Updates

Here we have an overview of how the Strategy Process is going and regular updates from the Assembly.

Where We Are So Far

Date of last Update: January 19th 2021

Coming Up

The assembly has elected it's Strategy Development Team, who will now start meeting separately. The Assembly as a whole will now start hearing inputs from advisers and proposals from the SDT as they are written.

A full roadmap for the final stages of the Strategy Process can be found here.


Week 9

18. Thursday 28th January
17. Tuesday 26th January

Week 8

16.5 Saturday 23rd January

[[Attendance: not recorded for the optional Saturday Sessions]]
Assembly attended a workshop held by Marvina from Black Lives Matter on “To Be a Black Ally in XR…” A follow up debrief will be help soon for the assembly members to reflect on their "homework" and continue some of the discussions strated in this Saturday session.

16. Thursday 21st January

[[Present: 25 members representing 18 seats]]
[[Absent: 2 Operations Seats]]
Assembly recieved SDT update on the 4 Pillars of strategy and were asked for a 1 week extendion on deliverying a first draft. This was accepted. Second half of the session was a presentation from Kofi Klu on Glocalisation followed by a Q&A session.

15. Tuesday 19th January

[[Present: 22 members representing 17 seats.]]
[[Absent: 1 Operations Seat and 1 HIVE Seat]]
Assembly heard from the SDT as well as the Support Network about progress and how to invite in speakers. In the second half of the session the Assembly heard from Luis Ramirez, who gave presentations on momentum driven oraginising, theories of change, and distributed organising.

Week 7

14. Thursday 14th January

[[Present: 24 members representing 17 seats]]
[[Absent: 2 Operations seats and ISN]]
Assembly heard proposal for a Strategy Format Team to focus on how to communicate the strategy once finished. The Strategy Development Team, after meeting twice this week, reported that they wanted to follow a framework similar to Dee's approach, which they will hopefully have to bring next week.

13. Tuesday 12th January

[[Present: 25 members representing 19 seats]]
[[Absent: 1 Operations sseat]]
Assembly revisited the Criteria they have been working on using the convergent facilitation process. The aim was to address each of the "allergies" raised on each point and the assembly started this work but decided to pause the process as it was taking too long. The facilitators then stepped back to allow the assembly to self facilitate and discuss where they wish to go next.

The Strategy Development Team has been chosen by the Assembly.

It's members are:
Alfie - Marginalied & Oppressed Voicces (Justice/Oppression)
Anneka - Operations (Actions)
Bex - UK Support (Regenerative Cultures)
Clare - Opersations (M&M)
Hamish - Marginalied & Oppressed Voicces (Working Class/Unions)
Hester - Marginalied & Oppressed Voicces (Justice/Oppression)
Rob G - The Hive (Midlands)

Week 6

12. Thursday 7th January

[[Present: 29 members representing 19 seats]]
[[Absent: ISN]] Assembly hear brief presentations from each of the nominees for the SDT. Voting will take place between sessions. Assembly started to hear inputs, starting with a presentation on how strategy depends on a cycle of action and observation and then looking at an analytical approach to developing strategy.

11. Tuesday 5th January

[[Present: 27 members covering 18 seats]]
[[Absent: 2 Ops seats]]
Assembly took a look at the consolidated list of needs. Thes can be found in this document. Assembly members were asked to identify any controversial things on the list or highlight any aspect of their input which may have gotten lost in the consolidation process.

Holiday Break 23rd Dec - 4th Jan

Week 5

10. Tuesday 22nd December

[[Present: 21 members representing 16 seats]]
[[Absent: ISN, 2 seats from Operations & 1 MOV seat]]

Week 4

9. Thursday 17th December

[[Present: 24 members representing 18 seats.]]
[[Absent: ISN and 1 seat from operations.]]
Assembly reflected on some of the feedback from the open Communities People's Assembly the night before and then went into break out rooms to review and reflect on the 2020 Strategy paper.

