The Art of Hosting

Connecting Communities of Practice 2010-09-20
Subject/Purpose: connecting communities of practice
Type/Format: teleconference
Start Date/Time: Monday September 20, 2010 4:00 PM
Timezone: Eastern Time
Duration: approximately 1 hour 30 minutes

Host: Martin
Participants: Nancy, Jerry, Lauri, Kathy, Lina, Barbara, Rosie, Tuesday
Harvest: Kelly

A message from the organizer: the call in number is 1 605 475 6333 pin is 420911.

Please give some thought to:

what you see as need and purpose?

how we can/will be connected?


what are your gifts and contributions?

CHECK-IN: What brings us here?

Rosie/Philly: Bringing circle practice to my work. Nice to have community.
Kelly/NYC: Know everyone on the call and love the opportunity to put our practices to work and build co-learning community.
Kathy/Nova Scotia: About to discuss CoP in NS w/ Tim Merry. Excited about what is going on in NY and other places. Opportunity to learn from other CoPs.
Barbara/Boston: Know most of you. Here because of people who are on the call and real learning to be part of community around this work that I don't have here.
Tuesday/Columbus, OH: Love so many of you so great to be w/ really great friends. Deeper than that too and appreciate Martin that you called this. Noticing AoHs here in 05/06 and starting to feel growing pains. How do you protect integrity of practice? Bringing clear Qs about stewarding CoP.
Jerry/Minn: This called to me for 3 reasings... (1) AoH list serve is extraordinarily helpful and the opportunity to be in more of a dialogue to deepen learning is a gift; (2) here in Minn, SD, 50 have gone thru AoH training and will be 100+ soon --- how can we build?
Lauri/Kingston, Ont.: have met or read your names. Drawn to be on call to learn and advance my skills. Helps me and my work in Kingston, Ont. Love to be in deeper CoP ---- sharing stories. Love the sharing and Qs that come from talking together.
Lina/Chicago: Want to think more intentionally about building CoP. Had 2 AoH's and about to have a 3rd. Tremendous interest and excitement. How do I steward this? How do we keep growing, learning and deepening?
Nancy/NYC: This is one of the most beautiful harvests from our work and AoH trainings. CoP is a wonderful gift we can offer each other. Efficient use of resources. Everybody on the call have practical projects and stories that others on call can identify with. So great and joyous!
Martin/NYC-NJ: Feel really blessed since first AoH and ability to sit w/ Kelly and Nancy and others and sit w/ Qs that remain and sit w/ projects. Know that if I did not have that, I would not be where I am. Also knowing all of you are doing incredible things and what if we could learn from ea other. AoH is not only an event, learning and Qs continue. The knowing and not knowing are incredible. Seems to make a lot of sense to call this. As caller and steward, I am a co-creator. Seemed to resonate w/ everyone. Not sure what it looks like going forward... Wondering where we might go w/ this...

Laurie leaves the call to volunteer at Community Health Center.

What might this trans-local CoP also be?
How can we stay connected?
How do we sit w/ the work?
How might we deposit it?

Rosie: would be interesting to hear ways people are using circle in communities? Martin mentioned what might come from a conv like this and repository for what is going on, website, etc. Local group is forming website to keep folks together. The voice is limited in virtual forms. For example, the gathering for the Women's Congress was beneficial passing the piece. Really amazes me and I want to hear more. For example, early childhood Head Start programs, the natural way to come together. Thinking about social and emotional well-being, learning skills in a circle, etc. Gets me really excited. Whenever I finish meeting w/ people in circle, it feels like something happens that is lasting and still feel like I have so much to learn.

Kathy: If we are talking about what the purpose might be, what I am particularly interested in, when Tuesday said growing pains, that tweaked for me. Interested in sharing stories about projects. Locally, what are practices for connecting CoP so that in situation like Rosie is suggesting, 'how do i take myself to the next level'. How do I connect these people and build a network that is self sustaining and self-perpetuating. Know there is really good work other places that would inform what we are doing in NS.

Tuesday: Thinking about need and purpose. I felt strong kinship w/ NYC folks. Trying to change their community thru conversation. One of our purposes for CoP was 'shifting our dialogue about hard issues thru meaningful conversation' How are you organizing yourselves? In Columbus, there are 3 of us, how do others do it? How do you organize yourselves well? This is a need this group could serve. Open to other things too.

Lina: When in NY and met many of you, I realized that I needed a way to think about what we are up to in Ill. We organized around healthy youth and families. Came away from NYC wanting a Dojo as Toke would say. We are in many systems and need a place where we can become a CoP and return to our initiatives. Want more capacity here. So far I am raising that hope and don't feel others are into growing the field the same way... may want to grow themselves, but how do we grow the field?

Barbara: I work w/in large Gov bureacracy and went to first AoH 3-4 yrs ago and decided to change culture of agency. Did leadership series w/ woman and used AoH practices, esp, circle. What I call diversity circles around deeper learning around diversity. On one hand, great success, part of agency plan for next few yrs. On other hand, still difficult (people who go thru it love it and give poz feedback --- changed how i do work and family). We are still strategic about how we talk about it. Still holding Q --- how do I stay in integrity of these practices and carry work forward in way that feels surreptitious.

