As a result of their participation in the Finding Common Ground Forum:
• over 90 percent of respondents reported increased understanding of the Forum topic, and increased respect for different viewpoints on related issues
• nearly 90 percent of respondents felt better able to generate solutions that were on par with the complexities of the issues around FMD, and
• an overwhelming majority of respondents made new connections and established new relationships with others at the Forum, and felt the gains they had made at the Forum would carry impact back at their organizations.
Respondents were nearly unanimous in their praise for the format of the Forum; the structure appears to have allowed participants to share their viewpoints honestly and openly, and to listen to the viewpoints of others with an open mind.
Overall, 82 percent of the participants rated the Forum in the “valuable to extremely valuable” range.
Respondents mentioned the following aspects of the Forum as being of particular value:
• The keynote address on FMD response in the United Kingdom
• Opportunities to learn from and discuss FMD related issues with a diverse group
• Facilitated small group discussions
Here’s what some of the participants had to say about the experience:
The diversity of the forum guests was the key to the discussion points. We never would have seen the richness in the topics without this diversity.
I’m so glad we had broad representation from several important sectors that would be affected by an FMD outbreak. The structure of the meeting and the small groups with facilitators allowed for good discussion.
Being able to interact with a wide group of potential stakeholders was meaningful in providing multilateral perspectives. Having a well-guided discussion on FMD that didn't stray too off-focus was highly effective and the leadership was excellent!