8. Tuesday 15th December

[[Present: 25 members representing 17 seats.]]
[[Absent: ISN and 2 seats from operations.]]
Assembly continued work on the needs gathering process. Paul and a few others are working on grouping the needs and flagging duplicates while being careful not to lose any information. The assemmbly will return to these in the new year to process and "allergies" and come together on a final set of needs.

Week 3

7. Thursday 10th December

[[Present: 26 Members representing 18 seats.]]
[[Absent: 2 seats from Operations.]]
The Assembly started with an open space for discussion in break out rooms, and moved into a presentation on Consent Based Decision Making. The Assembly has formed a working group to bring together the quora options presented here into a proposal to bring next week.

6. Tuesday 8th December

[[Present: 24 Members representing 18 seats.]]
[[Absent: ISN and 1 Operations seat.]]
The assembly reflected once again on the current landscape and big picture diving deeper into the patterns and their experiences of them. The second half of the session focussed on begining to identify the Needs of the strategy. This marks the start of the Convergent Facilitation Process. The start of the needs gathering can be found here.


Week 2

5. Saturday 5th December

[[Present: 20 Members representing 16 seats.]]
[[Absent: 1 MOV, 1 Hive, XRYouth, and 1 Operations seat.]]
The assembly held an indepth discussion on decision making agreements, proposals, and quora. The goal was to write a decision-making process into the working agreements which is as inclusive of as many voices as possible. The actual decision on the various options within the confergent facilitation process has been delayed until after the group has had some direct experience of it on Tuesday. Suggestions for ammendments can be found here.

4. Thursday 3rd December

[[Present: 25 Members representing 19 seats.]]
[[Absent: ISN.]]
The assembly met to resolve the outstanding working group agreements from Tuesdays meeting. Due to a lask of continuity in facillitation this was a challenging meeting. Time was given for active listening where representatives expressed a need for freer discussions and less of a "manicured" approach to facilitation.

3. Tuesday 1st December

[[Present: 26 assembly members representing 19 seats.]]
[[Absent: 1 Operations seat.]]
The suggested group agreements were accepted in todays meeting apart from section 3 on Quora and Decision making. This will be discussed further in an additional session this Thursday. The group also build up a mosaic of perspectives on where the movement is at the moment. this can be seen Here.


Week 1

2. Saturday 28th November

[[Present: 25 Assembly members representing 17 seats.]]
[[Absent: XRYouth, MOV Rep, and 1 Operations seat.]]
The second core meeting again looked closely at building relationships within the assembly as well as introducing a selection of suggested group agreements. This will be read by the members over the weekend and brought through the integrative decision making process in the next meeting. Proposal can be seen Here.

1. Tuesday 24th November

[[Present: 31 Assembly Members representing 19 seats.]]
[[Absent: 1 Operations seat.]]
The UK Strategy Assembly has met officially for the first time, introductions made and outline of the first week given to the representatives. The first week will be around trainings in our Self Organising System, understanding the processes used, and a workshop on Oppression, Movement Building and our relationships as activists. There is also a Listening space for those involved to offer support in these early stages.

UKSA Core Meeting 17

Date: Tuesday 26th January

Participants: 22 assembly members representing 14 seats, absent were 2 Operations Seats, 2 UK Support Seats and 2 Nations & Regions seats.

Summary

Assembly started by revisiting the Quorum talks from last year. A proposal was brought and passed. So the following has now been agreed upon:

Proposals must be brought to a meeting which takes place before the meeting in which they are decided. Objections to any proposal can be made between the meeting in which the proposal is first made and the meeting in which it is decided. Objections can be made online. Minimum 2 days needed before being voted on.

At least 65% of voting representatives must be present in a meeting in order for a decision to pass.

A representative from each of the 6 Assembly groups must be present in a meeting in order for a decision to pass. If any group will be absent from a meeting, they can excuse themselves from the “6 groups” quorum in advance of the meeting. Again, this can be done on Mattermost or by email.

