Cliodhna Mulhern, of Transition City Lancaster, who helped bring the Be the Change Symposium to Liverpool, kindly returned last week to provide a full day training course in facilitation skills.

About 15 of us, including members of Transition West Kirby and Transition Southport, were introduced to a variety of techniques including Open Space, World Cafe, and Appreciative Inquiry. Each of which we had the opportunity to try out first, before discussing how and why they worked.

More than just learning particular techniques the day was also a great introduction to shifting from thinking in a linear hierarchical way towards a whole systems approach. Transition itself is based on this approach, but ingrained habits die hard. Embracing the realisation that the world is unpredictable and more complicated than we can hope to understand proved to be beneficial though, particularly if you’re a little nervous about facilitating a large group. You’re not the expert with all the answers, but part of the group trying to figure out what we know together. You don’t need to define all the structure, that can be done through the self-organising capacity of the group. Maybe we don’t need ‘the’ solution, or even a big solution, because small things can have the biggest impact. My favourite take home thought though was; ‘things’ don’t provide resilience, relationships do.

It was a long day, but we left with lots of energy and looking forward to trying out some of these techniques at upcoming Transition events. Thanks to Cliodhna, Margaret Smith for organising the day and the Quaker Meeting House for hosting us once again.

Training for Transformation (T4T) combines discovery, learning and action at the personal, community, wider society and global levels.  It is creative and fun; participatory and democratic; inclusive and respectful of diversity and different experiences.  T4T is ultimately about enabling and empowering people to work together to create sustainable communities and a sustainable world in which people live fulfilled and happy lives. Training for Transformation is a participatory approach to community development and social change.  It's a great way for people to come together and do a bit of collective reflection and analysis of the challenges we're up against e.g. climate change, peak oil, depletion of resources, economic crisis, the power of big corporations etc AND to plan some practical action!

Transition Liverpool has been awarded a grant by Liverpool CVS to run a 'Training for Transformation’ (T4T) course for TSL members and the wider community.

The course is free and will take place over 5 days split into 2 weekend blocks (each 2 ½ days); on the following dates (all timings approximate – to be confirmed soon):

Friday 25 February, 6 – 9.30pm
Saturday 26 February, 10 – 5.30pm
Sunday 27 February, 10 – 4.30pm.

Friday 18 March, 6 – 9.30pm
Saturday 19 March, 10 – 5.30pm
Sunday 20 March, 10 – 4.30pm

The training is open to anyone interested in this approach.  There are 20 places available on a first come, first served basis.  It would be good to have participants with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, enriching the opportunity to listen and learn from each other’s experiences.

If you're interested in the course, get in touch and we’ll send you further information and a booking form.  Either:
More information on the course can be found here.

UPDATED (24th Feb 2011):

Venue has been confirmed as
Venue:  The course will be held in Liverpool World Centre's training room which is in Toxteth TV's building on Windsor Street, not far from Upper Parliament Street.  The exact address is: Toxteth TV
37 – 45 Windsor Street
Toxteth, Liverpool
L8 1XE

A few places still available for those interested.