Nearly seventy Tarrytown Meetings participants submitted evaluations after the July Meeting. Participants shared what they liked about the event, what they found lacking, suggestions for future meetings, and more. The notes below start with an analysis that identifies broad general themes that appeared in the course of reviewing the many comments submitted. A representative selection of comments from the evaluations follows. These comments were chosen (from nearly sixty pages of text) to convey the tone of the evaluations and to flesh out the summary analysis with useful specific information. In some instances comments have been edited for clarity and concision. Planning for the 2011 Tarrytown Meeting drew heavily upon these evaluations.
Participants appeared to be quite pleased with the July 2010 Tarrytown Meeting. Several went so far as to say that it was the best event of its sort that they had ever attended. Most generally, they appreciated the fact that the Tarrytown Meeting happened in the first place, i.e, that such a motivated, smart and collegial group of scholars, policy experts, advocates and others committed to addressing human biotechnologies from a socially engaged perspective had come together to learn from one another and consider what might be done collaboratively.
Aspects that participants singled out for particular praise included the diversity and commitment of the participants, the opportunities for networking, the richness of the ideas presented, the high level of expertise and discussion, the structure and organization of the program, and the venue.
Participants found other aspects of the meeting less than ideal. Some felt that particular plenary, breakout and working session discussions could have been more focused. A number noted the tension between the desire to engage diverse perspectives on a wide range on concerns and the desire to work towards common positions in support of concrete, actionable initiatives. Others acknowledged that because this was the first in a series of three meetings, with participants from varied backgrounds meeting each other for the first time, a certain degree of tentativeness was to be expected and not inappropriate.
Many participants voiced their hope that at least a rough consensus around core concerns might be possible over the coming two meetings, and came away from the July meeting feeling empowered and optimistic about the prospects for doing this. A number urged that we produce one or more collective statements or other documents, and perhaps identify action priorities. Other participants were doubtful that such collective products would be possible, given the diversity of views and interests represented. Some argued that Tarrytown should explicitly forgo attempts to reach formal consensus, and suggested that it could serve more productively as a venue for sharing ideas and fostering relationships among individuals and organizations.
Participants were pleased with the large number of younger colleagues at the Tarrytown Meeting. They felt that several important constituencies were underrepresented, including scientists and health professionals, colleagues from outside North America, and representatives of activist and advocacy organizations.
A number of participants urged that we take steps to ensure that we are not perceived as being "anti-science." Others urged that we involve more colleagues from centrist and moderate portions of the political spectrum.
Participants appreciated the short plenary presentations, the ample time for breakout and small group discussions, and the fact that everything ran on time. A frequently voiced dissatisfaction was that there was not enough time allocated for informal networking and relaxation.
There were many suggestions regarding plans for 2011 and 2012. A number of participants said that while they valued the wide range of issues addressed at the 2010 meeting they felt it would be important to focus on a narrower set if substantive work is to be accomplished at later meetings. Others urged that the 2011 and 2012 meetings focus on actionable policy and legislative initiatives. Others felt that work still needed to be done to establish a broad perspective to inform and ground our efforts. Still others thought we should work to prepare a declaration, statement of principles or other collective document, or that we establish a "blue ribbon council" to issue statements and promote policies. Other participants questioned the desirability or practicality of such collective efforts.
Participants had many suggestions for additional or expanded topics to be addressed at the coming Tarrytown Meetings. Among those most frequently mentioned were personalized medicine and genetic testing; global governance and international regulation; topics involving art, culture and new media; and the need to better inform both the general public and specific audiences (notably, young scientists) about the social implications of human biotechnology.
II. SELECTED COMMENTS
• The meeting was leaps and bounds beyond any conference I have ever attended. Everyone I spoke to was also very pleased with how things went. I am so grateful to all of you for including me, and for all of your efforts in putting this together!
• Overall, the meeting was the most well-run conference I have attended. I appreciate all the time and effort that went into planning the agenda. I appreciated the format of the meeting, particularly the time built in to include small-group discussions and participation from the audience. It was clear that the staff was very careful in planning the flow of the event since everything ran incredibly smoothly and every small detail was taken care of. Speakers stuck to their time limits and the sessions never ran over their allotted time. Opportunities for networking, particularly the time for emerging leaders to meet were very nice.
• I returned from Tarrytown energized and stimulated, which is not how I always return from conferences/meetings.
