Unwittingly, the conventional structures used to organize how people routinely work together stifle inclusion and engagement.” (Liberating Structures)
Leaders and teams who can host intentional gatherings using skills such as the Art of the Conversation, tap into everyone’s Creative Intelligence while making it engaging and fun, will attract diverse people and communities to find common purpose and accelerate the growth of the digital economy with new types of economic models, corporations, social, cultural and organizational practices.
They will become known as energizers and catalysts for real change using positive deviance: “People who build a positive climate where positive emotions pre-dominate over negative, develop positive relationships using a strengths-based approach, create positive meaning where people live according to their values and feel that they are contributing and making a difference, and where communication is more supportive and affirmative rather than critical and negative.”
Disagreement and conflict are natural elements of true diversity in disruptive and competitive spaces. Tackling it using mainstream paradigms will simply exhaust community creativity, resources and energy away from the vision, slowing everyone down while the pace of innovation in this space accelerates.
Some tested/vetted ideas to keep in mind for designing and hosting intentional events
Ultimately these experiential events should be free to attend with organizational support by community members including sponsors dedicated to the cause. That way everyone can have access, participate and contribute.
The design of the experience should also promote engagement and feedback loops. For example, capturing interesting updates and progress, or aspirations of participants.
Organizers need to reflect on how to differentiate these from current centralized-distribution type events that are following the traditional model where attention is focused on a few key people who compete to be on and own the stage, mostly speaking and educating others, while new emerging talent and projects have to spend more and more resources and money to gain some attention (similar to the Artists Dilemma).
To maintain energy, gatherings need to continuously adapt, be flexible and embrace the spirit of co-creation, applying liberating structures facilitation to enable freedom within form. For example providing some guiding principles to ensure everyone knows how to navigate the space of dialogue and engagement respectfully.
Ideally the events would allow everyone to step out of “pitching mode” into “being” mode where they can describe their strengths, the opportunities, their aspirations and the results that they and everyone will see when they are successful. (And not feel pressure to pitch and network about their projects.)
A call to action to the community will help to continue connecting points made during these events, which would range for an intention party to an intention gathering or round table or intention production.
The spirit of these events revolve around demonstrating a new form of prosperity through reciprocity. Prototyping your gathering, and then distributing your concept for free would create unexpected benefits including those who become fans and apply it themselves. That way change is scaled across the eco-system.