Events

Liberating Structures Meetup at the BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre

We are pleased to offer a Liberating Structures mini-workshop and practice session at the BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre on June 4th. Everyone is welcome! Here are the details:

MeetingLiberating Structures: Patterns of Engagement to Include Everyone

Facilitators: Jocelyn Srigley, Medical Microbiologist, BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre; Barish Golland, Training Lead, Organizational Change Management, Integrated Renewal Program, UBC; Leva Lee, Manager Learning + Teaching, BCcampus

Date: Wednesday, June 4, 2019
Time: 8:30 am-10:00 am
Location: Shaughnessy Auditorium, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, B wing, 4500 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC

Use Entrance 77 as indicated on this map:
http://www.bcchildrens.ca/About-Site/Documents/CW_Campus_Wayfinding_Map.pdf

Purpose

For Newcomers: Learn about and experience Liberating Structures as a way of engaging colleagues, employees and team members and students in productive, purposeful, inclusive ways.

For All: Meet local Liberating Structures practitioners and discover Liberating Structures resources, including the Vancouver LS user group members that meets regularly.

What are Liberating Structures?

Liberating Structures (LS) are a growing collection of group processes and methods that make it easy and quick for members of any group to radically change how they interact and work together. Their purpose is to liberate energy, tap into collective intelligence, stimulate creativity, and get surprisingly better results by engaging people and unleashing the power of self-organization.” – Quoted from: Kimball, Lisa. (2009). Liberating Structures: A New Pattern language for Engagement. Available at: https://thesystemsthinker.com/liberating-structures-a-new-pattern-language-for-engagement

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Events

UBC Workshop on Liberating Structures – May 24 1pm at UBC IKB

On Friday May 24th from 1:00pm to 2:30pm UBC is hosting a introductory workshop on Liberating Structures as part its CTLT Institute.

The workshop will be facilitated by Barish Golland, Training Lead for UBC Integrated Renewal Program, and Zsuzsi Fodor, Engagement Strategist for UBC Community Engagement. UBC staff and faculty are welcome to sign up at the link below. If you do not have a UBC CWL, there are instructions on the link below to set up a Basic CWL to register:

Using Liberating Structures to Engage and Unleash Everyone

 Event Date & Time

  • May 24, 2019
    1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Event Description

Pillar: Transformative Learning

Conventional structures such as presentations, lectures, status reports and managed discussions tend to be over-controlling and stifle inclusion and engagement.

Liberating Structures are a series of group processes designed to engage and include everyone in productively moving forward in a variety of contexts, whether it’s the meeting room or the classroom. In this workshop, you will get an introduction to what Liberating Structures are and experience a variety of these facilitation techniques specifically relevant to the Higher Education context. Activities in the classroom context will include quick and easy ways to engage students throughout a lecture, as well as longer student group work activities for facilitating more critical thinking and deeper discussion.

Facilitator:

Barish Golland, Training Lead, Organizational Change Management, UBC Integrated Renewal Program

Zsuzsi Fodor, Engagement Strategist, UBC Community Engagement

Uncategorized

Liberating Structures User Groups Meet Online

This post originally published May 9th on BCcampus.ca

Recently, the Liberating Structures (LS) user groups from Vancouver and Victoria B.C. got together ONLINE for the first time to experiment with LS online. As always, I love co-facilitating with my Victoria LS User Group partner, Beth Cougler Blom, and higher ed colleagues and Vancouver LS User group stewards Leva Lee and Barish Golland.

Post by Tracy Roberts, Senior Manager, Learning and Teaching

Liberating Structures

Our plan (see here for plan/details about HOW we did stuff, and here for slides) was to do Impromptu NetworkingTroikaUser Experience Fishbowl, and a bit of a share out from those of us who went to the LS Global Gathering in March. In 90 min, we ran out of time to do all, so we cut User Experience Fishbowl.

A few quick observations/takeaways:

  • …Sigh…audio in particular, but technology generally continues to vex the online session. Having worked for 20 years in a field that does a LOT of online meetings, it annoys me that web conferencing technology still doesn’t just actually work. So yes, we still have to plan for it NOT to work: get people to show up early, create space to test audio, video, and drawing tools so people are ready to engage, have multiple facilitators to support all this.
  • Have the invitation/discussion prompts visible at all times (slides, chat room, wherever works for the tool you are using).
  • With Troika, we experimented with offering more/less structure and our participants preferred more, i.e., time each step using the timer tool + add text prompts to the timer to tell them what step they are on (vs. just giving them the full 8 minutes and adding a text chat to all telling them what step they should be on).
  • Online CAN be better than f2f – e.g., you can quickly and completely control the return of small groups back to the main group! Online, it’s a click of a button and a few seconds and everyone is BACK, regardless if they were in the middle of a sentence. Not always so in-person!
  • More is more. You need a facilitator, and 1-2 others to manage the technology (set timers, create breakout rooms, move people in and out of breakout rooms, monitor the chat, pop in and out of breakout rooms and generally troubleshoot on the fly). It’s important to be fast and available because with LS in play online, things are moving and, online, I think our patience can be thinner because it’s easier to feel MORE lost and frustrated than in a physical room where there are many more cues to help figure things out.

