Tuesday Ryan Hart and I have been thinking and dreaming, planning and scheming, creating and collaborating together for quite a while, and now it’s time: we’re co-branding!
After almost 10 years of working together, the scale of work we’re being asked into continues to grow, and we wanted to formalize our collaboration. We’re really excited and wanted to share it with everyone.
Hear a bit more about it in our short video below!
Here's what is cooking ... direct info is here
Tim Merry to Sweden on hosting system change
Tim Merry, change leader and co-founder of the Art of hosting is on a short trip to Sweden. He will work with organisations and groups in both Stockholm and Malmö. His colleague Tuesday Ryan Heart will join via Skype in both Stockholm and Malmö. Check out a 3 min summary of one of Tims key note or this 4 minute reflection from Tim and Tuesday about their model Shared work after working with leaders in Canada. During his visit in Sweden Tim is scheduled for following events:
SKL - Stockholm 10th of October
How can we build the foundation for the future together - rather than just coping with crises and downturns? An inspirational day with SKL and Tim Merry around the modernisation of public sector. Civil servants from municipalities around Sweden are invited to explore this question together with colleagues from Canada, who as well as Tuesday Ryan Heart will join us via Skype.
Masterclass - Malmö 12th of October
Leading system change. Leading long-term participatory change initiatives to battle societal challenges. A participatory masterclass with Tim Merry (Canada) and team for regional key players sharing the ambition to take the next step in their work on change and sustainability. Tim will share exciting examples from current work and together with Tuesday Ryan Heart (who will join us via Skype from the U.S.). They will share their latest learning on how to work with long term multi-stakeholder processes in a way that makes systemic change possible. The greatest learning comes from real life application. So, during the afternoon we will work on our participants real projects and challenges. This is an open event. Welcome!
Practitioners Gathering Malmö 14th of October
During the Saturday we are inviting all of you who work as practitioners in the field of co-creation around the question How can we learn and develop together as a community of practitioners?
This is a peer-learning event although Tim will start the day with a session on Shared work and how that applies to us as a community of practitioners. The event will be in English and we hope to attract a few international participants also from our neighbouring countries. The event is on a self-cost rate (approx 500 SEK) and will run from 10.00 to 18.00. In the evening those who want to stay will share a meal and enjoy each others company for a bit longer.
A few reflections form Tuesday and myself after working together on some systems change initiatives in these last few days ... check out www.workdonebettertogether.com to tune into some of our webinars around this content.
Tim recently partnered with Bravespace to deliver a live draw keynote for Education, Research, Development and Innovation (ERDI). I introduced Shared Work - a model created by Tuesday Ryan Hart that I have been part of developing. Shared work is seeking to bridge the work of social justice ad systems change by looking at how we can work together across difference over time. We are looking for more venues to do more of this! Drop me a line if your are interested ...
Tuesday and I just did a webinar on Shared Work with Joshua Cubista @ Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute. "The Shared Work & Collaborative Leadership For Systemic Change Webinar the Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute explores how to take action in the midst of the increasing complexity of the 21st century through our Shared Work and support the practice of leading systemic change within our personal lives, communities, organizations, and the world. " borderlandsinstitute.org // joshuacubista.com
I got to interview my old friend and mentor, Toke Moeller, for a webinar offered by Engage Nova Scotia, filmed at the HUB South Shore My questions were along the lines of:
Latest video blog from myself and Tuesday Ryan Hart - Why are meetings important?
There are three practices at the centre of participatory process: hosting, harvesting and organizing. I have been learning a lot about the key role the coordinators and organizers play in the success of our work, particularly on the more complex pieces of work. Here's a few reflections:
Check out this short video blog on what are the group sizes that shift the design, methods and approach ...
What are the best ways to market our open and public events? What type of invitation works and what doesn't? Some thoughts and questions from me, and I would love to hear your experience ...
A collaboration between Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan Hart . We are excited to share our 2017 online offerings! Our new Art of Hosting Webinar Series begins February 16, and the fourth iteration of our Leading Effective Meetings online course begins in April. If you'd like even more time with us, consider joining our Advanced Leadership coaching. Check out our video on what's coming in 2017. See you online!
Tuesday Ryan Hart and I have been working on a model for systems change and equity ... it is exciting! Here's a short video blog with a little bit about why we are doing it and how we are going about it:
"I love the new Mahone Bay playground. It says to me, "families are welcome to live here!" It's the Mahone Bay equivalent of a neon sign inviting people like me to settle. My wife and I have three kids and have chosen to stay in this area because of the community of young families who live here. I used to describe the phenomenon as "instacommunity" - we move into the area, add water, stir a bit and boom! - community.
