to first develop into a group, of people knowing and trusting one another, before going into concrete and potentially conflicting work. It also followed the rules of a creative and efficient process, being first very open, with a strongly convergent phase in the end.

Each participant received beforehand a "Reference document", introducing the issue to be treated and containing bibliographic and Web references, and had had the opportunity of a first exchange of views by e-mail with the other participants.

Typical schedule

Duration: 3.5 days over a week-end, from Friday evening to following Tuesday afternoon.

Day 0 (Friday):
Arrival of delegates. Settling in hotel. Late buffet dinner.

Day 1 (Saturday):

  1. Opening session: purpose of the seminar, introduction of each participant (background, motivation for coming, intentions and expectations). Talking Stick method (each participant is allowed to speak as long as s/he holds the stick materialising the right to do so)
  2. Open Space debate session A: free set-up of discussion groups , each handling one of the key topics to be addressed, as defined by the participants

Day 2 (Sunday):

  1. Open Space debate session B.
  2. Guided visit of Erfurt city.
  3. Feedback session: Talking Stick method.

Day 3 (Monday):

  1. Common definition of Public Policy Proposals, draft version.
  2. Commission work. Writing of Public Policy Proposals. Distribution of copies to all delegates.
  3. Free writing of amendments, distribution of copies to all delegates.

Day 4 (Tuesday):

  1. Vote on amendments and on the final version of the Public Policy Proposals
  2. Feedback session: Talking Stick method.
  3. Departure of delegates (early afternoon).