• I thought the meeting was a resounding success. It is hard to come up with one favorite thing, but if pushed it would be the extraordinary group of people assembled, and getting to meet and listen to and talk with so many leading academics, advocates, activists and civil society group leaders. The organizers of the meeting have done an extraordinary thing in being the group that was able to pull that off. The whole event - and the preparations leading up to the event, and hopefully the next few years' worth of work - have been made possible because we are learning to be and act and think together. I was able to make conceptual links between groups and ideas that I had not previously linked together; for example, the connections between the "social justice" and the "human futures" folks, who I had previously always thought were rather far apart became clearer. Also, being able to bring younger generation, and hearing from them, was great.
• Congratulations! The entire mounting of the project was incredible and incredibly successful. Beautifully run, beautifully timed, lovely environment. I believe that across the board there was a tremendous feeling that the experience was being enjoyed by the participants. I really believe that there was a genuinely good mood and spirit; the gathering actually had a warmth and a friendliness and an excitement that helped make it the desired "not just another conference." There was the hint of something "in the air," perhaps the beginning of something. I would put emphasis on the "hint," and on a particular exhilarating mood. I'm writing this a day later, and I still feel like my brain has been exhausted by the necessity of deep thought and attention demanded by the intellectual fire power present.
• I think the Tarrytown Meeting was an extremely positive and well thought out meeting. One of the highlights of the Meeting for me was simply meeting and networking with so many inspiring individuals . I found it especially valuable and am grateful for the concerted effort to bring together and highlight the cohort of "emerging leadership." The organization and schedule was impeccable and I think it is the first professional multi-day meeting I've attended that kept so closely to the schedule and agenda. I also found the logistics incredibly helpful and considerate. I also appreciated how you allowed participants to be involved throughout the process (both prior to and at the meeting). I think engaging individuals in this way (asking to moderate discussions, etc) was a clever way to keep people engaged in the material as well as their fellow participants.
• I loved the democratic process. No long-winded top-down self-important speeches, but an egalitarian, inclusive, participatory and open discussion. This produced a gentle stimulation for the mind which is still settling subtly. It was a great opportunity to hear what other people are thinking about and working on, and to reflect on how my own interests and pursuits fit in and resonate with the overall concerns.
• What I liked most about the 2010 Tarrytown Meeting was the convergence of so many people who are concerned about and working on ensuring that human biotechnologies are developed in ways that promote social justice and human rights. I liked that the program included people from diverse social movements (e.g., environmental, racial, gender, reproductive justice, etc.) as well as age groups. Being together for several days provided excellent opportunities to catch up and network. I appreciated the opportunities we had in some working sessions to discuss concretely what are common values, goals, and agendas are. I found this especially true in the workshop on race and genetic technologies. I also appreciated the opportunities in some working sessions to discuss concretely where our values, goals, and agendas diverge.
• The reflections were terrific! The range of thoughtful perspectives made a great mix. Terrific people engaged in respectful discussion (even across the pro-choice, pro-life divide!) The variety of venues for exchanging ideas. Pushed me to think through things I hadn't taken time to articulate even to myself (e.g., potential overlap in values for critiquing human biotechnologies across the secular/religious divide). Allowed us to imagine what kind of strength we might have in coalition. Great setting and time to talk in structured and unstructured ways.
• I felt that the format of the Meeting was one of its strongest points, particularly the time allotted for discussion through the breakout sessions and working sessions. In fact, while plenty of time was allotted to these sessions, it seemed that we could have continued talking for much longer! The ability to directly engage each other, ask questions, etc., is especially important if the meeting is going to be productive and constructive, as these kinds of conversations are the richest part of any meeting. Much preferable over the more traditional format which centers around people talking AT each other rather than talking WITH and interacting with each other. Also, a great group of people at this meeting. Kudos to the organizers!
• The flow of big themes to strategy and specific issues worked well for me. I enjoyed the opportunity to participate in workshops on issues with which I am familiar and on issues that are new to me. I learned a lot at both. The fact that nearly all the meals were program-free was great -- I got to meet and talk with people that I didn't meet in the break outs and workshops. The time set aside on Thursday for emerging projects was great. Having everyone play an active role was genius.
B. WHAT PARTICIPANTS FOUND LACKING
• While it made sense to make this first meeting broad rather than deep, I'm not sure we reached many tangible conclusions regarding what we hope to accomplish going forward. Do we want to lobby federal and state governments? Advance our views in academia and/or think tanks? Educate the public? All of the above? What are we qualified to do and what are the levers at our disposal?.
