facilitating & hosting

Governexx Annual Forum

I spent today with a group of 100+ folks at an event with the purpose of “creating leadership platforms for innovative, imaginative and idea driven individuals in public service”. The core planning team for Governexx had some creative ideas in the agenda, like inviting both public service and private sector folks together, Chitter Chatter (their version of Pecha Kucha), using Open Space Technology to create a peer-generated agenda for topics to discuss, and Jaguar’s Den (their version of Dragon’s Den). They did a great job of inviting leadership into the room as well as private sector folks, recognizing that diversity in the room leads to richer conversations and idea incubating.

My role was to help massage the agenda to bring in the participatory elements. We carved out some time for a short (very short!) Open Space Technology session. 28 topics were named and discussed in a mere 2 hours – see this great picture here of people surveying the marketpace of topics.

Then I used elements of a process called Ritual Dissent and created a flow where we opened space for 12 spots for action ideas (first come, first served) and time to action plan using Avril Orloff’s brilliant Action Plan template. Participants self-selected which group to join to contribute to the plan creating. After the fast and furious action planning we moved into a ‘peer pitching’ process to get peer feedback on their ideas. Two rounds of 3 minutes to pitch, 3 minutes for feedback, then back to their team to share their learnings and iterate their pitch. Then three groups were invited into the centre to share their pitch to the Jaguars and receive feedback. And the Governexx team is putting some legs under the action ideas generated: the action champions will be reconvening at a follow-up meeting in December. A great example of “name, connect, nourish” to nurture system change.

Lots of learnings for me and it was a good challenge to work with some ‘must haves’ from the planning team and how to also weave in participatory dialogue approaches into the day.  Thank you to Governexx for inviting me to join this great group filled with innovative, imaginative and idea-filled individuals.

You can see the twitter harvest from the day here.

Governexx OST Session
photo credit William Chow @WChowster