Bring together experts for a panel discussion

Hearing from subject matter experts is a crucial part of a Design Jam. You may choose to bring them together onto a panel to discuss key questions in a group setting. This tool outlines the process and gives some pointers about how to form and deliver an expert panel discussion.

Plan: Set Context With Experts
Preparation
30 mins
Delivery
25 mins

Bring together experts for a panel discussion

Hearing from subject matter experts is a crucial part of a Design Jam. You may choose to bring them together onto a panel to discuss key questions in a group setting. This tool outlines the process and gives some pointers about how to form and deliver an expert panel discussion.

Preparation:
30 mins
Facilitation:
25 mins

What is it

Experts not only bring different perspectives to the Jam; their background in specific domains (e.g. legal, academic research, privacy design expertise, etc.) helps participants design more innovative and feasible solutions. These thought leaders and practitioners can leverage their academic and professional experiences to enable participants to develop insights on how to approach their Jam challenges in fresh ways.

You may prefer to have experts give individual presentations (if so see Select and orientate experts), but panel discussions are also a great way to open up expert debate and response.

but this tool will help you to identify 3-4 diverse experts and bring them together for a moderated discussion on the theme of the Jam.

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How to do it

1 Take inspiration from the agenda

Consider your Jam goal and theme (see Setting a goal) as you nominate potential experts. For example, if your Jam theme involves designing consent requests within a digital product, you should consider experts who can offer guidance on what consent currently looks like from a legal perspective. You want to bring together a range of experts for the panel discussion.

As a starting point, consider the following criteria to select experts:

  • Relevance to Jam theme: Is their expertise appropriate given the Jam goal and theme?
  • Public speaking experience: Do they have experience transmitting complex ideas to an audience in an understandable way?
  • Feasibility: Are they available? Can we afford to pay their fees? Are they located nearby? Is this person in my network?
  • Diversity: Will this person add a complementary or divergent voice to the Jam?

Then, gather information to help you apply the criteria and assess the experts.

2 Provide expert guidelines

Give the following presentation guidelines to the experts you have invited:

  • Prepare structure: Identify a moderator to lead the discussion - this is normally one of the facilitators. Allow for 20-25 minutes to conduct the panel and think of ways to monitor the discussion so that all panelists equally contribute. Prepare 1-2 lines of panelist introductions for the moderator to welcome the group to the discussion.
  • Prepare questions: Short questions for the panelists should be open enough for the participants to understand, but also specific enough to get into detail regarding the theme of the Jam. Think about framing statements and questions to reflect the roles on and diversity of the panel. You may want to consider asking questions to all of the panelists to respond, or maybe just 1 or 2 of them. At the close of the panel, allow each panelist to give a closing statement as a piece of advice for participants and their upcoming design challenge. Some examples include:
    • The world of data has become so complex over the last number of years, stretching people's understanding. What's your vision for data innovation and trust? Are there reasons to be optimistic?
    • Every sector and organisation is now data-driven. Challenges related to data have never been more relevant than now - but they're not new. * *What do other industries have to teach us about building trust and transparency for data?
    • What is your city's / region's / country's / sector's role in the global debate on data innovation / regulation / trust?
    • Looking forward to the next 3 years, what do you think are the biggest trends in data innovation and regulation in the region?
    • How can we balance transparency with people's desire for a swift and seamless experience online?
    • How can design help make complex interactions simple?
    • What's your one piece of advice for today's participants.
3 Brief participants and prepare examples

Brief the participants with the list of questions and which ones they'll be asked to respond to. Advise them to think ahead of time about short case studies and stories in response to the questions that can help make discussions more comprehensible and engaging by illustrating the most important insights.

Allow 3-5 minutes after panellist questions for a general Q&A with the audience.

The participants may be asked to develop "How Might We's" throughout the exercise (see Identify opportunities).

What you will need

  • Chairs

  • Microphone

  • Introductions and questions on the page for moderator

This tool and any associated downloadable assets are provided under a

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike CC BY-SA 4.0 International License.

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