Category: Community

Language matters

24 September 2014 0

It matters more than you think. The language we use reveals a lot. The language I use as a facilitator reveals a lot about me (so much so that Sascha Rixon did a whole PhD on facilitation language) and the language you use can be like an open door, welcoming me into your world, or…

By Viv McWaters

Using games from improvised theatre to build mental agility and responsiveness amongst humanitarian workers responding to disasters

1 November 2013 0

During the 2013 Melbourne Knowledge Week, I was part of a group of people exploring the role of (mostly video) games for social good, organised by Games for Change. ┬áHere’s my contribution.* — I was in Perth in the 1980s at a conference about soil science. It was a very grown-up and serious conference. In…

By Viv McWaters

Facilitating for engagement in isolated communities

24 April 2013 4

There are ways to facilitate meetings and events of all sorts that encourage participation and engagement. This week, while working in Papua New Guinea and helping community leaders learn how to facilitate in isolated communities, I’ve come to understand the following. Facilitation can help the redistribution of power dynamics in a community Many standard meeting…

By Viv McWaters

Listen up. R U OK?

10 September 2012 0

Some of us are better at noticing than others. Facilitators get a lot of practice at noticing. Noticing is not the same as knowing. I might notice someone frowning, but that doesn’t mean I know the reason why. I need to ask, and there needs to be enough trust for the person to answer honestly.…

By Viv McWaters

What change looks like

21 August 2012 0

This TEDxHarlem talk by Jake Barton describes how we can move beyond the traditional (and mostly dysfunctional) public meeting and mobilise the community to be involved in creating a better future. As well as the messages about “re-imagining public participation” this talk highlights a few other things as well. Jake Barton uses story-telling to good…

By Viv McWaters

Community and connection

20 August 2012 0

Is it over sharing or reaching out? This is one of the new skills we have to navigate in this connected world. I think we all crave connection and understanding, empathy and love. Is it possible to get this on-line? I’ve seen friends reach out on-line and receive an outpouring of support, ideas, encouragement and…

By Viv McWaters

Postcards provide a window to the world

13 June 2012 1

Probably not the sort of postcards you’re thinking of. These postcards are made of people, creating a scene from nothing but a suggestion. We started with Southern Cross Station (Melbourne’s main train station) – people posed themselves as commuters, trains, signs, rubbish, ticket machines, aimless people, newspapers. Ian David, from Melbourne Playback Theatre Company, was…

By Viv McWaters

Meetings or Meetups?

8 April 2012 2

After September 11 in 2001 in New York strangers started saying hello to each other. There was a yearning for community, says Matt Meeker, co-founder of Meetup.┬áToday facilitates off-line group meetings on any imaginable topic, now in 101 countries. I’m new to Meetups. I participate in two Meetup Groups in Melbourne: The Creative Performance…

By Viv McWaters