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Archive for online learning

Activating Collective Wisdom


(first published in weDialogue, May 2017)
The capacity to activate collective wisdom is at the very heart of the work I do, both in my spiritual practice and in my work with groups through participatory group processes like World Café, Open Space, Circle, etc.. As a host of participatory practice, my understanding of collective wisdom has largely been that of a field of shared awareness that can arise within the group when certain conditions are in place.

While it’s certainly true that Collective Wisdom arises from particular qualities of intention and attention, in practice its presence or absence has always been a bit of a mystery to me. In my experience, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t – even when it appears that pretty much the same conditions are in place.

So you can imagine the enthusiasm of my “yes” when long-time friend and colleague Alan Briskin – one of the pioneers in shaping the language and ideas associated with collective wisdom and a leading practitioner in the field – asked if I wanted to collaborate with him to produce an online program on this subject.

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Responses to Hosting Fundamentals Course

Here’s what graduates are saying about the World Cafe Hosting Fundamentals course at Fielding:

Accolades

I am a French facilitator based in Paris.  As I was about to start my own little company, I took Amy and Bo’s class between February and April of 2013.  At the end of April, a facilitator that had trained me before called me up and asked “Is your World Café training over yet?”  She had a major client who was ready for a series of World Cafés with 100+ people each, the dates were changed and it turned out that she wouldn’t be available.  Because I had been trained by Amy and Bo, I was the person my trainer chose to call, which provided me with my very first paid assignment as a freelance facilitator!  I teamed up with a consultant and with a fantastic graphic facilitator and I hosted several sessions for that client.  Our sponsor couldn’t believe the level of energy that was in the room!  At the end of the first World Café, a participant came to me and said “I can see it now: I’m not alone”!

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“I’m loving this programme, and find it really helpful in getting me to think more about what I’m doing. I can’t remember anything I’ve done in years that has been so practical and ‘right on’. Thank you!”

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It was such a powerful session, just like the whole course. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of this class and I think it helped me keep centered and positive in a very challenging time in my work life.

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Thank you for all that you have done to make this experience one that will continue to affect me into the future.

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(about the World Cafe with Juanita Brown) “It was such a powerful session, just like the whole course. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of this class and I think it helped me keep centered and positive in a very challenging time in my work life.”

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Testimonial

 

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Amy & Bo were extremely knowledgeable and facile with the material. They were excellent resources and always accessible. 

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World Cafe connected the dots, bringing previous learning together in new ways.

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There is a reassurance for me in being able to clearly articulate the process and, therefore, being able to trust that it will deliver the results. Taking time to create, review and refine a question so that it has the required impact is a key learning from the programme.

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Thanks to this course, I know how to successfully facilitate a world café and use it as an invaluable tool with my nonprofit clients.

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This course helped me regain that wonder and appreciation of the differences and connections that we all have and the responsibility and opportunity we have to make things better together.

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To be honest, I loved the whole experience. The learning, the thinking, the questions, the people, the conversations. Loved it. It’s left me with thoughts about creating a learning community in my new organisation, and about what I can do with some of my bigger clients.

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Amy, Bo, thank you so much for a wonderful learning experience. We all benefited from your expertise at every level on the course.

 

Here are more comments from earlier sessions of this course…