Re: Please welcome the facilitators at

Brian E Carpenter <> Wed, 09 November 2016 22:53 UTC

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Subject: Re: Please welcome the facilitators at
To: Melinda Shore <>,
References: <> <> <>
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2016 11:53:35 +1300
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On 10/11/2016 08:24, Melinda Shore wrote:
> On 11/9/16 10:16 AM, S Moonesamy wrote:
>> Could you please send some feedback about whether it is useful to have
>> Facilitators for
> The experiment appears to have had minimal impact.  It's perhaps
> most helpful to consider the role of the facilitators during the
> lengthy and occasionally acrimonious Singapore discussion, where
> facilitation was unhelpful.

Which I don't think is intended as criticism of the facilitators, but
rather of ... human nature?

I would say that the notion of a truly opinion-neutral facilitator will
not work in most cases, especially during a debate on a divisive topic.
People who are being non-constructive, repetitious or off topic aren't
likely to take much notice of neutral messages or to calm down as a
result. I think it's only more Chair-like interventions (summarise opinions
and suggest a possible way forward) that will work in such cases.

The facilitator approach may work in less contentious cases (such as the
IPv10 thing that floated past a few days ago). But for those cases, back-channel
communication is often better.