About the Symposium
The MSLBD Annual Symposium is held in Kansas City each year at the end of February. Sessions include optional concurrent half-day presentations morning and afternoon on Thursdays. On Friday morning is a keynote session followed by concurrent breakout sessions. Then in late afternoon a large set of poster presentations occur with snacks and cash bar. Later in the evening is the popular evening party with entertainment and dancing. On Saturday several two hour sessions conclude the Symposium.
Our conferences have been dedicated to:
- Challenging the Audience. We want an audience who wants to know about the latest developments in the field, the controversial topics, and areas where they can be challenged intellectually, as well as professionally to change and grow. Providing "basic training" for practitioners is not a primary goal.
- "Top of the line," "Emerging" Ideas and Thinkers. We make the ideas the most crucial part of the program. Our own intellectual and professional stimulation is the best barometer of quality. We want innovative and creative views which may cut across disciplines.
- Unique, Creative Formats for the Delivery of Ideas. We attempt a range of creative formats such as formal debates, conversations with historical figures (George Orwell in 1984; interviews with Sigmund Freud, Carl Rogers, Voltaire and Virginia Wolf), a courtroom drama on educational malpractice where the audience served as jury; joint lectures with media presentation; and more recently, short TED-Talk-like presentations. Many of these sessions have been videotaped!
- Interaction and Networking. We permit people to interact and get to know each other- to build professional contacts, and collegiality across roles and disciplines. This has occurred in the diverse programs offered, informal networking, as well as the organized social activities.