What criteria should a chairperson meet?

First and foremost, the chairperson of an arena or platform group must meet the profile that applies for all members. In addition, he or she must be capable of understanding and evaluating the range of opinions within the group. The chairperson must also have sufficient authority to convey the messages from the group to relevant individuals at a sufficiently high strategic level.

Managing the process

To manage the process of creating a vision properly the chairperson must also:

  • establish trust between the participants
  • be able to prompt the participants to think beyond the obvious
  • encourage the participants to think beyond their own interests or the direct interests of those they represent
  • have a sharp eye for new ideas
  • be able equalise power imbalances.

Consider the implications before selecting a chairperson from one of the most powerful parties, since that could prevent an open, united process, something that could happen even if the chairperson behaves impartially and only serves the interests of the transition process.