Monthly Archives: July 2013

SOAR Workshop: Thriving First Nations

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Our Futures Depend on Thriving First Nations

How might Canadians help create durable social change for first nations in the coming decade for education, employment, housing, justice and health equity, and spiritual connections to land?

The August 2013 DwD session was held by the “social start-up” Generation Connection to collect ideas toward an educational initiative envisioned to support the upcoming generation of First Nations and aboriginal entrepreneurs. About 25 participants engaged to co-create ideas and approaches to help realize durable social change within the coming decades. One of the intentions was to find ways in a multi-stakeholder inquiry to acknowledge First Nations and Aboriginal language and culture, and ways to support ancestral ideas and desire for self-governance, with economic sustainability.

Workshop Approach: The SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results) method is an appreciative inquiry approach that focuses on generating positive approaches and developments, from which action can be taken. A report was created (DwD Aug2013 First Nations SOAR), and is now available to participants and interested readers.

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Generation Connection 

Generation Connection is a social enterprise seeking to provide entrepreneurial education and related support services in collaboration with new First Nations and Aboriginal entrepreneurs. The mission is to provide entrepreneurial education as the catalyst that will enable local entrepreneurs to develop and implement business, social, and environmental solutions to local problems.  The vision is to provide alternative pathways out of poverty through entrepreneurship, to enable entrepreneurs to resolve local social justice gaps and barriers, and to live in a just and sustainable society.

Peter Scott, BFA, MDes Candidate OCAD U

Peter is a 2nd year Strategic Foresight and Innovation MDes student at OCAD University.  His background focuses on social entrepreneurship education, including entrepreneurship certificate programs from MIT Sloan, Wharton, INSEAD and Rotman School.  For the past seven years, Peter has been the program administrator for the Small Business Program (SBP-Regent Park Program) a jointed initiative with Rotman School, U. of T. and the Regent Park Community.  His research interest includes ways to enhance learning in the classroom experience, scaling up small businesses, and systems and design thinking approaches.

Ushnish Sengupta, MBA

Ushnish has an Industrial Engineering and MBA education, experience in starting up and managing Social Enterprises, and in delivering entrepreneurship and business courses. Ushnish’s specializations include project management, strategy, and IT

Larry Sadler, MBA 

Larry Sadler is an experienced business consultant, who has served for 5 years on First Nations reserves. Larry’s specializations include strategy, governance, operations, IT management, and three decades of co-operative development experience.

Designing Group Dynamics through Movement

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From Terri Chan’s recent blog post on the Social Presencing Theatre workshop:

In this post, we will explore ideas of presence and movement to further dialogue from only words, and the immense power that they bring to groups in building trust and synergy. I was at an event last week exploring Social Presence Theatre with Toronto-based Design with Dialogue (DwD), a monthly event to co-educate community design practices.

July’s DwD featured Patricia Kambitsch from Playthink and Heidi Madsen from Ohio AIDS Coalition (both of them wear many hats, as all creative people do). Our group was lucky enough to also have had the guidance of Penny Williamson from Centre for Courage & Renewal and John Hopkins University. Throughout the night, we were guided along a series of activities that incrementally built on one another – and we were encouraged to use minimal words and more gestures and movement to convey how we envision our future to look like. We all made our own small gesture to convey our vision and shared it first with our partner and then to the entire group, and this marked the beginning of utilizing presence, awareness, and body language as powerful tools of communication.

They say 80% of what is communicated is nonverbal, but we are so hyper-aware of our bodies (the very reason why the Dove campaign is so successful) that I wonder… what are we communicating with our bodies?

Read much more at Designing Group Dynamics through Movement

Going Deep with Social Presencing Theatre

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Going Deep: Exploring Social Presencing Theatre

Words alone fall short for understanding each other. What if we could stop the chatter and act out and move through our meanings instead? What new awareness and shifts in thinking are possible when we bring our physical awareness to the conversation?  How might we expand our capacity for reflection, empathy, and mindfulness by playing out in a group experiences?

Social Presencing Theatre creates a shared experience through storytelling, deep physical awareness, and movement.  SPT brings together tools from dance and theatre, mindfulness, and dialogue. Based on Otto Scharmer’s Theory U and the work of Arawana Hayashi, SPT offers accessible tools to enable a community to see itself and create what might be.

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July’s DwD experimented with theatre games and nonverbal gestural dialogue to co-create experiences of possible future aspirations and feelings. Expressed as co-constructed tableaus in small groups, participants reimagined future scenarios as movement and structure of physical presences.

The session was planned and led by Patricia Kambitsch (Playthink) and Heidi Madsen of Columbus, with members of the SPT community of practice.

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