• Though I personally was gaining a lot, I felt I should be assisting or contributing towards moving the discussions toward some set of goals. Perhaps the open ended nature of the meeting was intentional, so as to allow more participants to become vested in the process and contribute to the vision of the final two. By the end, it seemed as though the intention was to provide a platform or springboard for a number of smaller initiatives, but that wasn't clear to me from the start.
• We didn't reach our goals of making the connections we had wanted to discuss. As an example, I felt that the groups who were interested in and working on issues of ART and reproductive rights did not "connect" with people more interested in issues regarding commercialization such as DTC testing and patents. It is so hard with so many diverse players. It's something I think we can deal with in the next year.
• I thought there wasn't enough opportunity to discuss concretely our common values, goals, and agendas. However, I think this can be a focus of the next meeting.
• Although I appreciated the multidisciplinary conversations, it feels like I've been having these same conversations over and over the past few years. I'd like to push ourselves to define the "problem," offer concrete solutions, identify movers & shakers, address the political will, and move forward a policy/education/advocacy agenda. We need to define 2-3 objectives we'd like to work on collaboratively.
• The same mix of perspectives that was an asset overall also could be a drawback in particular sessions where we were looking for recommendations, policies, strategies; panelists in a session might not have any way to get to common ground, so the session would be more of an overview of different perspectives. This was probably necessary for a first meeting, but soon it will be important to get people in the same room who already are more or less on the same page, so that specific initiatives can be taken.
• It would have been nice if there had been a greater focus on translating the academic discourse into practical application. While the program for the meeting demonstrated a focus on achieving concrete objectives, I felt that the discourse remained a bit more elevated. The presenters didn't get into the "nitty-gritty" as much as I was expecting. And despite having so much time for discussion, the breakout sessions and working groups didn't have enough time to produce the "deliverables" hoped for in the agenda.
• I think more time needs to be spent discussing whether we have the same goals or not. I'm not sure where our areas of common ground are, and where they are not. What are we building towards, and how might we get there? Do we want to create a social movement, an interest group? What are our values? Is it more important to be progressive, or to be a careful critic of biotech? I think there might be lots of fissures, which will become significant overall.
Opinions varied concerning the table and break-out discussions:
• I thought that the table discussions after the plenary sessions (and the requirement to change tables so we could interact with more people) was a great idea. It allowed us to meet more people, and to immediately reflect upon and engage what they had just heard.
• The policy and strategy break-out sessions were very enjoyable and insightful but too short. I think a full three hours with a break in the middle would allow more in-depth discussion and more likely produce additional and novel strategies.
• I found the working sessions focused on specific topics to be more productive than the earlier table and breakout discussions. While everyone at the conference shared many general concerns and perspectives, our particular areas of interest/concern varied. I enjoyed my table discussions on Tuesday afternoon, but thought that participants sometimes talked past one another because they were thinking about slightly different applications or forms of biotechnology. The more focused sessions allowed participants concerned about the same topic to come together and really hash things out.
• The policy breakout sessions were not as effective as the other sessions. Our group couldn't seem to find a place to anchor our discussion, and it turned into more of a session about finding a common thread to talk about than locating a set of strategies to pursue. Perhaps next year there can be breakout groups by topic (synthetic biology, surrogacy, forensic databases, etc)?
C. SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011 AND 2012
• I think that for 2010, the meeting was just appropriate in its target and purpose. But I would suggest that 2011 and 2012 be much more specific and target-focused.
• 2011: open meeting; same size but invite press (global emphasis and personalized medicine context). 2012: action only meeting; what works, what doesn't, what should we do? How will we do it?
• Get to work immediately on the following so they are at least in a form to be reported on at Tarrytown 2011: 1) "Council on Biotech and Humans" to develop position papers, be a rapid media response team, and set an agenda; 2) Regional meetings on national and international issues
• Think seriously about the suggestion that an international council on human biotechnologies emerge from the Tarrytown Meetings.
• Before the next meeting we should set up working groups that function during the year to prepare action-oriented agenda items. This is possible only with appropriate support from CGS or other groups.
• My inclination would be to focus rather than broaden--so for 2011 I would be inclined to take a particular cluster of issues (maybe something like genetic testing in all its forms) and organize around that, with a variety of perspectives and approaches. Questions of disability rights also seem highly relevant and could be explored more. I think the coverage this year was good and relatively complete, but if you are going to be more directive, then directing the meeting toward a particular cluster of related problems might work well.
• More of the same with perhaps more emphasis on action—cultural as well as political.