A few housekeeping things were touched on including having a SA member and an SDT member assist with the scheduling of input sessions, having an SA member involved in managing the finacials and looking at how the group will revisit all the things that came up in Saturdays session with Marvina from BLM.

The SDT then lead the Assembly in a discussion about the state of the world external to XR. Thinking about what is new, what is infulential, how these interact with the CEE. They invited people to draw from their own experiences of privilege and hardship and how this may affect your attitude to the movement and external issues.

Next, the assembly discussed the 4 Pillars suggested byt the SDT last week. Knowing that these needed to be tested to ensure that they were the "right" pillars and that there weren't any missing. The assembly were asked to each focus on a single pillar and ask, "what does it need to include?" and "how can it hold the inputs we have?"

UKSA Core Meeting 16

Date: Thursday 21st January

Participants: 25 members representing 18 seats. Unrepresented today were 2 Operations Seats.

Summary

Session started with a guest from the Communties Circle to highlight how they can help with the delivery of the Strategy and what they would need from the UKSA to be able to do so. These offerings can be found here.

SDT Update

The SDT presented 4 pillars on which the stategy should sit to the assembly. They plan to use these as stepping stones to change political will to allow the 3 Demands to be met.

Those pillars are:

The SDT is asking the UKSA for insights on each pillar, looking at what has been done before, what we have learnt and what new opportunities we may have.

Extension on First Draft.
The assembly were then asked bythe SDT for a week extension on providing a first draft for approval. This was accepted by the Strategy Assembly with full support.

Glocalisation - Kofi Klu

The Assembly then heard from the ISN's Kofi to talk about Glocalisation, how it allows us to think globally and act locally, and importantly how we can connect movements with each other internationally. The recording of Kofi's talk can be requested by emailing XRStrategyVoices@protonmail.com.

The Assembly then discussed what they had heard and Kofi held a Q&A session.

UKSA Core Meeting 15

Date: Tuesday 19th January 2021

Participants: 22 assembly members present covering 18 seats. Unrepresented today were 1 Ops seat and 1 HIVE seat.

Summary

SDT Update.

Clare presented the SDT work to date, based around an analytic approach to strategy. They are currently doing a lot of reading and trying to imaginge what change would look like.

Asked Assembly Members to break out for a short discussion on:
What is happening in the world in the next five years that will be relevant to our strategy?

Strategy Advisors
Due to a limited budget to pay for speakers to input into the Strategy Assembly, the assembly has resolved to prioritise PoC and marginalised communities for payment. Others will be invited but not offered compensation. Attention will also be paid to any areas not already covered.

Strategy Format Team
Assembly revisit the Strategy Format Team Proposal and recieve a selection of offerings from the Communities Circle for how they can support in the delivery of the strategy.

Inputs

Momentum Driven Organisiing - Luis
The second half of the session was spent with Louis Ramirez, who gave two presentations centred around Momentum-driven organising.

The first presentation was on momentum driven organising and Theories of Change, while the second was on distributed organising, after which the assembly memebers split into breakout rooms to discuss how what they heard may influence the strategy.

UKSA Core Meeting 14

Date: 14th January 2021

Particupants: 24 Strategy representatives + observers, representing 17 seats. Unrepresented seats today were ISN and 2 Operations seats.

Purpose: Trust-building, Co-orgaising & SDT Needs

Meeting Summary

Assembly spent the first half of todays meething sharing with the group, telling stories of their passions, hopes and fears.

Next the assembly looked at a proposal for a Strategy Format Team (SFT) to focus on how the strategy is communicated and what formats it ought to be available in. More information on this proposal can be found here.

Finally, we heard a report from the SDT on their progress and needs.

SDT Report.

The SDT has had 2 meetings so far for some initial conversations and getting to know each other before inviting in a facilitator.

They wish to establish a framework using Dee's approach which they are aiming to bring back on Tuesday.

In the nect session they hope to look at specific questions such as
"What were the 10 biggest actions of the year?"

UKSA Core Meeting 12

Date: January 7th 2021

Present: 29 Strategy representatives, representing 19 seats, missing today was ISN.

