Thanks to everyone who came to our Open Forum event on Friday. It was amazing to have such a diverse group - there were participants from Spain, Switzerland, the US, Nigeria, Vietnam...some people even came up from London!
The Open Forum was a facilitated by Ellen and Max Schupbach, from the Deep Democracy Institute and our very own Joy Warmington.
Max and Ellen had come down to deliver a powerful, three-day training course on process work. Process work, for those of you who don't know, is an approach to having difficult conversations which helps us develop greater awareness of our own behaviour (not just what we say, but what we don’t say). We've been using process work principles to have some edgy conversations as part of Pushing the Boundaries.
Since Ellen and Max were down, we thought we couldn't let them go without facilitating at least one, open public discussion. And what a discussion it was - the conversation was on fire, as you'd expect. In particular, we debated:
whether identity-based approaches to campaigning do more harm than good
why so many people seem to have a problem with 'diversty'
if there is a hierarchy of equality (that is, whether some groups are more discriminated against than others) and why
how we can build effective cross-issue campaigns
Loads of people asking when we're going to hold the next one. We're not sure at the moment, but it was exciting to create a space for open dialogue and give people a chance to hear views they normally don't, so we definitely do want to put something like this on again.
Thanks to guest speakers Hamzah Wahbi, Sara Bolanos, Michael Olajide, and Cheryl Garvey; to Impact Hub Birmingham for hosting; and Deep Democracy Institute for co-organising.