Check in We checked into our day by stepping forward in response to various questions about how long it had taken us to get here, whether we had come under our own steam or were being paid to be here and how comfortable we felt about checking in. It was a great temperature check to find out how a group is feeling about something. Then we had a mini meditation to help us all arrive well and settle into the programme of the day and each spoke a word about how we were feeling this morning.
TRAINING IN COLLABORATION
Open Space What are the conversations you would like to have right here, right now?
The newly formed hosting team team invited us into an Open Space. A very simple, powerful way of holding highly productive and inspiring meetings, conferences, and other learning events for groups of 5 to 2,000 or more. This is a meeting with no prior set agenda. All who care (passionately) about the theme of the meeting show up and sit in a circle. The sponsor of the event may say a few welcoming words, after which the facilitator gives no more than 15 minutes of instructions, framing the invitation and explaining how the group is invited to work.
The host explains that anyone who cares to may announce a topic (or topics) to discuss in sessions. Participants are invited to go to the centre of the circle, write their session topic on a sheet of paper, write their name (indicating they are taking responsibility for convening the session and also take responsibility for some harvest or feedback from the session. Then the participants announces their topics to the group and post them on the Community Bulletin Board. Together the group creates the agenda, the Community Bulletin Board, by posting the session topics on a wall indicating the time and place of each session with a post-it. After that, the Board becomes the Village Marketplace, which is opened for participants to determine what they want to participate in. And then everyone gets to work in self-organizing concurrent groups. People manage their own time, space, and energy. They may choose to “bumblebee” from one concurrent session to another, cross-pollinating the conversations in the different groups. Or they might choose to be “butterflies” and just stand (or sit) at the tables with tea, coffee, and other refreshments that are available throughout the OST meeting, often described as a nonstop coffee break. OST works on one Law, the Law of Two Feet:If you feel like you are neither learning nor contributing, you are responsible to use you your two feet and leave, perhaps move to another group.. Follow your passion and take responsibility for your participation.”
10 conversations were called and 2 lively rounds followed. We then came back together to hear back a harvest and some tweets from each of the group hosts, with a beautiful graphic harvest from Melody.
OPEN SPACE HARVEST
8 BREATHS OF DESIGN
After lunch Jose offered a teaching pattern on what makes for good process design. What are all the things you need to think about when designing and hosting conversations. Getting really clear on the need and the purpose and also the team who you might work with ( don't go alone ) Finding a good question takes time and is a great measure of how well you are reading what's at stake. Invitation is an art, how do we invite well and then let go of our need for certain people to participate. You can use any of the tools for your meeting, but they are just tools. Your questions, purpose and what you want to harvest will guide the design of the meeting. Take time to harvest and make sense of the patterns and themes that come out. Follow up actions and take time to reflect and learn. What, so what and now what are useful questions here. Finally pay attention to holding the whole of the process, seeing it beyond a single event and take a birds eye perspective. Who is tending to the well being of everyone in the system?
DESIGN FOR WISER ACTION : COLLABORATING ON PROJECTS AND IDEAS
Finally Vic, Rob and Margaret hosted us into a design lab. Inviting people to put forward real projects that they were working on and that they wanted some help with. A template to help everyone think though the design principles was provided and we spent an hour in small groups developing the projects and asking some questions to help the project holders get clear on what they were trying to do. Some peer coaching followed, everyone moved to a new table and heard a quick summary, then the project holders turned their backs and listened in to the new groups response. Not being able to respond allowed some strong feedback to come forward. Finally the project holders returned to their groups and spent some time in summarising where they had got to and what their next steps were. Much appreciation for all the help and support.
7 projects were called Grange Over Sands community fair share lunch - Help with gathering volunteers, donors, funders etc Intergenerational project in Kendal - Bringing together older people to learn new stills, combat loneliness and improve mental health - how do I make this happen? The introduction of complementary therapies into Morecambe Bay NHS trust - who to approach, conversations, feasibility Drug Related Deaths Conversations about the future Whats the best way to bring a type 2 diabetes reversal course to South Lakeland ?
Design for Wiser Action Harvests
Check out: What are you leaving with and what's your next step you want to take ?
• Start dancing Use kindness and compassion Use smaller groups for more results Stay true to what I know works Value holding rather than filling • Love not judge Committed to make a difference Shut up and listen more Balance in life Allow self to do more Listen more speak less • Enjoy difference Overcome stuckness with what I learnt Energy and enthusiasm back in to group Acknowledge others moods Play at work • More conversations More confidence in my ability Slow down and listen Take new found confidence and make a difference • Keep trying to do things differently More comfortable with silence Re-join the world a bit Reflect on the 2 days, glad I came Use more of these teachings • Use the resources personally to continue this Participate more than facilitate Good conversations and properly listen