Dam Safety 2024: Facilitator Opportunities

Dam Safety 2024: Facilitator Opportunities

ASDSO is looking for individuals interested in facilitating topic tables during the Tuesday luncheon at Dam Safety 2024 in Denver, CO. Please learn more about the new opportunity below. When you are ready to volunteer, please access the Volunteer Opportunities page of Collaborate

Please note - to access the volunteer opportunity you must be an active ASDSO member and signed into Collaborate.


Background Information

During the Dam Safety 2023 National Conference in Palm Springs, CA, the Tuesday lunch included several dining tables where various subjects of interest were discussed amongst conference attendees. New for 2024, a sub-committee was formed to carry this program on, and we are seeking volunteers who would like to offer a topic for discussion and/or participate as a topic table facilitator for a subject they select. We encourage you to consider being a topic table facilitator at Dam Safety 2024 in Denver, CO. The topic tables will take place on Tuesday, September 24 from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM during lunch in the exhibit hall. 

What is a Topic Table Discussion? 

  • An informal lunchtime gathering at a table of up to 10 attendees to meet new people and discuss the title topic, allowing all attendees to learn about a specific topic at whatever level is comfortable. 
  • The discussion is led by a facilitator who has some knowledge of the topic and who will provide information, but also allow for the organic flow of information from any of the interested attendees who wish to share.
  • Duration of an hour at the beginning of the lunch hour, affording time afterward for other activities before the start of the next session.

What topics are recommended?  

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Technical
    • Instrumentation and inspections
    • Engineering investigations
    • Design
    • Construction
    • Risk and consequences
    • Emerging technology
  • Funding
  • Legislative/Regulatory
  • Career Development
  • Education
  • Research
  • Non-work Related Topics

What are the expectations of facilitators? 

If you volunteer as a topic table facilitator you would be expected to:

  • Have some working knowledge of the topic you recommended.
  • Develop suggested bullets of discussion for a topic to help steer the conversation and elicit comments from attendees.
  • Respond to questions from the sub-committee, and adjust discussion bullets if mutually agreed to.

What are the on-site expectations of topic table facilitators?

  • Brief introductions all around (happens organically).
  • Start by asking questions about what the attendees know about the topic.
  • Provide an overview of the topic, drilling down further as an understanding of group knowledge becomes evident.
  • Facilitate discussion to hear from as many attendees as possible.
  • Draw discussions out of attendees who appear recalcitrant to get a wider view and potentially good questions or observations.
  • Ask what attendees thought of the tabletop discussions and how they could be improved. Provide this feedback to the sub-committee. 

What Comes Next After Volunteering?

  • Notification of topic and facilitator selection (Spring 2024).
  • Submission of bullet points for discussion topics (August 2024).
  • Orientation Call before the conference.