Seminars are a key instrument to unravel the power of ‘conversations’ in any research institution. In the case of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), seminars are meant to generate agendas within research groups, partners, would-be partners, donors and the public at large. They help take ILRI to the next level as a convener, thought leader and results-oriented research developer.
ILRI has organized and hosted thousands of seminars in its 40 years of existence. In the recent past, ILRI seminars have been organized by specific teams and individuals for specific purposes and have therefore been relatively narrow in focus, with little promotion and documentation. Such seminars have also been attended by relatively few staff. Or they may have been attended by new staff members who are often less interested in the subject matter being covered than to ‘meet the people’ and know more about ILRI.
ILRI managers have resorted to giving priority to high-level seminars as a way of improving the organization’s internal communication and create an agenda within and outside the institute campuses with its varied publics.
Earlier this year, ILRI management instituted a new seminar series – Livestock live talks, that would address ILRI-wide issues, mobilize in-house and external expertise and audiences and engage the livestock community around interdisciplinary discussions that ask hard questions and seek to refine current concepts and practices. The seminars are also meant to simplify technical research outputs to enhance understanding and ownership of research projects by ILRI staff.
The seminars will take two forms:
- Interactive seminars, with 20 minutes of presentation followed by 40 minutes of facilitated conversations cum debates cum responses.
- Lectures, with 40 minutes of presentation followed by 20 minutes of questions and answers.
Whether the livestock live talk is an interactive seminar or a lecture, it might be presented by more than one person and could also involve an interactive debate (by two people or a panel).