Purpose

Hustings for SDT , Orientation for Presentations of Proposals and Inputs, Ways of Strategising

Hustings

Facilitators presented the Madate and Needs of the Strategy Development Team, followed by a round of the Nominees where they could each introduce themselves.

The Nominees are:

Anneka Alfie
Bexx Hamish
Hester Kerri
Lizzy Marina
Mothiur Rob G.
Rob R. Chidi
Aasia Clare

Each candidate was asked:
Which part of the strategic landscape would you like to concentrate on as areas to identify potentials of meaningful change - that would progress towards our 3 demands?

Voting closes for the SDT at 1pm on January 10th.

Presenting Proposals and Inputs

Facilitators took some time to outline how inputs and proposals can be brought into the space, and asked the assembly for any people they would be interested in hearing from.

Work was presented on how strategy depends on a cycle of action and observation and Dee followed on by presenting her work on an analytical approach to developing strategy.

UKSA Core meeting 11

Date Tuesday 5th January 2021

Participants: 27 Strategy representatives, representing 18 seats. Unrepresented seats today were 2 Operations seats.

Purpose: Restart with purpose and clear way ahead

Summary

  1. Introduction to Roadmap

The support team spent the break working on a plan for how to carry the Strategy Process from where it is to its completion. At which point we will have a Strategy to give the movement. A summary of this plan can be found in the process chapter of this book - Here.

  1. Convergent Facilitation

The assembly looked back over the consolidated needs that it had produced last year, along with those which came out of the People's Assembly, with the aim of highlighting any which are controversial. Over the next few sessions the assembly will further consolidate this list into the final set of Noncontroversial Essences which the Strategy written byt the SDT will be held against in the final stages of approval.

  1. Intro to the SDT election Nominations for the Strategy Development Team are currently being made and will hopefully be voted on over the weekend. There was a brief presentation to recap exactil the purpose of the SDT and what they are expected to do.

Information on the SDT and how they will be elected can be found here.

UKSA Core Meeting 10

Date Tuesday 22nd December

Participants: 21 Strategy representatives, representing 16 seats. Unrepresented were 2 Operations seats, ISN and one MOV seat.

Purpose of Meeting: To complete the gathering of needs by Convergent Facilitation.

Summary

The assembly split into 2 Breakout Rooms to complete the gathering of needs. This was done to allow for more time for each member to speak and was a considerably better experience for all those involved.

The assembly then grouped their needs into catagories to help in the consolidation process. The catagories are as follows:

The full list of needs can be found here

UKSA Core Meeting 9

Date: Thursday, 17th December 2020, 6pm GMT

Participants: 24 Strategy representatives + observers, representing 18 seats Unrepresented seats today were Operations (1), ISN (1)

Presentations
Intro to 2020 strategy

The assembly went into break out groups to review the 2020 Strategy documents.

The groups considered the following questions and then went into free discussion.

The Harvest Doc for these conversations can be found here

UKSA Core Meeting 8

Date Tuesday 15th December

Participants 25 Assembly members representing 17 seats. Absent were ISN and 2 operations seats.

Theme for the day.
A radically grounded Strategy Assembly, that is a true expression of our rebellious desires, and that can speak the authentic language of lesser-heard voices, will be an act of rebellion in itself.
An act of rebellion not against XR as an institution, but against the system that has produced us and our crises, and that continues to shape us all.

Summary

The assembly started the first stage of the Convergent Facilitation process. Over the next few sessions, we aim to identify the Assembly's needs for the Strategy. However, the goal is not to simply state every need as it is given, but to extract the Noncontroversial Essences. By this we mean, finding the core of the need which can be agreed upon by the whole assembly.

We started this proccess as a whole group through this meeting. This was commented on by the assembly members that it did not feel like the best use of time, this feedback will be taken into account for the following sessions.

Note from Process Team

We’ll return to the needs gathering exercise next Tuesday to take that forward . Paul and a few others are working on grouping the list so that it’s as clear as possible. This work can be seen here. They are flagging things that look like duplicates (being very careful that nothing is removed or lost in the process).

We’ll leave the remainder of the first phase until after the holiday. Then we will simplify any duplicates in the list, as an assembly, and go over any “allergies”. It’s important to keep in mind that until we’ve done the allergies stage, this list is in no way agreed.

UKSA Core Meeting 7

10th December 2020, 6pm GMT
Participants:

26 Strategy representatives + observers, representing 18 seats Unrepresented seats today were: 2 seats from Operations Facilitators (Ash, Clarissa) - 1 Feedback & Tech (Harry) - 1 SASN Link / Scribe (Paolo)

Open Space (30 mins)

Some points taked about include:

Introduction To Consent Decisions Presentation [Clarissa] from SOS Basics

The slide presented in this section can be found Here. The cover consent based decision making and how it differs from other methods, how to become comfortable in the use of objections and integrating them, and how to effectively participate in consent based decision making.

Some questions raised during this section:

Finalising Agreement on the Assembly’s Decision-Making Process

Five different proposals were presented to the group which can be found here. It was thought that a combination of options would be best and due to time constraints a Working Group was formed to go away and come back with a more closely defined proposal for approval by the Assembly.

The following Assembly members volunteered to form the Working Group:

Marina, Hester, Bryan, Mothiur, Jac, Bex, Rob

Anyone from the Assembly is still free to join the group.

UKSA Core meeting 6

Big Picture Exploration and Convergent Facilitation 1

Tuesday, December 8th 2020, 9am GMT

Purpose

Deepening the Big Picture exploration: Starting with Convergent Facilitation (due to Paul K.'s time constraints and to move forward with the process).

Deepening the Big Picture

The Assembly split into break out rooms to discuss the following:

"Look at the concepts, patterns, tensions and relationships in this map.
What are your lived experiences of them?
Go with what interests you and stands out to you.
In those experiences, what are your deep longings for the movement?"

Below are some of the reflections made:

Convergent Facilitation Session 1

The Assembly started it's initial gathering of Needs as part of the Convergent Facilitation Process.

There are two main questions to be asked here:

  1. What do we want our strategy to do?

    • Where is it trying to bring us to, and how?
  2. What shape do we want the strategy to have?

    • What form, ways of communicating, guides for decision making, etc. does it need to have to be most useful and supportive?

The first of these was asked today and the information gathered can be found on This Flipchart

UKSA Core Meeting 5

Saturday December 5th, 2020, 12pm GMT

Purpose: Decision making and exploration of the big picture.

Some time was taken at the start of this meeting to apologise for the mistakes in facilitation made in Thursday's session.

Decision Making Proposals

Assembly revisited the decision making proposals, looking for an answer to "How many people need to be present in order for a decision to be valid?" or "Is there another way that we can ensure consensus and/or consent?"

Facillitator gave an explanation of consent-based decision making, with regards to any objection being sufficient to stop the process to be integrated and a brief explanation of Convergent Facilitation and how it makes sure every need and concern is taken into account.

The primary desire of the Assembly was heard to be the writing of a decision-making process into the working agreements which is as inclusive of as many voices as possible. And so this agreement above all others has taken added time, and rightfully so.

Deepening the Big Picture

The assembly returned to the big picture map which they had created earlier that week. The aim was to ask deeper questions and try to see the patterns as they present themselves. This will be continues in the next session.

UKSA Core Meeting 4

Thursday 3rd December 2020 6pm to 9pm

Intention

The original intention of this session was to continue two strands from Tuesday’s meeting:

  1. Finalise the working agreements (Quorum and Decision-making Section)
  2. Continue exploration of the movement’s present situation and the strategic landscape

Unfortunately, a last-minute technical problem meant that the principal facilitator, and the only one who had been present at Tuesday’s meeting - Wolfgang - was unable to contribute. Vital continuity with the previous session was therefore lost.

