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ASPO-USA kicked off its new webinar series with two information-rich offerings in April, and more webinars on critical topics scheduled for May and June. More than 200 people participated “live” in the webinar series in its inaugural month, with many more ASPO-USA members viewing video recordings of the webinars at a later time. Early feedback suggests that both webinars thus far have been well-received
[For more details or to register for upcoming webinars, please visit the ASPO-USA Webinar Series webpage].
These webinars are already proving to be an effective way to harness the knowledge and experience of ASPO-USA’s vast network of experts. They are intended to complement other ASPO-USA information and education resources, such as our annual conference. The relative ease and convenience with which these webinars can be organized, however, provides a good opportunity to address specific issues and questions with detail and depth. A typical 90-minute session allows for extended discussion among presenters and participants. The availability of slides and video recordings of the full presentation and discussion, as well as opportunities for follow-up discussion with presenters and panelists, adds to the overall value and impact of each webinar.
A webinar is simply a way to give a presentation remotely with the help of web-based tools to display visual information and broadcast sound (attendees may also have the option to participate via telephone). The term ‘webinar’ may carry connotations of a cold, overly “techie” form of communication, but the technology thus far has proven to be refreshingly “personal” with participants able to convey questions and feedback in real time during the session via an online chat feature. Participants are generally in “listen-only” mode, but individual speakers can also be unmuted to allow for spoken questions and comments. Overall, it is very akin to hosting a radio call-in show, but with the added ability to share visual information.
The format can be adapted and used in many different ways. It can feature one presenter with questions and discussion, or a multi-person panel. It can employ a standard one-way presentation, or it can be structured as an interview, panel discussion, or debate. ASPO-USA intends to explore and creatively employ different variations and styles of presentation.
Each webinar will serve as a stand-alone treatment of a given topic, but we also intend the series to “add up” into a more coherent and integrated understanding of Peak Oil issues. The challenges posed by Peak Oil and the responses they will compel are multi-faceted and enormously complex. The webinar series, we hope, will help put these issues into a useful perspective.
In addition to the value we hope the webinar series will bring to individual ASPO-USA members, the catalog of recorded webinars will be useful for a variety of other purposes-including outreach to journalists, policymakers, and other target audiences.
Is there a specific topic or question that you would like to see addressed in an ASPO-USA webinar? Please feel free to share your ideas and specific interests. The ASPO-USA webinar series is intended to serve the needs and goals of our members and constituents. Your input will help us achieve that goal.