Catalytic Thinking in Action Meeting 1 Notes

On April 5th, thirteen people passionate about the possibilities of sharing how catalytic thinking is being used gathered to begin shaping a communications platform to make that happen.

They agreed the platform would be a repository that allows for individual efforts to be scaled towards making Catalytic Thinking the norm. People will be looking for a powerful fit for their issue. They won’t be looking for Catalytic Thinking and stories don’t have to use that term.

Once the group began exploring the highest possibilities of sharing catalytic thinking practices, the language quickly shifted from “blog” and “writers” to contributions that could be in written, audio, video, poem, song or any combination. Contributors would make a gift to the world by bringing their story to life and making rich, emotional connections. The cumulative effect of the stories is hard to predict, but we know that will emerge.

What is the highest potential of the stories?

The stories will:Story Telling

  • Connect and resonate through rich, emotional experiences that let those who find the platform pull out of a story what they need at that moment.
  • Provide a sense of relief. Those who find them will have hope that they can get from their place of frustration where they are currently stuck.
  • Inspire hope and confidence in folks who are burdened and stressed, whether they are in nonprofit, corporate or government work.
  • Tell all of us what is possible if assumptions are stripped away.
  • Help everyone appreciate how the great skills they already have can be applied differently for much more positive results. They will see that others like them have found something that works much better for them, and that can be used in any conversation or situation.
  • Encourage people to integrate Catalytic Thinking gently into their daily lives, and not wait for some special moment. Catalytic thinking works best when practiced every day and internalized ready for use at critical, stressful moment.
  • Be kept  short so busy people can quickly absorb the essence.

Who would receive this kind of benefit?

The group generated this list:

  • People in community benefit, corporate and government jobs.
  • Small business owners and advisors to people and organizations.
  • Teachers and academics, who could see practical applications they could use to improve course content, their way of teaching, development of new faculty and catalyze better run institutions.
  • Teenagers and parents, as a source of ideas for catalytic conversations.
  • The people who are honoured by being in the stories.
  • Investors, funders and foundation staff, as they see the possibilities for those they fund and for fostering information sharing not competition and hoarding.
  • Creating the Future’s mission, as the stories will help make the approach ubiquitous.

What would the platform mean for contributors?

Terracotta Storyteller

  • Really cool conversations (Catalytic Thinking in the Wild).
  • A playground for possibilities.
  • A practice ground for skills.
  • A place of inquiry – what I found, what I tried.
  • A place of ah-has – always make us see differently and strip away assumptions.
  • A virtual coffee house for conversations.
  • Validation as we find others who think like us.
  • Opportunities to collaborate and have several voices in a story.
  • A Blog Slam for feedback on draft stories.
  • A showcase for “figuring outers” rather than experts.
  • A place to be authentic as human beings.
  • A structure of belonging.

Since sharing our stories makes us vulnerable, contributors will want to build connections for ongoing support. The Blog Slam might be a weekly Zoom drop-in that helps contributors follow a path for telling their tale and figuring out what the stories mean. What does this story make possible and for whom? What would it take to get this story to that point? How can we best respond to or ask questions about the story after it’s posted?

Values Alignment

Down the road, the group will need to talk about what it will take to ensure the blog to ensure it reflects Creating the Future values and has quality writing. We will need values conversations to develop trust with contributors. The source of information will always be scrutinized. At an Open Mic, all contributions are encouraged and the venue takes no responsibility for content. What approach would be best for Creating the Future? How can we help potential contributors achieve their highest potential, no matter where on the continuum they are when they first come forward?

Since it’s Creating the Future, and catalytic thinking was used to guide the discussion, the conversation focused on people, values and relationships. The highest potential of the meeting and of the new platform would be MUCH more difficult to achieve if schedules, details and technology issues had come ahead of community, people and possibilities.

Join us for meeting #3 on April 26th at noon Pacific time, 3 pm Eastern. Comment here if you want the meeting details and/or to join the Facebook group.

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