The roundtable decided on the idea of forming the guidelines for a workshop about human rights geared towards spreading awareness of NGOs and their work among the general civic population, as well as helping NGOs form networks among themselves and other non-state actors (e.g. multinational corporations). In order to achieve these two very different goals, the roundtable decided to put together the guidelines for a two-part conference/workshop. The driving ideas were that networking and collaboration are essential skills for any NGO to have significant influence in the world and that people need to become more involved and more aware of NGOs and their work.
The first day of the conference is geared towards spreading awareness of human rights NGOs in the general population. From 9 am to 5 pm, there is an NGO fair where various non-state actors (mostly NGOs but also MNCs) can set up booths to share information with the people who come to the conference. The point is to help people realize how many different kinds of NGOs there are, and hopefully they can find a few that they are interested in helping. During the afternoon, there is a series of panel discussions featuring representatives from various organizations. The first panel will introduce NGOs to a general audience, the second will focus on humanitarian aid and relief, and the third will be about women’s rights. The first day and all the panel discussions are open to the public and free of charge.
The second day is designed to help the NGOs learn about collaboration and establish networks with each other. The first event will feature a guest speaker to present the merits of collaboration, general weaknesses among NGOs, and various techniques for problem-solving and networking. Next will be a panel of NGOs that will focus on a more specific topic that is determined before the conference and can change from year to year. After the panel discussion, there will be small breakout sessions for all the NGO representatives. The goal here is for NGOs to decide how they can contribute and work together to solve common problems. The second day is still open to the public, but the focus is on helping NGO representatives and not informing the general public.