Monthly Archives: July 2015

Healthy Cities

I’m Talking Cities, Applied Anthro, and Enagagement

JEFF WOOD (THE OVERHEAD WIRE) IS CREATING  A WEEKLY PODCAST AND AGGREGATING NEWS ABOUT URBAN PLACES DAILY

And I got to be featured on the podcast!

I love streets, healthy cities, and all the policies and research behind them. To get my fix of news, I’ve been reading The Direct Transfer‘s daily Overhead Wire newsletter (subscribe here).

I was honored when Jeff Wood, the guy behind those things, invited me to be the featured guest on his StreetsBlog Talking Headways podcast. It was even better when I got to talk applied anthropology, network weaving, equity, and engagement (with a small dose of Oslo, Norway) in our conversation.

If you’re curious, there is 35 minutes of listening here.

Facilitation Network Weaving

My Networks Care for Me, Too

blank wall

The agenda for an Open Space Meeting. Also, a description of what I knew about Open Space when I decided I wanted to use the technique in a workshop.

 

A couple weeks ago, I was prepping for a workshop. I knew I wanted to include a modified Open Space session at the end of the day. The catch was that I’d never facilitated or even participated in an Open Space session, and I was nervous about faking it in a room with 30 people who were looking to me to make the day worthwhile.

I happen to be part of a very loose network (a google group, really), of network support consultants, so I reached out to them asking for guidance.

I’m planning to use a short, possibly modified version of Open Space Technologies to close out a full-day workshop with a goal of giving people space to engage in topics that they are passionate about and/or which they want to learn more about after the rest of the day.

I’m wondering whether someone is willing to spend 15-30 minutes on skype or google hangouts with me to talk me through my framing and logistics.

Within a day, I had EIGHT people offer to help me. I worked with two of them. The online Open Space descriptions I found were mostly for much larger contexts than I had — multiple days of sessions. Thanks to their advice I felt comfortable I was scaling my instructions to my context, and framing my questions in a way that would lead to valuable conversations. Because my network supported me, by the time I was in a room with my participants, I was ready.

This week, I’m reviewing the evaluations from that session. 60% of the attendees listed the Open Space session as one of their favorite parts of the day. It’s time to thank my network for taking care of me, too.