• I would like to see an organized breakout group devoted to policy and legislative strategy with the goal of producing a succinct and clear work plan for the next year.
• More focus on attempting to hammer out common positions a few key issues so campaigns can be launched. Perhaps group those working on specific issues into real working groups with real goals.
• Now that there has been one meeting that was focused more on the academic side, it would be great to start moving towards discussions on activism and how we can engage the public, civil society, and policymakers to make the change we want to see around human biotechnology issues.
• Identifying a finite, small set of issues and goals ahead of time. Three days is not that much time, but a real plan can be set if the meeting is more focused. I would suggest getting input from participants ahead of time for what goals/policies they want to accomplish/develop at the meeting, and really focus the meeting on those issues (perhaps with one or two sessions dedicated to new, emerging or more tangential topics).
• I think there should be work toward some kind of an agreed statement with specific policy implications. How it is to be approached is a bit of a mystery.
• I would like, now that meeting 2010 is over, more global issues and actionable targets. In other words, we need to identify specific, actionable issues and think about a mechanism for implementation.
• Tarrytown 2011 should address common values and agendas more. For example, the role of social justice in regulating the development of human biotech was up for grabs in many discussions I participated in.
• Perhaps we should be looking towards some kind of end work product - a manifesto of global concerns? Or a declaration of ethical commitment to future generations?
• The suggestion that we form our own bioethics commission strikes me as a bad idea. There is not enough agreement between conferees on issues, strategies, etc. Trying to institutionalize the Tarrytown effort will kill the vitality of the market place of ideas for biotech critics/critiquers that Tarrytown has launched. You conceived a great format. Just fix the snafus and leave it be. Bravo.
• One topic that was brought up by many in passing but not directly discussed is funding strategies. I think having a breakout group to discuss funding strategies and how to engage the funder community would be very valuable, although I acknowledge that this can be a sensitive subject for many groups.
• Focus the discussions, but carefully. A lot of the synergy at Tarrytown was not so much around specific technologies or policies, but around the general kinds of concerns that apply to many different particular areas. Preserve this focus by not over-disciplining discussion into technology-specific policy-actionable boxes.
• I would like to see more explicit discussions of personalized medicine in the next meeting.
• I would like to see Personal Genomics and DNA databases addressed at greater length.
• More on personalized medicine, addressing disease-specific issues, i.e. cancer, heart disease, mental health.
• More attention to personalized medicine, which should be called 'genomic medicine' or 'individualized genomic medicine.
• A lot of discussion at the 2010 meeting centered around reproductive technologies, but moving forward, I would like to see greater discussion about human genetic engineering per se, whether somatic or germline. Perhaps outline concerns, as well as standards, safeguards, protections, and/or restrictions that should be put in place.
• Germline engineering and species-changing interventions. These were hardly addressed at all at the last meeting. It seemed implicit in several plenaries but never seemed to be the focus of attention.
• I would like to give some attention to articulating or fleshing out the inter-relations between the reproductive technology issues and the genetics issues. This occurred to me while we were watching the movie, which did not address the reproductive issues. How are these connected? Why are we lumping together surrogacy and personalized medicine? Can we discuss the one without the other? If not - in what respects?
• More on egg donation, national registry for egg donors, surrogacy, low-cost IVF, trafficking, etc.
• For 2011: Reducing our focus on eggs, sperm and embryos and increasing our attention on humans, their rights and responsibilities for a just, equitable and dignified future. We need to let go of the embryos and stem cell issues, and focus on humans.
• Less on eggs and embryos; more on real people, esp. women and children
• We should continue to address ART regulation, and current controversies: gene patents, genetics tests, genetics databases, etc.
• More attention to global issues: including commerce, medicine, internet advertising, human experimentation, human rights. 2011 could/should be about 'globalizing our concerns'
• There was lots of support for the assertion of "democratic control over science," but I don't think anyone addressed the nuts and bolts of how (whether?) governments could exert such control over, e.g., what scientists choose to study.
• More focus on 'communications' & communicating symbols
• Military and criminal justice applications; agricultural & ecological implications
• Biobanks, informed consent and use of human tissue. This is a very hot topic right now – Rebecca Skloot's book, the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, has been on the bestseller list, and there have been front page stories in the NY Times about the Havasupai case and newborn blood spot litigation in many states.
• I would like to see continued and increased attention to race and genetics/personalized medicine, more about social justice, a panel that discusses race and international issues as they relate to genomics, and discussion about biological weapons.