This left two facilitators to lead on an agenda unfamiliar to them. As a result, only the initial section of (1.) above was covered. This consisted of an exploration of the tensions underlying the discomforts some assembly members had started to express at the way the basis for representation was established when setting up the UKSA.

Meeting

Notes on some of these exchanges are here.

The main session concluded with further discussion in break-out rooms.


Afterwards

In a free discussion following the session, members covered the following points, among others:

A note from the Support Team

The Support Team regrets that the exploration of underlying tensions was embarked upon without first securing a clear route to its main purpose - to facilitate reaching an agreement about the decision-making process.

We are extremely grateful, however, by the seriousness and good-will shown by all those present, and feel that an important (if painful) step forwards was taken.

The Support Team was also given important feedback during this session. We hear you: an over-manicured lawn is a sterile environment; too much control is as bad as structurelessness.

UKSA Core Meeting 3

Tuesday 1st December 2020 9am to 12pm

25 representatives present (21 present at 9am)

1. Proposal for Working Agreements for this Assembly

See Proposal HERE.

The proposal was taken through the integrative desicion making process which allows space for clarifications, reactions and objections. The threashold for an objection is "Seeing a concrete harm in the proposal or that it will take us backwards."

Integrated Objections / Proposals
Unresolved Objections to Section 3 (Decision Making)

PROPOSAL ACCEPTED (apart from Section 3 - Quora and Decision Making)

Full session on Thursday (3rd) to include listening session, followed by proposals. Members invited to think carefully about the issues before Thursday's meeting - All members, including all those sharing seats, invited as this process question does not affect strategy.

2. Thinking about Strategic Picture: Where are we at as a movement?

Build up a mosaic of perspectives on where the movement is at the moment.

Main themes captured in heat-map:

The map produced can be seen here: A wall of post-its representing the above

This discussion to be starting point for everything from now on.

To follow: Review of past year to provide indication of needs new strategy should meet.

UKSA Core Meeting 2

28th November 2020, 12pm

Purpose: Learn about group processes and define working agreements

Building Healthy Working Relationships

Paul from Trust the People kindly came into the Assembly to give their module on building healthy teams. This included roles within a team, how some of them fall into "Task Oriented" or "Maintainence" roles but that both are important to a healthy team.

Most of the information offered here can be found in the Trust the People Workshops - Here

Managing Conflict

The assembly were given some key information about conflict and how it is important to give it space but also to use it constructively. Various tools for handling conflict were mentioned and a Weekly Listening & Support space has been offered to the members.

Conflict isn't a problem, it's an opportunity.

Conflict often be signalling:

For more information on conflict check out these pages from Trust the People.

Introducing Group Agreements

We’re different people, probably with shared as well as different needs about the process and how to work together. These are agreements that try to cover the basics of what is needed in order to collaborate smoothly.

The assembly broke into groups to discuss the proposed agreements, aiming to feed back to each other and select a small group who will attempt to integrate the ideas and bring a set of proposals to the next meeting.

UKSA Core Meeting 1

Kick off Meeting!

Purpose: Get to know each other & overview of the whole process

Getting to know each other

The primary focus of this first meeting was for the members of the asembly to meet each other. A part of the Trust the People course was given to introduce the importance of knowing each other to build trust.

Mandate, Process and Schedule

To kick start the assembly reviewed it's mandate, which can be found here. Looking at what they are trying to achieve and acknowledging what is and is not within the scope of their work.

Then they looked at the process they are embarking on, seeing the 4 stages and reminding themselves that this is only the first version of a repeating process. More information on the process and it's interations can be found here

The current timeline is hoping to complete Stage 1 by December 5th, to start gathering needs as part of the Confergent Facilitation process on December 8th and goes so far as to hope that the SDT can be elected before the assembly breaks up for Christmas.

It is expected that there will be modifications to the plan and timeline as we progress, we hope to keep everyone up to date through these pages!

Search for Group Agreements

The assembly broke out into groups of 3 to discuss what they can agree to in terms of working together throughout this process. Each group fed into a harvest document for the facillitators to process and return next session with some suggested agreements.