Last updated: 4th October, 2023
1. What is the EA concepts workshop
The EA Concepts workshop is a day-long event focused on introducing participants to fundamental EA ideas in an intensive manner. It's designed for individuals eager to delve deep into EA principles, particularly those who may not align with introductory fellowships or other beginner programs. Ideally, the workshop is most effective with a small group, ranging from 6 to 12 participants. However, modifications can be made to accommodate larger groups.
2. Norms to set for the workshop
(this is something you might want to provide for participants, or you can take the action points and note them out loud at the beginning of the workshop)
1. Respect: We want Participants to treat each other courteously, focusing on content rather than character and refraining from negative non-verbal reactions. So try to:
- Be kind.
- Avoid interrupting or having side conversations.
- Focus on discussion content, not on individuals.
2. Constructiveness: We want participants to engage in disagreements with an open mind, focusing on understanding differing perspectives rather than imposing one's own views. So try to:
- Understand others' viewpoints.
- Seek root causes of disagreements.
- Remain open to being wrong or finding nuance.
3. Inclusiveness: We want discussions to be welcoming for all participants, allowing everyone to share and ensuring clarity. So try to:
- Avoid dominating discussions.
- Explain technical terms and acronyms.
- Encourage clarifying questions.
4. Hands-up Policy: While participants can generally speak freely (and we will by default run the session not requiring the ‘hands up’ rule), the 'hands up' approach may be adopted if discussions get unruly. Things to consider:
- Speak freely but with consideration.
- Be open to the 'hands up' approach if suggested by the facilitator.
3. Things you need for the workshop
- Secure a room spacious enough for all attendees.
- Opt for a meeting-style room for an interactive workshop feel, rather than a lecture ambiance.
- Ensure the room is equipped with a projector or screen for displaying slides.
- Arrange for two group organizers to facilitate the workshop.
- While one organizer can manage, having two is preferred due to the workshop's intensive nature and to prevent fatigue.
- Provide lunch and/or dinner for participants (if you can)
- Have snacks if you can’t provide meals!
- Market the workshop to people you think would benefit from it!
- Use a signup form to gather participant information.
- Here is an example signup form you can use: signup form example
- Inquire about dietary needs if catering.
- Send out detailed workshop information to attendees a day prior, ensuring they have a point of contact for uncertainties.
- Plan coordination between the two organizers: decide who presents which sections and when to transition.
- Here are example slides for EA Oxford’s workshop: EA Concepts Workshop (July 2021) and ABRIDGED EA Concepts Workshop (Jan 2021) (if you want to do a shorter version).
- Draft a workshop schedule to manage time and try to stick to it!
- Modify slide to align with your event schedule and workbook.
- Create an accessible link (e.g., bit.ly) to the workbook for easy participant access.
- Here is an example workbook you can use: Concepts WORKBOOK (July 2021).
- Use a feedback form (either provided or customized) and ensure its link is in the workbook.
- Here is an example feedback form you can use: Feedback form example
- Familiarize yourself with the norms above and the facilitation guide (if you haven’t already) to foster a conducive discussion environment.
5. On the Day
- Offer a warm and approachable welcome.
- Facilitate ice breakers.
- Give an overview of the workshop + explain norms and cover questions people have.
- Integrate regular breaks and remind people to take them.
- Stick to the schedule but remain flexible; prioritize beneficial discussions or exercises, adjusting content later as needed.
- Allocate time towards the workshop's end for feedback collection.
- Engage with participants, directing them to other programs or offering additional discussions.