• Race and genetics needs continuing discussion, I feel, and is also a very useful introductory lens for considering issues of class and discrimination on other grounds (gender, religion, nationality, etc).
• I would prefer to see greater inclusion of the animal welfare implications of emerging biotechnologies, both as a concern in its own right and as a harbinger of human concerns.
• Another topic worth considering: Educating youth (from elementary school through graduate school) about science and technology in a way that encourages consideration of the social and ethical implications and the responsible development of technologies. Biotech companies already have various mechanisms by which they promote a pro-biotech mindset (that doesn't necessarily give equal consideration to potential negative consequences) in students starting at a young age.
• The need for education was a key theme that emerged, and I think we did not really discuss the ways in which we could work to educate (or, really, re-educate) students about the history and current state of the human biotechnologies. I am thinking broadly here in terms of K-12 and post-secondary curriculums, as well as about new media content with an educational thrust.
• More on educating the next generation of life scientists
• Eugenics, Synthetic biology, Biocapital, including various types of bioprospecting
• I think more time should be spent at future meetings on the anticipated convergence of large platforms of biotechnologies such as synthetic biology and genetic technology.
• Consideration of conflicts-of-interest: not just those of scientist-entrepreneurs (it's a given that we need to discuss this and what to do about it), but our own (e.g. careerism, tenure, funder approval, different forms of cooptation, etc.).
• The historic significance of CIRM: problems of transparency and public access.
• More on human-animal chimera and GMO embryos. Seems to me that there has been insufficient attention paid to this since the inadequate NIH "guidelines " re hybrids and since Human Genetics Alert blew the whistle on the Cornell researchers who created the GMO human embryo. Why should we only be reactive on these important areas?
• We need more on Popular Culture
• Next year's meeting should include far more popular culture sites and provocations: more films, documentaries, websites, podcasts, etc. This is where most people get their info, and we "wonks" should be more cognizant of the rich world outside our struggling institutions.
• If you do choose to invite more media makers, perhaps there can be a forum where they pitch their projects and the group can help brainstorm resources and distribution networks.
• A topic that was not addressed directly but could be valuable in a breakout group would be "media messaging and framing". In speaking about our issues, oftentimes the learning curve for members of the media can be so steep that messages either get distorted or bypassed.
• We need a serious "at home" break-out conversation about why our issues remain "arcane" when compared to get, healthcare or climate change, or nuclear weapons.
• I'd like to see presentations/ discussion on corporate agency and control of many of the genetic issues we discussed.
• We need more scientists and physicians, esp. geneticists and personalized medicine types
• At the July Meeting there was more "anti-scientist" sentiment than I was expecting. It might help to have more scientists at future meetings.
• For me there was a feeling that we needed the inclusion of a much larger group of scientists to explain, debate, and truly inform us regarding the current science and its potential benefits and harms. We all need to know the true confines of the promises and perils, so that our discussions can be intelligently premised. In the Thursday Political Economy working group many assertions were made that I believe were making some uncomfortable, for example, that biotech has completely failed both as science and as an industry.
• I believe that opinions by scientists working in the field would and could have refined the conversations and allowed for more concrete proposals and responses. Some of us felt that too many overstatements or generalities were being given as statements of fact, and that clarifications might have been helpful, I believe that if we don't work harder to find these allies we will never have the desired credibility necessary for our movement to begin.
• It would have been good to hear from some genomic scientists explaining the rationale of what they are doing. Bring in a few people who are believers that genomics will save humanity.
• I'd love to see a few more of our fellow academics and activists from the global south who also have long and productive histories of working in and around repro-biotech, join us.
• Please add more European and developing country policy experts and activists. The ones who were present were extremely helpful in reminding Americans of our own provincialism. We are working with global issues. We need to make this as global as possible right from the inception.
• Greater non-US representation would give a richer variety of experiences and strategies, as demonstrated by the formidable contribution of those international participants who were at this meeting. Southeast Asian and Chinese representation was too low and should be bolstered in one or both of the two future meetings.
• Many of the speakers assumed that all are familiar with American developments in the field [23 and me, high profile court cases etc] which took some Googling during presentations for those of us not from the United States. Though the global point was made by most participants, concrete examples of how biotechnology affects people from different areas in the world was a big blind spot, and the assumption seemed to be that current developments are mostly a western issue, that has repercussions on Humanity as such, but not on concrete peoples at present [reproduction tourism aside].
• We should include more people from other countries. In Europe and India, for example, there are actually sophisticated movements that have emerged to deal with these issues.