Therefore, it was with a mixture of sadness and exasperation that I heard the story from the Mahone Bay mayoral debates. At the debates one of the candidates said he did not want Mahone Bay to become a "grey haired ghetto" to which the reply from one audience member was "what's wrong with a grey haired ghetto?" The room of around 150 people dissolved into laughter, apart from the small group of parents who had managed to find babysitters and came to participate in the event ..." Read the full article here
We have lost some greats of music this year and there have been some incredible new artists, and new tunes by existing artists, to listen to. I am lucky to have a bevvy of friends who recommend music to me. My ears have been blessed with atmospheric electronica like Badbadnotgood, Gogo Penguin and Floating Points (all Gary), De La Soul are back to their best, Nick Cave broke my heart (Karl), The Incredible String Band (Toke) woke me up, Roots Manuva took me back to my twenties and I felt happy every time I listened to Julian Dore, Le Lac. And, if you haven't listened to Kate Tempest's new album (Matt), go do it now. Here are are a few of the other artists that kept coming back on my playlist. I hope you enjoy them and they put wind in your sails for 2017. It is amazing what beauty pours from the hearts of humans!
I was finally able to set up my record player (a result of moving house) and it has been great to pull out some Vinyl. I am lucky enough my old friend, Anna, is with a fellow who runs a record shop in Amerstdam called Plato. They have sent the Vinyl LP of Urban Hymns by The Verve! My mate, Jonty, has also convinced me it is time to get some of the The Specials on vinyl too ... and because it is new year here's one more track, Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) ...
What are you listening to?
If you could order anything on vinyl for 2017, what would it be?
In 2016 we worked on the Spring Garden West Public Engagement - it as was great process that lead to major changes in the design influenced by the public input. Here is a video from the developer talking about how they think development should be happening based on their experience working with us. I hope it could be useful for anyone trying to build a case for proper engagement in the design of infrastructure:
Follow the process from the beginning. This document illustrates the collaborative process on how the design evolved based on a dialogue between the public, the developer and design professionals. I hope this illustration of the engagement process can be used as material to support other projects. Check it out here or download it below:
Chris Corrigan and I were recently in Calgary running an Art of Hosting training together and the professionalization of the field of engagement, facilitation and hosting came up. It provoked some thoughts about certification, IAP and the role of training events like the Art of Hosting in the bigger picture. The video blog speaks a lot to why we call it the ART of Hosting, why we have resisted certification of the Art of Hosting and why we must make this work widely available as a human practice rather than a professional field.
Recently there has been an excellent exchange of resources on the Art of Hosting email list around how evaluation connects to the work of participatory leadership. I hope you find these resources and reflections as useful as I have. I have separated the content based on the person that contributed to make it a bit more accessible. Check it out below.
Here are a few resources that have been meaningful for me:
The New Directions for Evaluation Journal (special issue on evaluation and facilitation)
The Guide to Evaluating Collective Impact
Also here is a resource that Miranda Cobb and I created as an introductory toolkit for community-based, participatory and developmental evaluation last year.
"In my experience, so much of what Developmental Evaluation does is already naturally embedded within Art of Hosting practices, especially if there is a strong and rigorous harvesting strategy, so I'd suggest syncing up at this level with the evaluation team (otherwise needless overlap can occur)."
We are doing lots of developmental evaluation connected to many of the hosting projects of the Future Services Institute in Minnesota. But most are 'under construction.'
Kathy Quick and I have done a few articles that are more theory building / basic research. One is published in a journal, another in a book chapter, and another forthcoming. I've attached them here:
Another form of harvesting that we did is an e-book from how Art of Hosting was implemented throughout our University system. It can be found here: http://conservancy.umn.edu/handle/11299/155523
There's a distinction to be made based on what are you evaluating. Do you want to know: how effective the program is that uses hosting? Or how hosting works? Whether the event was hosted well and whether hosting was the right approach?
Depending on your answer, I'm listing resources below. And of course, I am open to a conversation (DrRita@ritafierro.com), if you feel like you're swimming and need support.
A distinction is needed between evaluating the effectiveness of programs using participatory leadership (how effective the program is), publications on participatory leadership and evaluation (publications on the area above), research on participatory leadership practices (how participatory leadership works), and evaluation of participatory leadership practices (how well participatory leadership works).
1) EVALUATING PROGRAMS USING PARTICIPATORY LEADERSHIP - how effective the program is
I've been combining participatory leadership practices in evaluation for several years now and training on the topic for the past four years, including three years at the American Evaluation Association.
