connected conversations

Went to a seminar hosted by the New Economics Foundation on Friday. It was partly to launch their new publication, Connected Conversations, but the main event was to experience the game of Democs.

As NEF say,

Democs was created so that policy discussion can be open to anyone. While traditional deliberative methods, like citizens juries, are limited to a few people, who take part by invitation, Democs can be used by anyone, in their own home, their local pub or a community centre.

Our Democs kits provide:

  • information about a topic on a set of card
  • an interactive and engaging process to support deliberation in small groups, usually over an hour and a half.

Perry Walker, from NEF, explained that he was inspired by the idea that people could have meaningful discussions about contentious issues without the need for a facilitator. They could self-organise around a topic and using the cards come to a conclusion, or create the space for further inquiry.

Democs have been developed in Europe, through EU funding and several hundred conversations have been had. You can design your own Democ, by using the on-line tools here. And use the Democs already designed. Go play!


Collaborative writing online: part 2

We recently blogged about the Kolabora website’s mini guide to collaborative online tools.

Now we’d like to bring your attention to Wikipedia’s Comparison of project management software which neatly complements Kolabora’s guide. Kolabora gives more of a detailed description, but the Wikipedia info is neatly tabulated and crucially, for me, shows which software is open source. Let us know how you get on….

Why Rhizome?

At Rhizome we believe in making change in the world. Specifically we believe in ordinary people and communities taking control of their lives, environment, and destinies.

Change from the grassroots up is powerful and sustainable because it’s rooted in a community. It’s rooted in their values and aspirations. The people making change believe in it. History has shown us that you can no more deny grassroots change than you can turn back the tide. You can try and suppress it but it spreads. Like the rhizomes from which we take our name, eventually it forces it’s way through the cracks in the pavement.

We’re here to accelerate the pace of change by offering communities of activists the support they need to participate effectively in change-making. Participation in change is the essence of what we do.

In practice, it might mean direct support for a community group, or it might mean improving the support offered by a national organisation or network.

So “Why Rhizome?”? Because there’s more change to be made in the world.

But that’s not all.

Rhizome provides a co-operative structure that brings together a wide range of skilled and experienced facilitators. It creates an energy and an excitement that inspires us, so that, hopefully, we can inspire you. It provides the mutual support we need to help us work sustainably to support community activism. We hope that we’ll also provide a ‘right livelihood’ for ourselves. That support allows us to give our time, skills and experience to the communities and organisations we work with all the more effectively.

We can learn from each other, share the good and the bad times, prove that two heads are better than one, innovate, and get better at what we do all the time.

We’re at the start of a journey. Feel free to join us along the way!