Weeknotes for April 3rd, 2020

As the new normal becomes not so new and this might be our normal for quite some time ahead…

Monday starts with more inquiries on helping to design and facilitate virtual meetings that were meant to be face to face. The tone ‘can we do this?’ is changing to ‘we have no choice, so help us with how’.

More work with The Solferino Academy at IFRC, as we try to solve the challenges posed by last weeks virtual workshop with 120 participants and multiple languages in play. We are exploring the ‘Language Interpretation‘ Module in Zoom (needs a Webinar or Business Account) for separate audio channels for each language and a pro-tip Zoom suggestion: Set-up multiple zoom rooms to handle breakout rooms in the same language. Wrote to Zoom about getting the Language Interpretation Module added on to my account on Tuesday but have not heard back, imagine they are busy.

On the English-only Solferino sessions, Have a good routine with cohosts Heather Leson and Shaun Hazeldine on our calls bringing individuals from National Societies around the world together to discuss innovation in response to COVID-19. Nice to hear how others at IFRC are adopting and modifying our formats (which we’ve adopted and modified from others).

Not surprising to hear that Zoom is a privacy nightmare as it’s proprietary. Very thankful for all the folks that are pointing out its flaws and putting pressure on Zoom to make their platform more secure. Admittedly, a bit disheartened by the people running around saying ‘don’t use Zoom’. Reminding me of some colleagues who were running around shouting ‘don’t use Skype’, ten years ago when it was enabling people to communicate. Zoom’s usability (particularly the small breakout room feature) is being salvation to many through the crisis. Still nice to see the free software foundation post a list of alternatives to Zoom.

I am still digesting learnings and participant feedback from last week’s The (Virtual) Workshop Lab. Nice to get a prompt from Hera Hussein to rerun it. Renamed to The (Virtual) Session Design Lab. Launching the [SessionDesign] List to support and connect past and future participants. Started selling tickets for April 23rd, with timings optimal for Europe and hoping to wrangle some colleagues based in the Americas and Asia to help me identify optimal dates and times.

Wrapped up the week with more work with The Solferino Academy at IFRC. Got to cohost a session with Solferino called a ‘Cartoonathon”. My favourite prompt “Anyone who gets called on needs to say something interesting!” Appreciated advice coming from Willow Brugh on how to run (virtual) meetings “Care about every voice in the (virtual) room”.