We've just finished three workshops on how Riddell can respond to climate change.
It was exciting to be with other people doing things, and to put my experience and interests together with some of them. Knowing there are others out, looking for how to work together, not harder, was good for those of us who have been working hard for a long time. Justin Walsh, the facilitator, said he'd be back real soon with it all written up, for a launch, but what to do in the meantime?
Talk to someone you know, about something you want to talk about. Start up a conversation.
Here's the invitation to three conversations I want to have.....
After planning events like this, the really tough question is ..... how to get moving on all those good ideas! For my money, the fires thing is get more conversations going. Conversation moves your thinking along. Conversation pushes you to act on what you know is a good idea, and have said to your peers is a good idea. A conversation with peers is where can take what you penciled in at the bottom of your 'to do' list and work out your next steps. We don't have to do this stuff alone! We can get with people who will listen, point out the good stuff and the dross and encourage us!
One of our projects here at rcl is to figure out how to cultivate a practice of care for place, and conversation is one of those practices. In a marvellous piece on blueprint for living this Saturday, Bruce Pascoe introduced where he lives and what he does there. Pascoe listens to the place, to what it is saying (see for example 15.05 mins to 16.55). Then follows the possibilities raised in the conversation with the place where he lives.
It's all in the conversations.
In the Pascoe piece, it's a conversation with the inimitable Jonathon Green (BTW, kudos to the editor!). I'm looking for people who have come to this threshold .....
'oh, it's the conversations that matter!'
For a moment, the fog and befuddlement clear, and we know suddenly, deeply, that it's in the conversations that the shifts are articulated, felt, considered, shared, celebrated, it's in the conversations that a wider, deeper view emerges, it's in the conversations where we wrestle with differing perspectives, it's in the conversations that the next steps make themselves up. It's in the conversations where people meet the next people they need, to do what they want to do.
Look around the room there in the last Cool Changes workshop: conversations happening right a round the room! Brilliant!
There's Maree Scales there, with auburn hair third-ish from the left. Maree wants to convert the drainage sumps in the new residential areas of Riddell back into wetlands. That's what they were once - wetlands. That's what they can be again. She wants to do that because that's what will turn on the next generation of environmental makers. On the night, we called it 'Swampy Business', which I rather like, though a friend wondered how resident friendly 'swamps' and 'swampiness' would be. Maybe we should call it 'Wetland Wonderlands.'
It's a brilliant idea, and all the technical expertise to do it is there in MRSC and Melbourne Water. All it needs is a good organiser, and some great print and digital communication. Put that together with Maree's passion and ability to talk to people, and the people who live around those wetlands in waiting will be up and into it.
My own thing, alongside Barrm Birrm, is how to get more conversations going (ref the pdf at the top of this post). How to generate more conversations?? Climate for Change has a good working model, and Justin Walsh is going to talk with them about a network across the Macedon Ranges for people who are or want to initiate and host conversations about climate business. How?
find the people who want to support more conversation, in each local area
design the next conversation they want to run (probably in a group session)
buddy up as those people run those conversations
reflect on what works and grab the good stories
post this into the network
Then .... (deep breath) .... design the next iteration with those who want to kick on
draw down stories for local communities and post
link regionally, or to whatever the level of scale supports local conversation making.
If elements of this design interest you, get in touch - Ross Colliver 0411 226 519.
We'll have a conversation.