Learn more:

Join us for an upcoming Liberating Structures Workshop to discover how you can bring these effective strategies to the sessions you lead.

Events, Virtual LS

Vancouver and Victoria Liberating Structures Meetup – Let’s Try it Online!

We are partnering with the Victoria Liberating Structures User Group to try some LS Online!  This is happening tomorrow April 9th from 12 noon – 1:30 pm Pacific DST.  Come with an open mind and readiness to play as we are in full experimentation mode. All are welcome.

The space we will be meeting in is a Collaborate Ultra Room provided by Royal Roads University. Thank you to them for the support.  Here’s the Link: https://ca.bbcollab.com/guest/851b4f6d4e144970bc6d35cf9ea8d2e5.

For more information on the online meetup check out the Victoria User Group Facebook page.

See you tomorrow!

Updates

Liberating Structures Global Gathering in Seattle – Accommodation Share

This note is posted on behalf of a group of LS practitioners heading to the LS Global Gathering in Seattle:

Hi fellow LS-ers!
Reaching out as 3 of us from Vancouver are coming down for the Immersion and Global Gathering with room for an addition 1-2 people in our Air BnB in the Queen Anne neighbourhood. If you’re looking for a place March 10-15 (or portion thereof), we would love to share space (and costs) with you! You can reach me at Zsuzsi.s.fodor@gmail.com.

Events, Updates

Workshop and Meetup at the JIBC

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Liberating Structures: Patterns of Engagement to Include Everyone

We are pleased to offer a Liberating Structures mini-workshop and practice session at the Justice Institute of British Columbia on January 31st 2019.

Everyone is welcome!

For newcomers: Learn about experience Liberating Structures as a way of engaging your students, colleagues, employees and team members in productive, purposeful, inclusive ways.

For experienced Liberating Structures facilitators: Explore ways to enhance your repertoire by learning new LS techniques and consider joining the Vancouver LS user group that meets frequently.

FACILITATORS

Barish Golland, Co-Chair, Vancouver Liberating Structures User Group
Leva Lee, BCcampus and Co-Chair, Vancouver Liberating Structures User Group

JIBC CO-FACILITATORS

Dave Smulders
Janine Aussem
Florence Daddey
Helen Lee

DATE & TIME
Thursday January 31, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

LOCATION
JIBC-New Westminster Campus, 715 McBride Boulevard, Room CL325

To participate, please RSVP by Friday January 25th by emailing Telt@jibc.ca. Contact Florence Daddy fdaddey@jibc.ca for any questions regarding this event.

Events, Updates

Liberating Structures Meetup at Simon Fraser, Surrey Campus

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The following is a post from SFU who will be hosting this meetup.

We are pleased to offer a Liberating Structures mini-workshop and practice session at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus this month. Everyone is welcome! Here are the details:

MeetingLiberating Structures: Patterns of Engagement to Include Everyone

Facilitators: Julia Lane, Writing Services Associate at SFU; Leva Lee, Manager, Learning & Teaching at BCcampus; Hope Power, Teaching & Learning Librarian at SFU; Ruth Silverman, Learning Services Coordinator at SFU

Date: Friday, December 14, 2018
Time: 10:00 am-11:30 am
Location: Room 3200, Simon Fraser University – Surrey Campus
250 – 13450 – 102nd Avenue
Surrey, B.C. Canada V3T 0A3

Please RSVP by Monday, December 10 by completing this brief form: http://websurvey.sfu.ca/survey/332157905

Purpose

For newcomers: Learn about and experience Liberating Structures as a way of engaging your students, colleagues, employees and team members in productive, purposeful, inclusive ways.

For experienced Liberating Structures facilitators: Explore ways to enhance your repertoire by learning new LS techniques and consider joining the Vancouver LS user group that meets frequently.

What are Liberating Structures?

Liberating Structures (LS) are a growing collection of group processes and methods that make it easy and quick for members of any group to radically change how they interact and work together. Their purpose is to liberate energy, tap into collective intelligence, stimulate creativity, and get surprisingly better results by engaging people and unleashing the power of self-organization.” – Quoted from: Kimball, Lisa. (2009). Liberating Structures: A New Pattern language for Engagement. Available at: https://thesystemsthinker.com/liberating-structures-a-new-pattern-language-for-engagement

Thought piece

Liberating Structures: Rooted in Positive Deviance

This post is by Tracy Roberts and was originally published November 1, 2018 on BCcampus.ca.

For the past five years, BCcampus has supported the learning and spread of Liberating Structures in B.C. post-secondary education. We have found Liberating Structures to be useful tools for folks working in all corners of our sector, including those who teach (online and face to face) and those who lead and facilitate teams, projects, processes, and change within and across higher education institutions.

