Workshop Planning Guidance

We want to make this conference as interactive, engaging and accessible as possible. In order to do this, we encourage you to consider the following when planning for your session. If you need help with planning your session, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

  1. Aims & Objectives:
  • What is the main aim of your contribution or session?
    • Is it primarily to convey knowledge / information / experiences?
    • Is it to share or teach a skill (i.e. movement building skills)?
    • Is it to engage in debate or help develop strategy?
    • Are you seeking to shift perspectives or attitudes?
  • How will your session contribute to the overall aims of the conference (i.e. strengthening international movements for abolition)?
  1. Audience:
  • Who is your intended audience (and is this clear in the description)?
    • Is this session designed to introduce abolitionist ideas to people who are new to them? Or is it more for people who are already abolitionist organisers?
    • Is it for primarily for community organisers, artists or academics – or everyone?
    • Will your session be relevant to both local and international participants?
  1. Format:
  • What format will best meet your aims and be most engaging to participants?
  • How much time will you need? What is realistic to accomplish within the time?
  • Are there ways you can make the session more interactive and participatory? (.e.g. can you do a Q & A rather than a long talk? Can you design interactive activities for participants?) For sample ideas see:
  1. Content & Contributors:
  • Do the contributors to your session reflect the full diversity of our movements? (i.e. avoid sessions with all white or all male speakers)
  • Will the content of your session be attentive to questions of power and oppression, such as racism, poverty, colonialism, gender and sexual injustice and disability-related discrimination?
  • Is the content of your session likely to be upsetting or triggering to potential participants? If so, what will you do to ensure people are aware of this and or can be directed to support if needed?ICOPA18_workshop_planning_guidance
  1. Accessibility:
  • How will you ensure the format, structure and delivery is accessible to all participants?
    • g. If you are using visual aids (power point slides, handouts, etc), provide large print versions, use sans serif font, etc. Please also be mindful that people may have different abilities with activities, e.g. if they are unable to read, or need support with writing
    • Try to avoid using unnecessary jargon or unexplained acronyms
    • Try to speak slowly and clearly, being mindful of second language speakers, translators
    • Allow more time than you think you need, in the spirit of following the slowest person
    • Have you designed your workshop so there are different ways of interacting with the session so people don’t feel forced to participate?
    • For further guidance see:
  • Are there potentially any specific power dynamics in the room that you will need to be mindful of?

For a PDF version of these guidelines: ICOPA18_workshop_planning_guidance