Discussion Dens

A New Concept at the ABET Symposium

These are organic conversations. There is no agenda, PowerPoint or podium. Not even a room. They start with an idea and an expert’s personal thoughts on the matter, but that idea is only the catalyst.
The point of the Discussion Dens is to let the audience’s questions, experiences, and thoughts build an inquisitive conversation that the group leader can guide with unique insight and expertise. When done well, the leader will learn just as much as the group.

What it is not:

It is not a presenter in front of an audience showing a PowerPoint presentation and leaving questions to the end.

What it is:

A conversation among a group of peers guided by a subject matter expert, who will share his/her insights, perspectives and experiences on a relevant theme or topic.
A fast-paced, highly interactive and engaging exchange taking place in a relaxed and collegial atmosphere.


The session leader starts with a short overview/chat, no longer than 20 minutes and then quickly starts getting questions from the audience and building on their ideas and insights.


These sessions take place out in the open, where participants are encouraged to join in and contribute to the conversations at any time.
Many people leave conferences thinking the best conversations they had took place when they bumped into someone in the hallway. Discussion Dens aim to capture that effect. They are open, inviting, and free flowing tools for engagement.