Agenda Conference

Agenda Conference aims at informing the public about current topics and plans, at co-evaluating and co-creating goals and measures thereof, and at forming corresponding working groups.

Level of participation


Duration of participation process

Preparation: >3 months for invitation of the participants etc.
Implementation: ½ – 2 days
Follow-up: 1-2 days for analysis and documentation

Target group size

30-100 people
100-250 people



Resources for a conference

Human resources needed

At least two persons for preparation, moderation and documentation

The method: what is it, when to use it and what outcome to expect

Agenda Conference is a concept that evolved from Agenda 21, a non-binding action plan of the UN for sustainable development. Its process is structured yet flexible. All participants are provided with knowledge and information of the topic(s), which are then further developed together and resulting work is distributed and coordinated.

It is suitable as a first event at the start of a larger process, a platform to (re-)connect for working groups and civic communities, when stuck in a process or to produce decision papers for public officials. 

The outcome of a well-planned and well-moderated Agenda Conference are a well-informed audience, a challenged status quo, unitedly formed goals and clear responsibilities to take next steps.

The process: how to conduct it in an in-person setting or online using a PC/laptop with video option

The method follows four steps:

  1. Status quo: Aside general preparation, the organizing team collects all availablerelevant information (e.g. up-to-date analysis, or actions, projects and decisions initialized and run), and provides it to the prospective audience before the event. 
  2. Evaluation of the status quo: At the start of the actual conference, all status quoinformation is presented to the audience which then accesses it terms of what is a success, what needs follow-up or improvement, what is missing, what’s next. Smaller groups may work on this in separate (virtual) rooms, either moderated or self-organized.
  3. Goals: Based on the evaluation, mission statements, visions and/or goals for a nextphase are co-developed that express where to head and what needs to be achieved.
  4. Action plan: According to the set goals, effective measures aredetermined and project groups are formed that follow up on it in a self-organized manner after the conference.  

Blended participation

It is possible to organize the Conference as a hybrid event with participants present in person and online. For working groups, sufficient laptops are required to integrate online participants. Alternatively, online participants can use online breakout rooms. 

Digital communication

  • Useful for informing the public about the status quo prior to the conference as well as results.
  • Mural or Miro Board are useful tools to document the process, idea collection and results.

Good to know

  • Consider:

– At least three months of preparation, especially for an analogue event: To select and invite participants, collect all information, schedule a venue with a large and several smaller rooms for break-out groups, planning of meals, organize working and moderation equipment (markers, pinboards, flipcharts etc.), book moderator(s) and licensing of virtual tools if needed

– A diverse audience: Representatives, speakers and interested citizens of communities, interest groups, civic organizations, public and administrative officials and decision-makers

– To use participative methods during the event

  • Read further (German)

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