Martin: Listening in it seems like part of the need is to be connected in a way in which we can learn from each other on how to develop a CoP and what we can learn from it. Power of story is coming thru. It energizes and shows meaning. In beginnings of some new patterns. Maybe part of it is the Qs we are in and the work we are in. We are so involved in our work, is there a place we can go and speak to this. As I listen in, where is the place or the venue where we can share about ourselves and Qs about the work we are in?

What would that place be and what might it look like?

Kelly: Already seeing the possibility of rotating leadership. Individuals from this group calling a circle w/ our Qs, hosting it, harvest learning and share it w/ the group.

Tuesday: Like it bc it follows the passion. Maybe we could share it back to the broader community. What if we started to join each other when we have AoH in our communities? Maybe we don't all need to show up, but wouldn't it be lovely for some of you to be able to come? When we look at the budget, is there a way to have some of us present for each other? Liking virtual circle calls, but also liking us getting together.

Nancy: love that idea Tuesday. Just at 2-day program on United Global Shift. What was powerful, was the invitation to look beyond a single project and looking at systems change and going to scale. We could also support each other in the next level around some of the practices like Deep Democracy and others that aren't here yet. And gathering locally and deepening into the work.

Lina: want to echo what Tues and Nancy said. AoH is starting to get into Fed grants and they are getting awareness. We need to strengthen capacity, cause I sense the work will mushroom. I feel that it's time to build level of capacity that reaches beyond and offer something meaningful and valuable to the work.

Martin: What both Tues said resonates w/ me. Those who can show up and work on a Q the way that we can all work on and learn from. Resonates w/ me. A way we can learn from each other across professions. And Tues Q about how we can bring ea other into our work? It's about the learning that is possible when we are together. Both could be extraordinary for how we can learn. Thank you for both. Wonderful offerings.

Rosie: Chorus to what others have said. Such great opportunity to keep learning. I am finding that there are circles on top of circles on top of circles. Meeting w community group tonight that needs to go thru cultural change. It goes back to being founded by AA MD in 1920s. They want to get dialogue tog about 'who are we today?' So many groups need to ask Qs like this to get heart. I get scared bc I am convinced that this works bc of what I have seen and read, but to stand up and take the lead on building a CoP I get scared. I get excited and a little afraid that I will need to go deeper than I have. Would be great to have folks to talk to. So much to learn.

Jerry: Would like to offer something we could explore that I think is taking place in larger AoH community. How is it that these complex living systems work? We offer it in our AoH, including 'they are capable of self-organizing' etc. These are true and have lots of nuance to it... integrity? who steps up when? if no one steps up, what happens to the system? We are creating CoPs in theory of complex living systems --- what is it to be part of it? Could be shared into larger AoH stewarding that is in these Qs around sharing, learning, stewarding.

20 minutes left.

Going forward, who would like to call/design re: next steps from here? Another call? Who else would like to be part of it? How it is we might communicate - email? or something like AoH Ning where we can deposit and share our stuff?

Kelly: Will send out harvest from today's call. Would like one place to deposit, will ask Ria to help me set up a group in AoH Ning.
Martin & Kathy: Like the idea of putting it on AoH Ning.
Tuesday: I could help you do that. If you are member. You can go in and click the (+).
Lina: I like the possibility of getting more clear on wise steps for growing here in Illinois.

Would anyone like to help call/host the next call?

Barbara, Jerry, Lina, Rosie offer to participate in planning group.
Tuesday: not able to be in planning group, but very interested in being part of the group
Martin: we will put the harvest out there and if you think there are other people who would like to join?
Kelly: would like a Q that holds us together to use in the invitation.
Kathy: may be in the harvest.
Nancy: would like to use the chaordic stepping stones to help us. Invite Janice Rous in Florida too.

Check-out: what are you leaving with?

Kelly: feels like we are moving quickly w/ ease because we have shared practice and understanding. it's nice, I like it. Thank you Martin and everyone. Look forward to the next time.
Rosie: took notes for my meeting tonight, which has already helped me -- even words. Agree that the pace is moving in a way that feels good.
Kathy: leave feeling connected into community of people I love. Love hearing voices I know and new voices. Leave w/ deeper sense of possibility around connecting CoPs translocally and curiosity about how to do this and build momentum.
Nancy: trying to do research to find this... spider's web can hold much greater weight than the threads can by them selves. Feeling the strength of the web. Where is the point in the geography were we could all be tog in person. Thank you Martin and Kelly for taking notes. Looking together for being together.
Tuesday: I think it's Columbus, OH. Know that several of us may attend the ALIA institute in June. My check out was going to be 'let's hold this lightly'. Would be cool that If you plan to be here in June, we do a day or half day together. I also sense the energy of this call and thrilled to be on. Look forward to what's next.
Lina: Sitting w/ big grin and excitement. Enthusiasm for wisdom on call. New awareness about what I am up to here. Lots to learn together. Excited to be at ALIA in June. I want to bow to all of you and looking forward to learning together.
Barbara: Tues, I thought Boston was equi-distance. Appreciate being on this call. Quite an honor. Leave w/ sense of comfort and relief. Kind of giddy and light feeling. Really wonderful. Thank you Martin.
Jerry: All that I can add is that I leave w/ tremendous gratefulness for co-creation of this community and opp to be a part of it.
Martin: Thank you for being here w/ this. I leave w/ we have co-sensed need and purpose. It grounds me in a way that together we can stand w/ this and learn w/ this. The passion and need for community, holds me in a way that I want to be part of this.

Closed with the bell @ 5:30 pm EST

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