Occupy Boston Summit
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Working Draft Agenda
Occupy Boston World Café Summit
Saturday, 19 November 2011, 2:00pm-6:00pm Quincy Elementary School cafeteria, 885 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts
Note: Other community members, including families with children, will be present in the school during our event. Please be respectful at all times!
- The purpose of the summit is to have a community-wide discussion of the challenges and opportunities we face. It is a chance bring together camp residents, working group members, and anyone else who identifies as part of Occupy Boston to share ideas about how to make this movement strong and sustainable. It is an opportunity to harvest the collective wisdom of our OB community and to think creatively about our future.
- Event Hosting team
- Bhavin Patel, Susan Barney, Alex Ingram, Nicole Sullivan, George Lee, Mariama White-Hammond, Maureen White, Angela Giudice, Katie Gradowski, Bil Lewis, Greg Murphy, Susie Husted, Ester Serra Luque, Allison Nevitt,
- Facilitation team
- Andrea Nagel, Melinda Weekes, Cynthia Parker, Jen Willsea, Deborah Gillburg
What are we talking about?
- Using a process called World Café, we invite you to a dialogue about these very important questions:
- What is the story of this movement?
- What are the values that we want to live by?
- What do we need now?
- How do we take this to the next level?
The World Café Process
The World Café a flexible facilitated process that is aimed at creating collaborative dialogue, sharing mutual knowledge and discovering new opportunities for action. The approach enables dynamic conversations to catalyze a group’s collective intelligence around the questions and issues that matter most to the people in the room. The conversations are held in small groups, around café-style tables, and upon the completion of one conversation round, people move to new table to spread what they are learning. In between the successive rounds of discussion, the large group ‘harvests’ the patterns that arise and the ideas, questions and themes that start to link and connect. The broadness of the questions allows participants to generate the content of the discussion. Folks can voice what's on their hearts and minds throughout the conversations. Please bring your reflections about what has happened with Occupy Boston this week and over the past two months!
Drawing on seven integrated design principles, the World Café methodology is a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue.
World Café can be modified to meet a wide variety of needs. Specifics of context, numbers, purpose, location, and other circumstances are factored into each event's unique invitation, design, and question choice, but the following five components comprise the basic model:
1) Setting: Create a "special" environment, most often modelled after a café, i.e. small round tables covered with a checkered tablecloth, butcher block paper, colored pens, a vase of flowers, and optional "talking stick" item. There should be four chairs at each table.
2) Welcome and Introduction: The host begins with a warm welcome and an introduction to the World Café process, setting the context and putting participants at ease.
3) Small Group Rounds: The process begins with the first of three or more twenty minute rounds of conversation for the small group seated around a table. At the end of the twenty minutes, each member of the group moves to a different new table. They may or may not choose to leave one person as the "table host" for the next round, who welcomes the next group and briefly fills them in on what happened in the previous round.
4) Questions: each round is prefaced with a question designed for the specific context and desired purpose of the session. The same questions can be used for more than one round, or they can be built upon each other to focus the conversation or guide its direction.
5) Harvest: After the small groups (and/or in between rounds, as desired) individuals are invited to share insights or other results from their conversations with the rest of the large group. These results are reflected visually in a variety of ways, most often using graphic recorders in the front of the room.
- Focus on what matters
- Be curious - Listen to really understand
- Step up, step back
- Speak and listen with heart and mind
- Use and link ideas of others
- Make ideas visible - play, scribble, draw on the table covers
- Have FUN!
How To Improve Communication:
- Be Curious and Open to Learning:Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain a attitude of exploration and learning.
Balance Advocacy and Inquiry: Seek to learn and understand as much as you might want to persuade. Conversations are as much about listening as it is about talking.
- Show Respect and Suspend Judgment: Setting judgments aside will enable you to learn from others and contribute to others experiencing being respected and appreciated.
- Seek Alignment rather than Agreement:Alignmentis shared intention, whereas agreement is having a shared belief or opinion.
- Be Purposeful and to the Point:Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once. Do your best to make your point quickly with honesty and depth.
- Own and Guide the Conversation or Process: Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the quality of the work conversations by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.
- Be Excellent to Each other:Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically; from your personal and heart felt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.
Call for Occupy Boston Summit
Date: November 8, 2011
Subject: Call for an Occupy Boston Summit Nov.19
There have been many conversations in various working groups recently about the challenges facing our Occupy Boston community, especially as winter approaches. There seems to be a general feeling that we are at a critical moment, a moment when we need to ask ourselves some key questions about how to make the Boston branch of the Occupy movement sustainable, so that we can continue to have space to address the widening inequality in our society.
In light of this, many of us have been discussing the idea of gathering our community for an "Occupy Boston Summit" to address some of these key questions about where we are headed. It would not be a GA or a decision making session, but rather a community-wide discussion of the challenges and opportunities we face. It is a chance bring together camp residents, working group members, and anyone else who identifies as part of Occupy Boston to share ideas about how to make this movement strong and sustainable.
This idea has been discussed over the past few days by many people active with Occupy Boston: Mariama White-Hammond, Susie Husted, Alex Ingram, Nicole Sullivan, Noah McKenna, Katie Gradowski, Chris Williams, Carl Williams, Bhavin Patel, Angela Giudice, Allison Nevitt, Greg Murphy, and others in Facilitation and Anti-Oppression. All together, these folks are active with a cross-section of the working groups: Outreach, Media, Women's Caucus, Anti-Oppression, People of Color, Queer/Trans Caucus, Media, Facilitation, Ideas, Direct Action, Community Organizations, Social, Financial Accountability, and Legal. There is broad support for convening a summit as a "meeting of the minds" to harvest the collective wisdom of our OB community and to think creatively about our future.
I have connected with some skilled facilitators from the Interaction Institute for Social Change who are trained in some innovative techniques for helping large groups address challenges and opportunities in a strategic way. They have volunteered to facilitate a summit on Saturday, November 19, from 2-6pm. A couple of us are looking for an indoor space close to Dewey Square that we could use for this gathering.
As I am one of the many people helping to get this ball rolling, please feel free to be in contact with me about it. Any contributions to make this a positive event for our community are welcome. A flyer including the location is coming soon. Please spread the word!
Posted to numerous Occupy Boston Lists, including:
- Outreach WG
- Media WG
- Transparency WG
- Ideas WG
- IT WG
- Community Organizations/Movement Building
- Anti-Oppression WG
Occupy Boston Summit
Saturday, November 19, 2011
2pm - 6pm
Josiah Quincy Elementary School
885 Washington Street in Chinatown
15 minute walk from Dewey Square,
or 11 minute walk from Downtown Crossing Red Line stop,
or Orange Line to Tufts Med. Ctr.