Out and About

Its that conference time of year again… here are some of the events I’ll be attending and speaking at over the next little while.

International Association of Facilitators Conference, 18 & 19 October 2019, Birmingham

Tomorrow is the first day of the 2 day UK IAF conference.  I haven’t been to this one for ages, but have very fond memories.  I’m particularly keen to hear Suzannah Landsdell’s experiences of running Citizens Assemblies around Climate Change issues.  Like me she is an Involve Associate and I expect to be doing quite a lot of this kind of work soon.

Generally this conference is an orgy of flipcharts, pens, and experiments at the edges of facilitation practice.  We get to see new digital tools and renew acquaintances – and in this case, Birmingham, have a great curry!

Adoption UK Conference, 9 November, Harrogate

This is very project specific for me, in relation to Difficult Conversations.  I’m looking forward to finding out the most up-to-date advice on life story work with children and begin to think how this learning can spread into other work where deep difficult conversations about identity need to take place before movement forwards can happen.  Hopefully next year our reasearch team will be able to speak at events like this and share some useful tools for having these conversations.

Communicate!  12 & 13 November, Bristol

I love this event and went in previous years even though I was theoretically on leave…  Its a chance to meet pretty much anybody who is engaging with publics and building partnerships in about conservation and the natural world.  It is arranged by the Bristol Natural History Consortium and partnerships with the BBC, most environment related government departments, Bristol Council and all the national wildlife groups.

This year I’ll be running a couple of workshops around deliberative democracy – Citizens Assemblies and the like.  We will do a practical session which will hopefully produce some ‘lightbulb’ moments, then review the principles of really high quality dialgoue (at the involve end of the engagement spectrum) looks like.  I suspect environmental organisations will increasingly be requested to take part in TV programmes, debates, and also more time-heavy policy-making processes – probably for central as well as local government as well as major employers and industries.  They will need to know if what they are being asked to to is a quality process  – that knowledge is what they will get from these workshops.

I’ve just been told that all the 2 day passes have now sold out but there a 5 day 2 passes left.

Previous and ongoing…

Recently I’ve been helping a group at Bristol City Council to think through approaches to meaningfully involving citizens in decision-making.  What does that look like?  How do we do it well?  These meetings are open to all staff and members and the contact is Councillor Paula O’Rourke