• To my mind, the academic perspective was given a good deal more time and space than the activist. So in a strange way, the strength of the meeting--the fact that so many people from such diverse backgrounds came together--also contributed to its weakness. The activists did not feel enough opportunity was provided for laying out concrete plans for collaboration and action.
• Another aspect that I wished was a bit different was the participant ratio of academia to non-academia. I understand that the spectrum of groups and individuals focusing on these issues is narrow and that a major portion of the work being done currently occurs in academia, but I would like to see a greater contingent from the NGO community and particularly groups that may only work on these issues tangentially but fall on our side (enviro, justice & civil liberties groups, worker/unions, etc).
• I thought there could have been more biological scientists and people from other countries. At the same time, although I liked the diversity of perspectives, one impediment to discussion was the inclusion of people who were so divergent in their views that there was little possibility of productive consensus. I know this might sound contradictory.
• There are lots of players who were not represented at the meeting. Where do pro-life critics of biotech fit? Do we ignore them entirely (that seems like a lost opportunity.) How about other interest groups? Companies? Policymakers? How important is it to have these interests represented? What do we lose by not including them?
• I would liked to have seen on the "youth" panel greater diversity in terms of class, education, privilege so that the view "we are already so marketed and commodified" could have been rounded out.
• While I hesitate to recommend bringing in more lawyers, I do think it might be worthwhile to include more participants who have regulatory expertise. This could be really helpful in helping us formulate our plan of action going forward.
• Have some politicians/policymakers or maybe even folks from law enforcement in the mix.
• It would be fascinating to include people from some of the companies, i.e. OTC genetic testing companies, genetic labs, fertility doctors, & congressional staff members or regulatory agency staff, i.e. FDA.
• Although I understand entirely the reason for limiting their participation, I think it is imperative that we have conversations with those who do not share our overarching sense that these technologies must fall under democratic governance and that the hype needs to be moderated by more intelligent coverage in the mainstream media. I'm not quite sure how and where those conversations will happen unless we provide the space for them to occur.
• It would be interesting at the next or at least at the final meeting to have people with a wider range of political/ideological perspectives. Too much leftish cant for a topic like this.
• It might be good to have more people who are a bit less left-of-center at future meetings.
• I hope you follow through with the suggestion made during the final reflection talks to invite more independent artists, media makers, and community organizers to the table.
• I have suggestions about how to engage religious organizations and churches in the Tarrytown process and beyond. I'd argue this is very important.
• The one group I found underrepresented was people of East Asian origin. So, I suggest that you include some participants of East Asian origin—both in the United States and, if possible, some from abroad.
• We need more younger participants, and a growing presence for people who are in the process of re-inventing "our" issues, sometimes in unanticipated forms, esp scientists, science teachers
• I know you made an effort to invite funders to the meeting. It's a great idea and I hope more can come next year!
• It might be helpful to have sympathetic members of the media present so that they can help teach us how we might get the word out in terms of a more critical approach to biotech.
• Please build in some more free time so we can walk/ talk/ sip coffee together. We need informal exchanges so that alliances that build over the year can be cemented
• More time for audience comments from the floor
• Make sure the temperature in the main ballroom is warmer. It required different clothing that outside and other rooms.
• At dinner the first night the din was enormous, and I could barely hear the persons on either side of me. A key opportunity for starting to forge new connections was thwarted by the noise level. Have both dinners in the main meeting room, like we did Wednesday.
• I would include musicians for an evening social gathering/cocktail party so people can become better acquainted with each other.
• Have a party at the end of day 1 or 2.
• You might consider a pre- or post-tour for those who don't know the area. People who flew in from the West Coast or from other countries might want to see more of the Hudson Valley.
• Is there a videoconferencing option? If this is something the organizers want to consider, it would benefit an invitee who is prevented from participating by conflicting responsibilities or access issues.
• I suggest posting notes on the website so people can access them during the meeting and start to act on them.
• I would require everyone to post a paragraph regarding their interest in participating in the meeting and what they plan to accomplish a month before the meeting. Then require everyone to review all the participants' paragraphs before the meeting.
• Hosting an online forum that folks outside of the TT conversations could engage w/ some of the scholars or where the attendees could continue the conversation.
• Also, it would be wonderful to create something of a listserv or a section on the website where participants could post project ideas that they need assistance (in the way of contacts, research links, references to legal cases, etc). Given the diversity of the group, there are likely many ways we can help each other.
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