I talked to a couple of facilitators about this today (and got a good response), but if I could reach any more, or anyone else that is interested in this, I would like to offer a solution to a problem that I perceive.
The problem I see is that the people's mic is talking to a wall. The facilitators stand on the wall and the GA faces them. The process is supposed to be at least half of the message (some say the whole message) but it is completely uninviting to passers by, who see only people's backs from far away. Also the space has benches that cross it parallel to the wall which block off many people and cause them to stand. And the media center and the big flower bed take up a lot of seating space.
My proposed solution is to move the GA to the big open space down the stairs from the red sculpture. I would put the facilitators at the bottom of the stairs with their backs to Broadway and the general assembly seated on the floor facing Broadway. This way the people's mic would be facing Broadway and people walking by would be immediately involved in the process. If they were interested they could sit on the stairs, and watch and listen comfortably. There is much more space there for sitting and no obstacles that force people to stand. The benches are perpendicular to the stairs and could even be kept clear to be used as a walkway and/or stage for current speakers.
Some people say that we need the wall for acoustics but the stairs are at least as good for that. The only thing that may be a problem is that Broadway is extra noisy so it may be harder to hear the facilitators, but I think the peop'les mic could overcome that. It may also be be possible to put a big sign behind them to block out some noise and bounce their voices back to the crowd, without blocking the view of the public. If it was a big problem maybe another space could be found that faces a side street.
I haven't proposed this to the GA because I don't want to speak off topic and a working group, eg facilitation, would have to add it to the agenda. Sorry about the long mail. but I wanted to cover all of the concerns that I could think of.
Thank you, John McG