There are may things which have been inputted into the Assembly. From background on Convergent Facilitation, to the basics of XR DNA, and no doubt much more as the process continues and experts in various aspects are consulted. Here we will try to summarise the key points from these inputs to help orient readers and act as a cheat sheet for Assembly Members .
- Convergent Facilitation
- XR DNA, Our Vision & Theories of Change
- People's Assembly: Input from the Movement
- Proposal: Strategy Format Team
- An Analytical Approach to Strategy
Convergent Facilitation is a process for getting to a genuine agreement about how to move forward with any shared problem or disagreement. It’s focused on getting down to what’s really important to everyone involved and building that into a practical decision that everyone can wholeheartedly support. It offers ways to do this smoothly and swiftly.
It can be used in lots of situations but it’s been particularly transformative when in situations where there is strong disagreement between people. It’s about finding a way forward where no-one loses or is left behind, and people get what they need from the solution they create together.
The fundamental principle of Convergent Facilitation is that people can collaborate on solutions that work for all of them, when they comit to something that they co-create, based on principles that they all agree to.
The basis of our strategy process lies in convergent facilitation (CF). The four stages we have outlined follow a common path to the process of CF.
- Building trust and reflecting on current situation.
- Identifying needs, both of the strategy content and how it is presented.
- Drafting and reviewing proposals.
- Deciding on proposals and forming the output.
Below, we will outline the key aspects of CF and link them to the process we are undertaking here.
A Brief Analogy
Lets imagine we are catering for a party and we want to make sure that evryone enjoys their meal. We could follow the following steps:
Gets clear on what is important to everyone involved - what people need from an outcome solution.
- What matters to each of us?
- Is anything on here not ok for anyone?
Writing a list of ingredients & checking for allergies
Comes up with creative ways of fulfilling all the needs people have for a solution.
Designing possible recipes
Checks carefully for any concerns about the proposal(s) that have been created, and responds to them by improving the solution until everyone can genuinely say yes to it.
Deciding together what cake we will make!
How does Convergent Facilitation work?
Convergent facilitation is a proccess that builds on the following four beliefs:
- People's positions may differ, sometimes drastically, but they are often far closer in principles than it may appear.
- When people know that their needs matter to the wider group they have a much greater ability to shift into willingness.
- People are willing to go along with a much wider range of things than they would prefer.
- When we move away from "either / or" senarios into a solution that works for everyone, it's easier for people to come together.
So the steps of the process are as follows:
|Gather everyone's needs and narrow them down to the "uncontroversial principles" that the output must meet||Draft proposals which meet these needs, encouraging dissent and objections so that the group can review and adapt suggested solutions.||Identify which of the proposals, or potentially combinations, which meet the most of the agreed upon principles.|
This differs from other forms of desicion making such as Majority Voting or Group Consensus as their is neither the need for everyone to agree on the path forward nor the complete disregard of the minority vote. But instead we land on a solution that everyone consents to, it feels safe enough to try. An individual may not agree with the solution but instead each individual does not object to it.
- Here is a slide deck from XR's SOS training on Decision Making.
- Here is a 7 minute video of Miki Kashtan summarising CF.
- Here is a page of Navigate's resources on Collaborative Decision Making.
XR DNA, Our Vision & Theories of Change
The DNA of XR is what makes us who we are as a movement and our vision is what we are looking towards achieving, that thing that brings us joy and inspires us.
What is XR?
"Extinction Rebellion is a mass movement that uses nonviolent civil disobedience to demand action by Government on mass extinction and to minimise the risk of social collapse through climate breakdown."
|What XR is||What XR is not|
|A mass popular movement engaging in Civil Disobedience||An alternative institution|
|An influence on hearts & minds||A campaign targetting people's habits|
|A force to transform the government||A campaign using petitions or online activism|
We tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency and its causes in a way that involves and engages every person.
We participate in a decentralised mass movement of civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action in the UK, which helps catalyse worldwide rebellion.
We disrupt and pressure exploitative and ecocidal institutions in the UK to stop causing harm to people, nature, and the planet.
We push for a transformation of the UK’s political institutions, enlisting them to serve people’s interests and reshape the global economic system.
We commit wholeheartedly to justice and repairing our social fabric, and we embrace the inner and outer work needed to create and sustain regenerative futures.
We listen to and act in solidarity with marginalised voices, and we connect with and support communities of resistance to transform society.
“We hear history calling to us from the future. We catch glimpses of a new world of love, respect and regeneration, where we have restored the intricate web of all life.
It’s a future that’s inside us all – located in the fierce love we carry for our children, in our urge to help a stranger in distress, in our wish to forgive, even when that seems too much to ask. And so we rebel for this, calling in joy, creativity and beauty.
We rise in the name of truth and withdraw our consent for ecocide, oppression and patriarchy. We rise up for a world where power is shared for regeneration, repair and reconciliation.
We rise for love in its ultimate wisdom. Our vision stretches beyond our own lifespan, to a horizon dedicated to future generations and the restoration of our planet’s integrity.”
This vision statement was written in 2019 by the XR UK Guardianship and Visioning Circle.
Everyone in XR can and will have their own visions; there is no definitive vision statement for XR, nor do we desire one. What unites all the statements, though, is the belief that the change we want to see is possible. This is key to our progress going forward.
Theories of Change
Strategies tell us what to focus on to reach our goals. Theories of Change (ToC) tell us why we think this will work.
There is no "single Theory of Change" within XR but rather many overlapping theories. We need multiple ToCs that can inform each other in order to create a coherent overall strategy. We need to try multiple avenues due to the complexity of the issue and we need to invluence many levels which each require different approaches.
- XR DNA Slides
- Slide which outline various ToCs
- Video by Gail Bradbrook covering some of the ToCs within XR
People's Assembly: Input from the Movement
Communities held an open People's Assembly to gather insight on the movement's opinions around strategy. Date 16th December 2020
- A summary and feedback from the assembly can be found here.
- The Harvest doc itself can be found here
- As well as the processing of that harvest doc here
- If members of the UKSA wish to see the video of the feedback from the asembly then please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposal: Strategy Format Team
We suggest a small group of three to five Assembly reps.
Consider all aspects of how the Strategy agreed by the Assembly will be communicated to the movement. Assess what strengths/resources already exist in XRUK with regard to this, and think creatively about how to add to these.
Request interested reps from the Assembly to meet together, hear each others’ availability, connections and skills and reach agreement on who will be in SFT. If agreement cannot easily be reached, ask SASN Process group to come up with a process.
Form SFT during weeks two & three Preparation during weeks three, four & five Production during weeks five and six Release in week seven
Connect with all relevant skills across XR (eg copywriting, proof-reading, graphic design, accessibility auditing, video production, video presentation etc etc) Identify all channels for dissemination, and gain access to them As soon as Strategy is agreed, XR will want it released as soon as possible (possibly in stages?) so good preparation will help with this.
As soon as Strategy agreed, produce materials and distribute.
@Cliff 10th Jan 2021
An Analytical Approach to Strategy
Deanne has offered her understanding of an approach to writing strategy. She has offered this insight in the format of a video which you can find below.