Participant and Presenter Roles

Participant and Presenter Roles

The Tarrytown Meeting is a working meeting of peers. All participants are invited and encouraged to use this website and other modes of communication – beginning now – to engage with each other and with the topics on which we'll focus at the July meeting.

Participants will have opportunities to take on a variety of roles throughout the three days of the meeting.

1. Co-Chairs

Four co-chairs, in cooperation with the staff and others, will be responsible for the overall smooth functioning of the event. They'll handle welcoming and concluding remarks, announcements, and introductions, and will call on participants during discussions of the full assembly. They'll make any needed minor adjustments in the program, and serve as point people for participants serving in other roles.

2. Plenary Presenters

We distinguish three categories of plenary presenters:


The framers will give brief, insightful and provocative comments pertaining to topics about to be considered in more detail. The three framers at the Tuesday afternoon opening plenary will share their thoughts on the motivation for The Tarrytown Meetings, the challenges and opportunities we face, and what we might achieve in the next three days, over the coming three years, and beyond.

Three framers will speak at each of the two Tuesday afternoon plenary sessions and at the Wednesday morning plenary. These presentations will focus on the topics to be addressed in the immediately following table-based discussions or breakout sessions.


We have scheduled three plenary periods for reflections on all that has transpired at the meeting up until that point. These will be held on Wednesday morning, Wednesday evening, and at the concluding plenary on Thursday. Each reflector will comment on the mix of ideas, concerns and proposals voiced during the preceding period, leavened with their own insights. Reflectors will need to circulate somewhat during table discussions, breakout sessions and working sessions, and scan any online notes prepared by rapporteurs.


The Tuesday evening dinner program will be a moderated discussion about the ways in which younger generational cohorts experience new human biotechnologies and are grappling with concerns about them.

3. Facilitators, Convenors and Rapporteurs

Facilitators, convenors and rapporteurs will play key roles in the small group discussions – the Tuesday afternoon table discussions, the Wednesday morning breakout sessions, and the Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning working sessions.


Facilitators will have the important role of keeping small group discussions focused on pre-identified priority questions, making sure everyone has a chance to participate, and keeping an eye out for significant contributions that should be highlighted in notes and subsequent discussions. Facilitators will participate in one or more preparatory conference calls prior to the meeting.


Each working session will have at least one convenor who will be responsible for making sure all goes smoothly at the session. The objectives, format and leadership of each working session will likely vary.


Rapporteurs will take notes via laptop during small group discussions and post them to the online meeting website shortly afterwards. The notes need not be comprehensive, but do need to capture significant points raised. They will be an important resource for all meeting participants who wish to scan the reports on discussions at which they were not present, for the reflectors, and for those preparing post-meeting reports