The sessions last month in Berkeley were fabulous.
On February 22, about 16 of us gathered to engage in Method Mapping, under the able leadership of Sue Woehrlin. Method mapping means taking a type of group process you are familiar with, and figuring out how to illustrate it using the Group Works deck. For example, this time small groups worked on Sociocracy, World Cafe, Anti-Oppression, and more. We intend to enter the "maps" created this way into our online module, along with posting photos & videos about them. One of the groups also had an exploratory conversation to notice what we are learning about different ways of creating the maps. While the people who can participate most effectively have experience both with the Group Works deck and with the particular method under consideration, as long as they have one or the other it's enough to get by. Overall it was very fulfilling.
The following day, almost two dozen people attended an introductory workshop on how to use the deck, led by Sassy & Tree. This Applications workshop arose out of a common experience we've been having since the deck was published, which is that when we show it to someone new, the first thing they say after, "Oh! How beautiful!" is: "What do you do with it?" This workshop is designed to answer that question. We offered a combination of sample activities to try out, stories from other people's experiences, and collective brainstorming on other possibilities.
In addition to the public events, we spent hours meeting in Stewards' Circle. A particular theme this time was our relationship with technology. There are so many channels, it's really hard to keep up with it all! We are a small volunteer nonprofit, how do we maintain a presence on the website, ipad/tablets, smartphones, facebook, twitter, etc.? It was great to finally meet in person with Christopher Allen, developer of Infinite Canvas (where our iPad version resides), and his associate Katelyn Lyster. They had many useful thoughts on creating derivatives of the deck and more. Part of our time together included revising the list of how other people can get involved, so if you have any energy to lend, we'd love to hear from you.