Currently, one of the developmental evaluations I am conducting is of a trauma training for police officers and community members in Newark, NJ, which began with a community visioning process for the best role for police in the face of violence in community--Using World Cafe and Circle Practice. We are using developmental evaluation to track the increased mutual understanding between police and community especially on issues of race.
More on the added value that participatory leadership provides to evaluation on my blog: Seven Great Reasons to Use Participatory Leadership in Evaluation.
2) PUBLICATIONS ON PARTICIPATORY LEADERSHIP AND EVALUATION - publications of program effectiveness
I also co-edited an issue: Evaluation and Facilitation in the New Directions in Evaluation Journal that digs into these issues more deeply.
If you're interested in purchasing it, you can a discount here, or contact me. The issue includes my article:
Enhancing Facilitation Skills: Dancing with Dynamic Tensions
As for the use of complexity theory in Evaluation there are two articles I wrote for Better Evaluation on:
- Using SenseMaker in Child-Centred Research
- Using SenseMaker to Understand Girls' Education in Ethiopia
3) RESEARCH on PARTICIPATORY LEADERSHIP PRACTICES - how hosting works
Jodi Sanfort has been a leader here and links to her articles are in the section above with her name.
4) EVALUATING PARTICIPATORY LEADERSHIP PRACTICES - how well an event or training was hosted
This is the area that is least developed, and that is growing. In the above mentioned journal there is one article on an
Evaluation of Participatory Leadership practices:
Invisible and Unbound? The Challenge and Practice of Evaluating Embedded Facilitation 107 by Jessica Dart, Megan Roberts
Further, in researching for the journal I found four reports on evaluations of Art of Hosting - but it's mainly evaluating the impact of trainings:
- Practicing the Art of Hosting Report
- AOH Success Works Evaluation Report
- Cultivating Change in the Academy
I hope this helps.
Just before leaving the event in Slovenia Mary Alice Arthur interviewed me. Here is what I had to say in response to her questions about Participatory Leadership, practice and where the work is going from below. You can see a full harvest from this excellent event here and here's the link to the summary of the track Toke and I ran together 'Making An Honourable Living'.
Right before me my friend, mentor and co driver for the trip Slovenia was interviewed too on similar questions. Here is what he had to say ...
I recently found this in my diaries from 13 years ago. The year I moved to Nova Scotia.
“The world is not going to get better. The current global chaos is going to increase. The madness we see now will only continue to escalate, I suspect until we hit a massive ecological crisis. I believe human intervention has gone too far globally to be remedied - the battle is lost. The opposite of despair is not hope for me; the opposite of despair is action.
Nova Scotia works for me as a place to begin this new action in my life. It is on the fringes of the madness; what has infected so much of the world has not really hit Nova Scotia yet. It still has slowness and simplicity in its nature. When a pond unfreezes, it is the edges that melt first. I believe that as the world descends further into chaos, that we will need places which hold good human wisdom and practice.”
It felt a bit strange to read it to be honest. It does feel to me like the chaos has only increased over the lat 13 years: the number of ecological disasters, increased economic uncertainty, massive social unrest, the breakdown of trust between citizens and governments, corporate greed running rampant … you don’t need me to continue the list!
That got me to thinking about why Nova Scotia is such a great place to be. In the midst of all this madness we can watch from the edges and make our own decisions. It is like we are part of it but not fully in it all. Thank goodness. More from my diary:
Check out this short video introducing a learning track I am doing at the Practitioners Gathering in Slovenia in October. I am excited to be doing this with my old friend and mentor Toke Moeller. The video introduces the track and also has some highlights from a conversation we had recently.
I have put the learning track description below and an link to the event. Check it out and hope to see you there!
Making an honourable living and doing work for the common good of all:
Tim Merry, with guest host Toke Møller
FOR MORE INFO ON THE EVENT CLICK HERE
During the two days we have together we will explore the journey of making a living through staying connected to our integrity. On the first day we will look at one or two examples of applying Art of Hosting to large scale public engagement work - where money, purpose and power mingle together with enormous potential and great risk. On the second day we follow the trajectory of applying Art of Hosting as a practice in the world but also as business that pays the bills and leaves you with some profit at the end. Please come prepared to dive into provocative conversations with other participants, to explore models for public engagement and Art of Hosting as a business, and to dig deep to discover your own business ethic. This module will be co-designed by Tim and Toke on their road trip from Denmark to Slovenia, Tim will lead the sessions and Toke will be joining to give one or two teachings, his health permitting.
We’re going to have some fun.
We’re going to dive deep and learn a bunch about ourselves and our work.
We’re going to prepare for the future that is coming to meet us in the most practical way possible.
How about it? You in?
Tim and Toke
FOR MORE INFO ON THE EVENT CLICK HERE
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