Written by: Rebecca Samulski, Assistant Director, FireWise of Southwest Colorado
At the Colorado Wildfire Conference a team of Fire Adapted Colorado Board and I led several exercises with conference participants aimed at building relationships amongst attendees. After the session we received some great feedback regarding the level of interaction. If you want to make your meetings more effective and keep your diverse participants engaged, you should check out liberating structures. This Site has a menu of meeting strategies to accomplish a variety of tasks, from brainstorming and prioritizing to getting at the core interest of each participants engagement in a group.
In the Barriers to Breakthroughs Session, we used the 25/10 crowdsourcing to get a prioritized list of what conference participants hope to get out of the next Colorado Wildfire Conference in Fall 2018. Then we turned inward and used the wisdom of the group in a Troika Consulting exercise that provided each participant in our session with a consultation with two other practitioners in the room, most of whom they didn’t know prior to waling into our session, on how to address a challenge they face with moving fire adaptation forward where they work. These exercises gave us valuable ideas for the next conference, gave about 30 participants a taste of some tools they can use for powerful group engagement and valuable insights from peers about a challenge they want to work on.
At another session, New Mexico National FAC Learning Network partner , Porfirio Chavarria and I used two rounds of the “Liberating Structure” 1-2-4-All to get participant input on best practices for motivating landowners and homeowners to do work at a neighborhood scale and to find out what items would be most valuable for FAC practitioners in a toolkit to help them develop a local approach for leveraging volunteer “Neighborhood Ambassadors” or “Spark Plugs” to multiply their efforts in high-risk neighborhoods.
If you have questions about liberating your meetings, please post them here so the FACO network can help find answers. The facilitators who developed the “Liberating Structures Menu” also have a vast amount of expertise highlighted on their website and if you get really into it, I can connect you with the community of facilitators who developed the Liberating Structures menu to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
Categories: Fire Adapted Colorado