- we can “read” the room and invite comments from those that have been silent for a while
- we can set ground rules about argumentation and debate, personal attacks, etc (Aspiration Tech notes on ground rules)
Other invitations rely on physical movement to engage those that otherwise might not speak. Three examples:
- we can do brainstorms that get people up and moving around Post-It notes on a big wall
- we can change the physical dynamic by breaking a larger group into smaller ones
- we can offer movement by running a spectrogram to gauge diversity of opinions on a controversial topic (Aspiration Tech spectrogram notes, P2PU-course spectrogram notes)
- we can offer the construction of a collaborative object that symbolizes the theme and is an output of the meeting or workshop
- we can create short opportunities to make something small that explores a topic, coupled with a short window to share what was made with peers (we do this a lot in our Data Therapy workshops)
- The “Maker” movement – Obviously these folks are using the process of making and sharing to build community.
- Tactical Technology Collective – Their events invariably have hands on components with an artistic approach, but at the InfoActivism Camp 2014 I found it to be on the periphery.
- Discotechs – I’ve recently learned more abut this model from my colleague Sasha Costanza-Chock. I understand they historically integrate the collaborative construction of a disco ball as a centerpiece activity, and their philosophy looks like it centrally integrates creative activities where you make things.
- IISC -The facilitative leadership training I attended included a short hands-on “challenge” involving cardboard tubes, tape, etc. It was integrated well into the topic of the training, and fun. The reflective discussion they led afterwards connected to many themes of the training.
- Connection Lab – My wife and Data Therapy collaborator Emily does amazing work offering collaborative arts activities as a community building activity for those working the world of public health.
- Team building – There is a large market of team building activities sold to businesses trying to focus on internal community; many of these involve creative activities.
- Arts therapy – I understand that the world of arts therapy uses the creative act to surface underlying issues and start difficult conversations
I’m looking forward to exploring these ideas more with people here at Civic Media, and if you’re interested let me know! Are “Making” events better? When we provide more invitations to make, are we making events better?
Notes: This is cross-posted to the Civic Media blog.