Photo credit: Red Onion by Gwendolyn Stansbury (CC 2.0) http://ow.ly/lZlD30msRHz

Liberating Structures are fun and easy to pick up and start using. Anyone can get them (free, online) and start practising without formal facilitator training or certification (as co-founder Keith McCandless says, “there are no coloured belts” in Liberating Structures!), but they are serious fun. Beyond the promise of more lively engagement and participation in group activities, there are deeper layers and a foundation of intentionally chosen, well-articulated principles, theories, and perspectives. One of these is Positive Deviance (PD), and the purpose of this article is to learn a bit about it and its connection to Liberating Structures.

What (is Positive Deviance)?

According to the Positive Deviance Initiative,

Positive Deviance is based on the observation that in every community there are certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviors and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources and facing similar or worse challenges.

Simply put, a Positive Deviance (PD) approach asks what is working for those for whom it ‘shouldn’t be’ working? We are invited to seek out positive deviants – those experiencing better outcomes than peers without any advantages over them. This appreciative approach resonates with many working in higher education, who are often already familiar with Appreciative Inquiry approaches and perspectives.

Photo credit: David Whelan http://ow.ly/Jaxn30msRUC

Both Positive Deviance (PD) and Liberating Structures (LS) invite disruption to normal power structures, in large part because both place such high importance on community intelligence, activity, and ownership of solutions rather than top-down approaches. A look at the guiding principles of both PD and LS shows a few manifestations of this theme as well as a shared priority on doing and action:

Positive Deviance Guiding Principles

Liberating Structures Principles

  • Collective endeavor: Community or stakeholders’ ownership of the whole process
  • Social proof: their discovery of existing solutions (uncommon behaviors & strategies via a PD Inquiry) among their peers, by people or groups whose behaviours need to change
  • Network-driven: Use of existing and created new social capital (formal and informal networks)
  • Focus on practice: Development of activities and initiatives that encourage a practice of PD inquiry findings
  • Collective involvement in monitoring new activities to promote behaviour change, and evaluation of the overall initiative to have a sustainable impact on the problem
  • Include and Unleash Everyone
  • Practice Deep Respect for People and Local Solutions
  • Build Trust As You Go
  • Learn by Failing Forward
  • Practice Self-Discovery Within a Group
  • Amplify Freedom AND Responsibility
  • Emphasize Possibilities: Believe Before You See
  • Invite Creative Destruction To Enable Innovation
  • Engage In Seriously-Playful Curiosity
  • Never Start Without a Clear Purpose

 

 

PD is also a method of inquiry for projects and research, with five steps that invite researchers to 1) define a problem and a successful outcome, 2) find positive deviants, 3) discover their uncommon but successful behaviours, 4) develop activities to help spread the PD solutions, and 5) monitor and evaluate results.

So What? (Why is this important?)

Understanding how Liberating Structures are rooted in Positive Deviance can help us to understand how and why they work to “unleash and include everyone” (Lipmanowicz and McCandless, 2013). It also helps us do a better job of adapting and remixing these activities in our practice, while staying true to their purpose. For example, if you understand the importance of the underlying principles, say, of collective endeavour and involvement, you are less likely to edit out opportunities for your group to participate and share ownership of solutions and next steps when tweaking the design of a Liberating Structure activity.

Knowing about the underlying PD principles makes positive organizational and social change using Liberating Structures seem more possible because that’s what they are designed for. In addition to more fun and lively meetings and classes, using these simple methods can set the stage for overcoming barriers and making progress on our most pressing challenges in an increasingly complex, interdependent, and culturally diverse world. We can start by making small changes with local work teams and then progressing outward to other teams, departments, institutions, cities, provinces, and so forth.

Now What? (What actions make sense now?)

For facilitators of Liberating Structures immersion workshops, we can make connections to PD principles more transparent. In higher education, we find folks generally want to know the underlying theories of the practice anyway, and we have (briefly!) included this in our immersion workshops. This is reminiscent of other evidence-based practices in education, such as scholarly teaching and learning and SoTL.

For facilitators/practitioners using Liberating Structures, we can make sure our riffs and variations stay true to the underlying PD principles. We may also be more attuned to inventing new structures and be better prepared to help to test the Liberating Structures in development.

For everyone in higher education (and beyond), we can be inspired by PD as a method of inquiry. We can question and look for positive deviants in our field. Arvind Singhal, university professor, PD researcher, and long-time Liberating Structures practitioner, has stated that “… the positive deviance approach holds important implications for education and learning environments” that “can be applied in addressing some highly intractable and complex [social justice] problems” (2013, p. 156).

In higher education, we might take a PD approach to questions such as:

  • What enables some young and adult learners to take more responsibility for their own learning? (this is a question suggested by Dr. Singhal)
  • How are some instructors able to provide engaging, flexible, active learning experiences for students?
  • How are some instructors able to adopt and adapt open educational resources for their classes? (thereby drastically reducing the cost to students and increasing access to education)
  • How are some instructors able to continuously develop their knowledge and skill in teaching as well as their academic discipline/field of study?
  • How are some students in remote communities in Canada able to successfully access and complete post-secondary education?
  • What enables equity-seeking groups in Canada to complete post-secondary degrees?

As a way of making progress on important challenges related to access and quality in higher education, we can start by looking for positive deviants to find out what they are doing right!

Resources: