Enlarging the Circle by Developing Leadership Capacity

Click here to read the Engrandir le Cercle/Enlarging the Circle final report.

Dr. Ivan Emke has released a report on the Zap Survey. Click here.

Link here to an MP4 audio file of Bev Kirby speaking about participatory communications and community education. You will need a high speed connection and your browser enabled for QuickTime 6.

The search conference design component of Engrandir le Cercle/Enlarging the Circle continued on June 20 when Merrelyn Emery facilitated a gathering in Stephenville. Here's a sketch of the day.

Search conference links.

20/06/03 Outline

Plan for the day is presented.

Merrelyn Emery presents community study- Success Factors [Rural and regional Australia]- methods and main results: how they are moved to strategy. Q&A

Enlarging the Circle is reviewed- an example of what could be done locally using Zone 9 as a system . Q&A

Lunch for an hour.

Expectations are gathered of what could result from the example. Merrelyn will initiate discussion.

The implications of these results for the future of Zone 9 is examined. Reports and integration.

And what the population would be doing to bring this about. Reports and integration.

Testing of the example against strategic goals for Newfoundland & Labrador and deciding if these would be met.

If not, changes to the example for Zone 9 will be suggested.

Questions and Answers.

The funded component of Engrandir le Cercle/Enlarging the Circle concluded March 31. Check out the links to special events photos at ryakuga.org

We are now working on more audio files.

Please note: There are three main threads of Enlarging the Circle - the community forum, the search conference design and the zap survey.

Click here to see the prototype community forum guide.

Search conference links.

Zap Surveys.

In 1993 the Port au Port Community Education Initiative (now the Community Education Network) identified the community media forum as a potential tool in a program of community education public awareness and consultation.

That year the initiative sponsored a series of community television forums on the Port au Port Peninsula.

A community forum is a facilitated public meeting which focuses on the local discussion of community issues and cultural celebration. Typically the process includes moderated panels of local people, as well as phoneins and phoneouts to engage the community.

The forums are broadcast in the community through community television/radio and webcast to expatriates and other communities on the internet.

We propose to help three rural community regions develop capacity to implement effective community media public consultation forums to collectively "do strategic planning and implement these plans."

The community regions are Bay St. George South, Stephenville and surrounding communities, and the Port au Port Peninsula.

We will be working with two already established core groups (Port au Port and Bay St. George South) whose members have already experience training in "community leadership". We will work with the youth initiatives committee in the Stephenville area.

The project facilitators will work with the community leadership committees, the zone board development officers and the development associations.

The focus of our community training activity will be community forum preparation, implementation and follow up.

The forum itself would be enhanced by other mixed media tools - for example, internet webcasting and discussion boards. In a sense, the forum is the "tip of the iceberg" representing planning, public mobilization, promotion, dissemination and ongoing consultation and evaluation. Our process therefore includes identifying specific local issues, using community media for a focused discussion and implementing followup procedures for community learning.

The public consultation forums will be complemented by practical community media training. This would mean training practitioners in utilizing the technology. We will be partnering to build skills in the community.

As part of the process to develop the capacity for local implementation of community forums, three community forums will be facilitated in each region.

Tools used for the implementation of community forums include community communications needs, skills and resources assessments; local dissemination through traditional communication channels; community radio/television, and webcasting to bring in expatriates.

We are building on the experience of the community leadership project - Developing Leadership Capacity.

The evaluation of the community leadership project included:

1. Clear recognition of the issues that have impacted on community development in specific communities.

2. Recognition of community/regional politics that may be limiting progress in community development.

3. Acknowledgement of the need for additional skills training to enhance the community development process.

Our proposal is a learning from the Sharing Our Future communications experiment. Specifically, communities and local facilitators need support and guidance in order to establish the practice of effective community media public consultation forums.

The second thread of our proposal is the development of an action planning module for communities using the F.E. & Merrelyn Emery(Australia) practice of Open Systems Theory (OST[E]) to achieve the desirable future. OST[E] is embedded in the structure of the Search Conference.

(Link: These descriptions of the Search Conference illustrate how accepting reponsibility through learning is adapted to the distinct socio-ecology of each clearly bounded community.)

Actively adaptive communities and the extended social environment act together to co-produce health and afford the greatest possibility for acheiving our desirable future.

(Link: The following illustrates the correlations between variables which are the determinants of whether there will be active adaptation to relevant uncertainty in the extended social environment.)

A design team will learn to aggregate issues and integrate a minimum irreducible design template for action planning events.

OST[E] has diffused internationally and through centres in Canada such as Syncrude,Canada; Wood Buffalo,Alberta and currently Brandon,Manitoba.

The common ground for a community forum and OST[E] for action planning is the base issue- the well being of people. They are complementary in that the community forum can be an entry into an OST[E] intervention before the event and can support the diffusion of results.

The third thread of our proposal is adding zap surveys to our evaluative procedure. To date we have developed a process which combines collecting quantitative data through online reporting and qualitative data by means of a videotaped participatory evaluation.

Zap surveys have been developed by Dr. Ivan Emke of Memorial University. Immediately following the project we propose to survey the project participants both regarding the implementation of the community forum process and the OST[E] action planning module.

Community Education Network

Canada Rural Partnership

Long Range Regional Economic Development Board

Partager Notre Avenir/Sharing Our Future