NU-Q strategy workshops are part of Northwestern University in Qatar's mission to create connections with local communities and the wider world that integrate learning and experience and produce creative solutions to real-world issues.
Workshop sessions are intensive meetings between executives of a selected industry or policymaking organization and a diverse range of top experts convened by NU-Q. They address an immediate, specific, media-related initiative or issue faced by these executives, and follow a program structured to produce outcomes with impact.
Elements of a strategy workshop
Strategy workshops can be tailored to match the needs of the media institution, the specifics of the issue to be discussed, and the capacities of the University. They build on the "good offices" concept of providing a platform for discussion of a challenging issue with impartial experts. They can be short, one-off sessions or a larger, multistage process.
Strategy workshops include the following steps:
- Identify the issue
In collaboration with NU-Q, an organization identifies a specific, strategic, media-related issue or initiative that it is presently facing, that would benefit from outside expertise and perspective.
- Build a team of experts
NU-Q convened a diverse group of experts that can apply a wide range of perspectives to the issue under consideration. This often includes a combination of industry leaders and top faculty from NU-Q and other universities.
- Plan an agenda and share background information
The date is set for the main session – the meeting between key decision-makers from the organization and the group of experts convened by NU-Q. Objectives for the workshop are established. The media institution shares any background information relevant to the issue or initiative, under agreement of confidentiality if requested.
At the workshop session, leaders from the media institution present their current thinking on the issue or initiative. NU-Q's group of experts give individual reactions and perspectives, raise questions, and engage in a directed group discussion with the intent of advancing the thinking on the subject at hand.
- Summarize and share key takeaways
After the workshop, NU-Q gives a concise, action-oriented summary of key points raised in discussion. This can be provided in the form of a short document, presentation, or follow-up meeting, whichever is most appropriate and effective. Post-workshop dialog often serves as a springboard for further collaboration, formal and informal consulting, research, lectures and internships.