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.