Join me at an Unconference in Victoria (24-27 November)

The Unconference, Kurri Kurri, NSW, 2013

The Unconference, Kurri Kurri, NSW, 2013

If you are interested in exploring strengths-based processes like asset-based community-driven development and appreciative inquiry, or inclusive group processes like circle work, open space or world café, why don’t you join me at the first Victorian Unconference? In November this year, I will be heading down to Eildon in Victoria (Australia) as a “key agitator” for this great event.

The overall theme is “Community resilience & innovation: from surviving to thriving” and I suspect there will be quite a focus on, amongst other things, community building, community engagement and community development. But this is only a guess, as the focus really does emerge from the gathering.

Because the Unconference doesn’t have a pre-arranged agenda, it’s an opportunity to explore issues that matter to you. Topics for discussion will emerge over our time together and it will be an opportunity to:

  • Deepen our practice
  • Discover new ways of working
  • Practice new skills
  • Reflect on what motivates us and what our passions are
  • Turn passions and ideas into action
  • Extend our networks.

Fifteen key agitators will be there with a wide range of experience to help create space for conversations about things participants want to talk about. The key agitators are not there as experts who will be presenting their knowledge in key-note talks but are there to share in a journey of exploration and discovery. Their roles during the Unconference include:

  • A mandala created at the welcoming of the 2014 Unconference

    A mandala created at the welcoming of the 2014 Unconference

    Helping co-create a learning environment that is welcoming and inclusive

  • Sharing their insights wisdom and experience, and learning from that of other people
  • Helping new insights and ideas to emerge

Some of the key agitators include:

  • Dan Duncan (USA), a consultant and faculty member of the ABCD Institute at Northwestern University, focuses on asset-based community development, results based accountability and collective impact.
  • Darren Sharp (Victoria), a sharing economy strategist with a background in digital media, founded Social Surplus and is doing a PhD on Livewell Yarra (a community-based carbon reduction trial).
  • Dee Brooks (NSW), a director of the Jeder Institute and faculty member of the ABCD Institute, is one of the hosts for this event and has a passion for ABDC and interactive, inclusive group processes.
  • Jacqueline Stavros (USA), Professor of Management at Lawrence Technological University, has a particular interest in positive organisational scholarship, organisation development and change, appreciative inquiry, sustainability, and strategy.
  • Max Hardy (Victoria) specialises in appreciative models of collaborative governance, collective impact and designing, facilitating and evaluating deliberative community engagement processes.
  • Michaela Kennedy (NSW), a director of the Jeder Institute and another of our hosts, focuses on person centred practices including lifestyle planning and support planning, community connecting and inclusion, team building and planning, inclusive leadership and partnership building.
  • Michelle Dunscombe (Victoria), another of our hosts, is passionate about strengthening regional and rural communities, developing community leadership capacity, building community resilience and supporting community members to take a lead role in emergency preparedness and recovery.
  • Russell Deal (Victoria), a social worker, publisher, facilitator, and “occasional pirate”, is from Innovative Resources which publishes a wonderful range of strengths-based resources.
  • And of course I’ll be there too!

During the Unconference we will use processes such as:

  • Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Circle Work
  • Open Space Technology
  • Person Centred Practices
  • Theory U
  • World Cafe
  • Social Enterprise

You can see a full list of the agitators, and other info, in the Unconference Leaflet. There’s also a leaflet about the September Unconference in Kurri Kurri (NSW) which has a greater focus on people with disabilities

I’ve enjoyed and benefited from the two Unconferences I’ve attended in NSW, (see my reflections from last year) and I’m really looking forward to a the reflection, conversation and learning I know will be in Victoria.

Hope I might see some of you there!

If you liked this post please follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. The Unconference: a participatory, inclusive gathering (Reflections for 2014)
  2. What is asset-based community-driven development (ABCD)?
  3. What is Appreciative Inquiry?
  4. What is community capacity building?
  5. 10 things I’ve learnt about strengths-based community engagement
  6. A World Cafe in a school – a step-by-step description

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), environmentalist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace & sustainability.
This entry was posted in Facilitation & teaching, Working with communities and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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