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Guidelines for Presenters
A Standing Invitation for Presenters and a Call for Papers for
the Annual Project Renaissance Double Festival Conference

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Conference philosophy
  • When was the last time a symposium or conference produced, in your experience, a true expanding exchange of ideas?

  • And when was the last time that such an exchange included everyone present, not just an argumentative few?

  • And when, in your experience, did world-class presenters coming to present at a conference also get to learn from their audiences? Especially audiences which were half comprised of "ordinary" laypersons?
We invite some high-level presentations, in addition to sessions which are immediately more audience-involving. What has worked wonders is our getting in not only some of the best presenters but some of the best thinkers and perceivers and making their sessions involving!

We turn the last third of each of their sessions — thinkers and perceivers and presenters and audience all together — into a highly involving thinktank on the main issues that emerge during the presentation.

We use special methods to make those thinktanks extraordinarily effective, notably our Dynamic Format, a special script of instructions which you can find useful in many other contexts as well. The effect is sheer dynamite and powerful reward, with resulting major advances in the topic so addressed. This event is a development which you — we mean, you! — can be a meaningful part of.

Some conferences feature lectures, others present audience-interactive sessions. We feature some remarkable audience-interactive sessions and turn the high-content lectures into effective and rewarding thinktanks.

Some conferences feature panels. These Double Festivals feature unique implosion sessions, with audience and presenters of related sessions turned into a thinktank revolving around their main issues in common.

Also, we conclude the last hours of our conference with a rousing Grand Panel of the Whole, which refocuses and gives new meaning to everything that has happened in the conference. Here we use to great advantage our various accelerated-learning and creativity methods for creating maximum involvement and meaningful input from every attendee, reverberating within the expert frame of the panel.

Shouldn't nearly all conferences be like this?!

O

Some General Considerations
We are seeking to rise to "another level" in all regards in each Double Festival, far above even what has transpired to date. We intend to make this the kind of historic event that you will be extraordinarily pleased, even twenty years later, to have been a part of.

We are looking for well-founded theory, noting three different kinds of foundation for "truth":

  • empirical (evidence of the senses, usually taken to mean experimental data);
  • reason or strength of logical argument (an issue in relationships);
  • self-evident or intuitive.
Before a theory can be considered a "paradigm," it should have substantial concurrence from at least two of those three legs of the piano stool. Before a hypothesis can be considered a theory, there must be found some formal support for it from among these piano stool legs. We are happy also to entertain hypotheses which have not yet gotten such support, so long as we can find a way toward testing them.

We also seek relations between theories and models. For example, mapping geophysics, and especially plate tectonics, onto social and civilizational phenomena is very productive of further understandings in the field of socio-tectonics. Even better, we seek understandings of that ultimate relationship structure which descends and integrates from some comprehensive "unified field theory," the single descriptive statement from which all else derives.

For the sake of the laymen in our audience, note Jerome S. Bruner's famous statement that any idea or theory can be taught in intellectually respectable form to any child at any age level, so long as this is done in the child's own cognitive vocabulary. Note also that if you seek to explain your own theory to children, you will understand it better yourself. (See "Explaining advanced concepts" for more details of this dictum.)

What you present doesn't have to be already proven, but it should be well supportable by evidence empirical or argument or be in other regards self-evident. Its dismissal by the establishment does not disqualify it, obviously; but in and of itself that does not automatically qualify it, either. Remember the dictum, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" — also the feature of science wherein you can never really prove a thesis, only support it until such time as it gets disproved.

We also seek strikingly useful applications of such theory to practical human benefit. While "nothing is more practical than a good theory," at some point the theory has to be able to give us a handle on making things happen more the way we desire in the "real world."

Although the prospective benefits may indeed meet some resistance from people and from systems reflexively more comfortable with what's been sitting for so long in their rearview mirrors, it's those benefits in prospect which justify the whole enterprise and render this to be something more than just an intellectual or mental exercise.

Once we find ways to step around such resistance — including the status-quo-seeking resistance in our very selves — most of you reading this brief know that towering positive human breakthroughs of many kinds are now in immediate easy reach. Our pursuit together in context of the Double Festivals will go a long way to bringing various positive developments into immediate focus.

Coming the other way: if you have a strikingly effective technique to present, especially for improving the human condition, human performance level, the quality of human experience — even if you haven't a clue as to what makes it work, it just does — bring it in. Chances are that in this dynamic a setting, we — and you — will understand what makes it work before the Conference is done!

O

Proposal and session guidelines
o   Every 90 minutes, the next session. The presentation part of the 90 minutes is the first 60 minutes, because of other key things done with your topic immediately following your presentation part.

o   10 minutes' break between sessions within this 90-minute module.

o   Some sessions may be concurrent, some plenary. Space is limited: your largest possible audience is 50. No more than 2 sessions will run concurrently.

o   Highly interactive, participatory sessions — 60 minutes followed by 5 minutes of Q/A and 15-minute facilitated special process to further develop the topic.

o   Formal and/or lecture presentations — 60 minutes followed by 5 minutes Q/A and 15 minutes of thinktank and/or facilitated special process. Experienced facilitators skilled in Dynamic Format or like procedures are available to help.

o   Relate in some way your session content to the main theme or thesis of the conference.
You don't have to agree or disagree, just relate in some manner so that context builds. This context-building works in two directions:  by tracing such a relationship, not only does your input add to the emerging unified context being built at the conference, but your participants have better recognition to relate to what you are presenting to them.

Please submit your proposal (see below) as soon as possible: — in most cases, not less than six weeks before the conference date.

O

Your proposal
  1. Name of topic.
  2. Brief 2- to 5-line description appropriate for conference program listing.
  3. Two to five paragraphs' detailed description, for our reviewing benefit.
  4. Brief summary of your main outcome objectives for your participants. In what ways does your presentation relate to the overall theme for the upcoming Double Festival?
  5. Interest value of your session — is it mainly:
    • Theory-building?
    • Technique?
    • Gee-whiz information?
    • Experiential?
    • Socio-behavioral?
    • Psychological?
    • Physical science?
    • Education?
    • Human developmental?
    • Inquiry method and/or philosophic?
    • Other?
  6. What, if any, are your audio-visual needs?
We also need a brief biography from you, maximum one page, which will be condensed into one paragraph for the program notes.

A color picture of you is requested, for possible use in our website exhibit and, eventually, in our online publication of the Proceedings.

Within ten days after the conclusion of the conference, we would appreciate from you a description or text from your session which could be included in the Proceedings, even when the sessions have been filmed or recorded.

Please send your proposal to: Conference Proposal, P.O. Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332 or by email to Win Wenger, with "Conference Proposal" in the subject line. If you have questions or would like to discuss your proposal with Win in person, phone him at 301-948-1122. Thank you.

O

Please consult Dynamic Format, the suggested basis for concluding a lecture or AV-based presentation with a thinktank, participants and presenter together on the main issue(s) to emerge during that session. It is also for use in the concluding thinktank portion of panel sessions set up as "Implosion Sessions" and may be used in other contexts as well.

This is a standing invitation to present at our annual conference and Double Festival, held each May in suburban Maryland, and to interact with a quality audience on matters which are most meaningful and important to you.

O

Comments and questions to
Win Wenger

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PO Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332
301-948-1122
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