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Story and Approach (redirected from Approach)

Page history last edited by Rachel Lyn Rumson 10 years, 8 months ago

The hosting circle is an ad hoc group focusing on the Fall 2013 Gathering in Portland Maine comprised of individuals from various initiatives and resource groups in New England. The intention of this group is hold an inclusive, open, collaborative and process and structure for creating a well attended and engaging event in Portland Oct 5. Is it and open group, meaning anyone can participate at any time. The project approach is following a action research approach using the systems design approach of Peter Block and Kurt Lewin and the circle approach of Christina Baldwin. 


The circle meeting design is intentional. Circles are the old new way. They ensure that all voices are heard. Passing a talking stick eliminates cross talk let's us listen both to each other and the group as a whole. It presents some challenges on the phone but eliminates a lot of awkwardness. When it is a group members turn they can choose to speak or pass. When it comes back to the facilitator those who passed have a chance to add something. The structure of the meeting is simple.


This is a rough outline of the steps and a summary of the journey so far:



  1. Clarifying roles
  2. Project vision 
  3. Setting initial goals 
  4. Data collection
  5. Joint data analysis of survey feedback and action planning
  6. Complete action steps 
    1. registration 
    2. facilitation 
    3. getting the word out
    4. recruiting 
    5. menu planning
    6. fundraising
  7. Event
    1. room set up/breakdown
    2. welcome table
  8. Debrief 



The initial meeting focused on the three steps. We created a vision for the gathering. The vision notes are here.We reviewed some raw data together from a previous survey of the NE Transition community conducted by IPS  using this process. Our interpretations focused on only a few questions that seemed relevant. Those were: #3, #4, #5, #7 We briefly considered the initial goals for the gathering and touched on a possible agenda including a skill share and open space technology.


The following meeting we picked up with step 3 and proceeded with with steps 4 and 5. We discussed the goals for the gathering in detail and decided that we needed more data. We conducted a survey about the goals for the gathering to validate or abandon the goals as we understood them. We included at the last minute a few questions about a possible competing event, so that we would not make decisions based on assumptions. Both events may have had different enough goals that there would be no real strain on attendees. The survey was completed. This is the survey. These are the raw data results and here is a summary 


The Third meeting we reviewed the data collect in the survey: Third meeting PPT shows the flow of that analysis. We also had clarity about the competing events. Rob Hopkins had accepted the invitation to Portland for a speaking engagement the night before the gathering.


Each of the first three meetings was well facilitated. The Fourth meeting was not well facilitated but the group attending was the largest since the project began. This was unfortunate (facilitators judgement). The group covered a lot of ground. We passed the hat for food donations and have several resources groups planning to contribute funds. We talked about talked about hiring a caterer verses, community sources foods, and are considering supplementing a catered menu with locally sourced foods. We briefly talked about housing for the overnight since Rob is speaking. Most of the time we spent debating ways to approach the the gathering agenda. Fundamental differences in opinion surfaced and the conversation was tabled while several action items are underway including: registration and digital postcard.


stay tuned...

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