[TheThinkTank] Visioning Meetings

Jesse Cooper jessecooper0 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 9 09:07:56 PST 2020

Hey All,

   I've found some visioning meeting examples / agendas / minutes from some
previous sessions that I was thinking of.

We have loosely alternated our visioning meetings over the years as
"strategic planning" and "visioning". Most of these examples can apply to
visioning, or planning, or both.
 We acknowledge that agreed in some professional facilitator's circles that
visioning is only a part of strategic planning.
   The biggest take away from this though is that having good meeting
facilitation really helps ideas come together and solidifies more effective
   So that being said, visioning / planning meetings should be well
supported by cohesive facilitation.

 In this document
we have an agenda and statements of intent for desired outcomes.
We have used tool kits from CIVICUS
<https://www.civicus.org/index.php/who-we-are/about-civicus> on a few
occasions, using this strategic planning guide

In this document
we have an agenda and minutes of a strategic planning session facilitated by
PeerNetBC <http://www.peernetbc.com/>, whom we've had facilitate several
times over the years, and have had workshops with them on different types
of anti oppression work.

This document
is a brief bullet notation of our visioning session of 2018. A sort of "at
a glance" reference of what we had discussed and explored during our
meeting. This was helpful as a supporting document to the minutes to help
refresh our memories of the outcomes of the meeting.

On the topic of facilitation, we've had a few workshops over the years, and
one of which was hosted by PeernetBC and they left us with this document

So essentially our common tools have been SWOT
analysis (more participants in these will give a broader outcome and
insight into the groups vision goals ), and effective meeting facilitation.

Facilitation basics (for example)
<https://neighborhoodanarchists.org/facilitation> could have the elements
of a pre released agenda at a minimum of 2 weeks in advance, and assigned
roles during the meeting for time keeper, speakers' stacker, and vibes
watch. The facilitator would draw the role of keeping on topic and
collecting / paraphrasing / summarizing the overall expressions, and a
minute taker who can usually type fast and keep accurate as possible the
summary of each items.  Also good tools for conflict de escalation
<https://neighborhoodanarchists.org/facilitation#conflict> is helpful if
there's a diverging / disagreeing / conflicting dynamic in the group.

And finally, we used these tools in our own way and means, that is to say,
we determine how 'strict' or 'chill' we use these techniques. Mostly
they've been effective tools for us and the meetings productive and
insightful and not uptight and stressful!
We get to talk about our visions and aspirations, and we get insight on our
peers' thoughts and feelings too!

Have fun!

 Jesse Cooper
Our Community Bikes

On Tue, Jan 7, 2020 at 3:29 PM <mist at strans.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> In 2016, we crafted a long range, big
> picture vision when we took on the task of buying
> a 2 acre property with a 28,000 sq ft building in the
> heart of Missoula. (we raised the down payment
> outright with cash donations, then assembled
> 8 tenants to cover the mortgage)
> We had many pot lucks, round tables and one on
> one conversations. Then our two main staff (myself
> and our programs director, Emily) spent a bunch
> of time sifting, sorting, editing, re-dreaming;
> the 4 page doc is found here:
> http://www.freecycles.org/vision
> we update it every year or so (it's due once again for
> revision as time/people/energy change)
> It's focused on expanding our basic Free Cycles programs
> (Open Shop, Build a Bike), adding new programs (a hostel,
> learning center, bike share), our advocacy efforts (bikeways,
> roundabouts, road diets, sustainable paving) and also the
> dream of going off-grid, carbon neutral, no fossil fuels, and
> local and healthy materials to retrofit the building.
> the doc is brief, and our plan is to take on pieces as we can,
> expanding the pieces with work plans and rough budgets
> happy to talk more to anyone via mist at strans.org or
> 406.830.7676
> -Bob Giordano, director, Free Cycles, MIST
> Quoting Alysia Herr <alysiaherr at gmail.com>:
> > Hi buds,
> >
> > I'm with Kickstand Community Bikes, a volunteer-run space in Vancouver,
> BC.
> > We're in the midst of some big changes: a shop move, general increase in
> > volunteer-time, and increase in shop user-ship. All good things, but
> we've
> > decided that it's probably time for visioning meeting.  However, it turns
> > out folks have some different ideas about what this means. I have my own
> > ideas, but I haven't participated in this sort of meeting before, so I'm
> > not sure how to build a framework to make this exercise useful.
> >
> > Has anyone participated in a Visioning Meeting for their organization?
> What
> > did it look like? Specifically, what was the scope and what were the
> goals?
> > Who facilitated the meeting? How many people attended? What did you
> > accomplish? If anyone has an agenda or outline they could share, I'd
> > appreciate it.
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > Alysia
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