As we start this new season with some tough realities happening in the world and some moments of joy also with us, I thought of sharing some reflections that have been with me for a while and which come up every time I work with a different group.
Every time we gather to plan, we assemble to create together, to learn from each other there is a reality that can help us surf that wave of innovation and get us to a better place… alas, we don’t always recognize it : Multiculturalism
Either in your own organization or when working with different communities – how can we combine our diversity to be open to new ideas and tap into the world of possibilities?
Sometimes it takes a bit of work for each of us. Here are a few steps to help when we design a gathering/ meeting/ space to connect:
- Perspective: We can design a practice that includes time and space to understand perspectives, ie: different languages , different personalities, not everyone is able to “ provide feedback in 1 minute” . Add some time to have a pause, a welcoming silence, an encouraging design to support ideas.
- Power : We can reflect on how we create structures in our conversations and how power and access applies to it? from language: are we using Acronyms so it’s very hard for everyone to follow? From participation: Is it ‘the usual people” participating? From representation: What options can we offer to introverts? eg:a board to draw suggestions, post it wall . Do we have an interpreter for non native speakers of the dominant language, so everyone can follow and express their thoughts ?
- Amplification of Voices : When designing a meeting, we usually define our objectives and what we expect as a result. We can add another layer to this planning: who’s the silent partner in this conversation? How can we include them too? If we learned something over the last months is how important is to be an ally to every community that needs our support or doesn’t have same privileges. Now is the time to change this, in every step, at every moment.
When we talk about system change we can all use a change in the approach of our daily work to look at the context from everyone’s perspective and also that diversity on what lies beneath. Then we have a new map for this new world you are dreaming, and that takes everyone’s voice into the drawing.
When we acknowledge some of the stereotypes that can still be within us, we have the possibility to get rid of prejudice at the entrance door and basically open the sky for all the stars to shine. Literally.
For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sights of the stars makes me dream – Vincent Van Gogh