ground rules

Event groundrules

Meg writes: For the Sense about Sex events I developed some groundrules which I had used in previous events to give a rough idea about how we might interact on the day. I was mindful that, at other events I’ve been to, sometimes one or two people have dominated discussion and others have felt unable to contribute. Also it can be easy for people to disclose something and then feel uncomfortable about doing so, or for debates to polarise in ways that don’t allow for any other opinions.

These kinds of groundrules obviously don’t solve all problems with human interactions! But my hope was that they might encourage people to think about process (how they interact) before getting into the content of the event.

I’m interested in exploring further ways of cultivating cultures of kind, constructive and consensual communication (e.g. group sizes, structure of discussions/workshops, venue environment, etc.)

The groundrules are in the pdf link and below. All feedback gratefully accepted as these are very much a work in progress. Feel free to use and adapt yourself if they are useful.


General Event Ground Rules
Meg Barker

Running events, for various audiences, over the years, it is evident that it is worth all of us – whoever we are – thinking about how we interact on such occasions, especially when topics are personally relevant and/or politically charged.

This set of suggested groundrules may be helpful:

Treat speakers and participants with respect
It can be daunting to talk in front of a group, especially about your own work and ideas. It’s fine to disagree but try to keep criticism constructive and to own your perspective: ‘I think…’ rather than ‘you’re wrong’.