The participants in the small groups at the Central Texas D&D Summit had almost forty-five minutes to share the lessons and insights they have gained during the course of their dialogue and deliberation work.
Steven Fearing set up the groups with the following comments.
- This meeting is not a workshop on dialogue and deliberation techniques. Instead it is an opportunity for us to get to know each other and to document what we have done and learned. More importantly, we want to build relationships and find out how we can work together in the future.
- You will be working in small groups at five tables
- Each table has a facilitator
- You have a template prepared by Sunni where you can capture in words and pictures from your group’s dialogue.
- You will have 45 minutes for this portion and should feel free to take breaks as needed
- Goal for our time in these small groups is to share and capture key learning, insights, and challenges related to dialogue and deliberation in community work.
- After 45 minutes, we will come together to capture common themes – such as assets and resources, challenges and opportunities. Sunni will help us integrate all of the ideas we discuss in our groups and chart on our templates into a graphic narrative.
Each group had a beautiful graphic map drawn by Sunni Brown where they could capture their insights. The groups were lightly facilitated by Rod Reyna, Susan Schultz, Tobin Quereau, and Mary Thompson. The facilitators charged the participants:
- Think of a time when you brought people together to work on an issue or community problem. What lessons have you learned about using dialogue and deliberation for helping people work together? These may be lessons you learned from your successes or things you learned that you would do differently.
- Think also about challenges you have faced and what you would like to do better, and
- What else do you need to be more effective in using dialogue and deliberation in your work with communities?
Here are the results of their small group dialogue:
Susan Schultz, Neil Meili, Stephanie Nestlerode, Steve Swanson, Lindsay LeBlanc
Mary Thompson, Ed Sharpe, Margaret Valenti, Robyn Emerson, Oliver Markley, Patricia Wilson
Tobin Quereau, Ann Brudno, Jenny Meigs, Tom Moran, Landon Shultz, Mike Aaron, Leilani Rose
Rod Reyna, Sherry Lowry, Robena Jackson, Cathey Capers, Juli Fellows, Steven Fearing
As the participants described their templates, Sunni captured their themes:
Prior to the reporting out and reflection, Erin Kreeger and Taylor Willingham had a charge for the group:
As you listen to the groups’ posting their templates, listen for assets and opportunities. Think about the opportunities that you identified in this room that will help you in your work. Perhaps you identified asset or opportunities that involve:
- Connecting with someone else in this room or someone who needs to be part of this community
- Participation in an event or activity
- Contributing your expertise or resources
Make note of the ideas as they come to you. After every group describes their template we will have time for collective reflection that Sunni will capture for us in graphic form.
Here are some of the opportunities the group identified to connect:
In keeping with our spirit of reflection and “continuous improvement” (that term is here for Charles’ benefit!) Charles Knickerbocker led us in a period of reflection on the meeting. He asked them what worked and what did we need more of. Here’s what the group had to say: