Community Engagement Planning: August 8, 2022

Community Engagement Planning Conversation:
Monday, August 8, 2022
10am-12pm Pacific time / 1pm-3pm Eastern time

Watch the meeting LIVE at this post. Just scroll to the very bottom of the page.
Details about how to participate are below.

Crafting a Community Engagement Plan
Over the past few months, the conversations of our Integrity Body have been considering what's next for our mission.

Following our values, as well as the very first question in the Catalytic Thinking framework, our first step will be to ensure that decisions about our future are led by the people most affected by those decisions - our community members. And that will require a plan for how to go about ensuring that!

Over the course of four meetings so far, we have followed Catalytic Thinking to craft that plan. You can find a summary of Meeting #1 here, where we discussed who would be affected by our engagement efforts, and listened to what is important about engagement. The summary of our second meeting is here, where we reached for what "good" would look like - what engagement makes possible, especially for the people being engaged. At our third meeting, we dove into the conditions that need to be in place in order to those outcomes to be realized. The summary of that meeting is here.

In our 4th discussion, the focus turned inward, reflecting on the people in the room and the communities they feel part of. That personal discussion led to significant aha's about what "good" vs. "bad" engagement looks and feels like. It also led back to the ongoing discussion of the term "community engagement," and the need for language that better expresses our intention to be in relationship with the people who are part of our mission. The summary of that discussion is here.

Our next conversation in this process will happen on August 8th. At that time, we will finish the discussion of conditions for success, asking, "What will it take for our existing community members - the people who currently receive the benefit of our work - to want to be part of deciding what's next for our mission?" The actions that will create those conditions will become our plan!

We hope you will be part of this conversation, because this is not theoretical - this is actually determining the next steps in Creating the Future's evolution!  

How to Prepare
First, let us know if you plan to attend by sending a note at this link. Per the "How to participate" section below, please let us know which of the 3 ways you would like to participate.

Second, if you are not familiar with Catalytic Thinking or the Integrity functions of our board, the following will be helpful:

For those who think visually, this PDF graphic of the Catalytic Thinking Framework will give you an understanding of the flow of the conversation. For those who work best with text, you can follow along with the questions that guide Catalytic Thinking at this link. We recommend having these pieces available during the meeting, to spark your thinking during the discussion.

To get a sense of the context of our Integrity Board, this post introduces our thinking about that.

Third - and importantly - review our prior conversations about this topic, to be fully present for this meeting. You'll find summaries in the links at the top of this page. In reviewing those conversations, if there is anything you might add, please do so in the comments!

3 Ways to participate
If you have never been part of Creating the Future's work, all our strategy and board meetings are open and participatory, for anyone who wants to be part of the discussion. You can see more about that at this link.

Where we meet:

The board meeting will take place right here at this post. If the video does not appear precisely on time, please be patient – we are probably just running a few minutes late.

There are 3 ways you can participate in our meetings.

  • If you are already familiar with and committed to Creating the Future’s work, and you would like to be actively involved in the meeting discussion side-by-side at our online “meeting table,” let us know, and we will send you an invitation to join us online. Read more here about what it means to participate in that way. (Please note that these seats are limited, to ensure everyone's voice can be heard. If you are not able to be in the room with us, no worries - there are still two other ways to  share your insights with us!)
  • If you want to participate but are unable to be in the meeting itself (perhaps you’re at work, or maybe at home with kids running around, etc.), watch the live-stream in real time and tweet your questions and ideas to us via the hashtag #CreatingTheFuture. We read those tweets aloud during the meeting, just as if you were there. This is a great first step for those who are not as familiar with our work, but want to get more involved.

(Please note: We will only see your tweets if you use the #CreatingTheFuture hashtag. In addition, during the meeting, we will not look at blog comments here at this post. While we will check those comments later, during the meeting we will only be following the #CreatingTheFuture hashtag in the Twitter stream.)

  • Lastly, if you want to simply watch, or you want to think about what you’re hearing and respond later – or if you will be watching the recording after the meeting happens – please add your thoughts into the comments here at this post. We will include that thinking into the mix of things.

We look forward to your being part of our discussion!

* All Creating the Future's board meetings are open for anyone to participate, or to watch afterwards. To learn more about the thinking behind this openness - and our experiences with being open - click here.

Logistics: The meeting will happen right here at this post. Details are below.

Watch the meeting HERE on Monday
Note: if the meeting does not start on time please be patient as we may be running a few minutes late.

or, After the meeting - LISTEN TO THE MEETING HERE

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1 thought on “Community Engagement Planning: August 8, 2022”

  1. The best example of a community that I was strongly and passionately involved in was marching band in college. I think this is a good example to share because I’ve transitioned through a variety of roles and levels of involvement within the organization. It’s also been the group I’ve been most involved in and impacted by. Here are some of the things that motivated me to get involved:

    It was easy to get involved. Auditions happened at freshman orientation, an event I was already attending, and the other rehearsals and gatherings were at dates, times, and locations that worked with my schedule.

    People I knew and admired (family, friends…) were already involved and it looked like they were having a great time. Plus, if they could do it, I could do it. 🙂

    I felt “wanted” by the organization. The band does a lot of recruiting and I even remember emailing the director with some questions that I had. I was pretty nervous to reach-out to someone in a position of power that I admired, but his response was very approachable, enthusiastic, and he expressed a lot of excitement around me auditioning. That also made me feel important and wanted, and like I was definitely talented enough to be part of the group.

    There was a very natural-feeling progression through levels of involvement in the program that encouraged me to continue challenging, growing, and progressing my own skills. At first, I was just a football fan who always loved watching the band perform. Wanting to be a bigger part of that experience, I joined the group as a regular member. I remember like that feeling pretty overwhelming at first with all of the “newness” and couldn’t dream of taking on any more responsibility. But, after a year or two, I started to feel more comfortable in that role and since music was something I was more confident in than my marching ability, I started to think about expanding my involvement by becoming section leader. Another year passed, and I felt stronger in my marching ability and auditioned to become a rank leader. Then, after 4 years in the band, I got approached to work for the band as a graduate student instructor. I never would’ve dreamed of being a staff member when I first joined the band, but by the time I reached that point in my career, I did feel ready to take that next step. I think this gradual level of increasing involvement is a key difference for why I feel invested and passionate about some groups over others. I’ve been involved in groups where my first interaction with them is as a board member or other leadership role, and I just haven’t felt as invested in the work or organization because I didn’t have a part in contributing to or understanding the group from the bottom-up. Going from all to nothing in terms of involvement is rarely successful for me.

    There was a variety of ways for get involved in the band based on your skills, interests, and capacity. For example, if marching band was too much of a time commitment, I could join the hockey band. If I had graphic/communication skills, I could join the social media team. There were other staffs for things like keeping track of equipment or managing the music library. We also had social groups that we could take part of if we wanted. The point is that there was no “right” way or “one-size fits all” way to engage, and folks could choose how much they wanted to engage.

    I joined for the thing (band), and stayed for the people I met along the way. I met my husband, best friend, housemates, and had siblings in the band with me. The social aspect was huge, and we would often joke that folks in the band had their “ride or dies”. This meant that folks often stayed in band if their friends did, and if a best friend (their ride or die) quit band, it wasn’t long until the other friend also quit. Even today, I will sign-up to do things as an band alumna if my friends are also participating in them.


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