Dear Vancouver Liberating Structures User Group members and friends,
As co-leads of of this user group, Barish and I have decided to take pause in our meetups and report out what we’ve been doing to date and to touch base with you all to see where you want to focus energies for the coming year.
Here is an overview what we have been doing since the start of the Vancouver LS user group approximately 2 1/2 years ago:
Year 1 (Spring 2017)
- Adopting the format used by the Seattle LS user group, we met with a group of 10 participants and crafted our vision and mission using Purpose to Practice
- We started a LinkedIn Group which grew to 30 members. (We currently have 60 members.)
- We hosted monthly meetups at BCIT (downtown) from 6-7:30 pm
- Meetups initially were well attended but then participation dwindled; We reported our meetings in a post for May and for the Fall
- A few things we gleaned from Year 1 is how difficult it is for people to attend the downtown venue; evenings make for a very long day and for those with family obligations, it was too challenging
- We experimented with LS Online and hosted a LS meetup using Zoom
Year 2 & Year 3 (2018 – to date)
- The LinkedIn Group alone was not meeting our needs so we created this WordPress blog site which was setup with push notifications to subscribers of the blog, to our twitter account and FaceBook followers. We currently have 98 subscribers to this WordPress blog and 117 Twitter followers. (We also kept the LinkedIn group though it is not our primary communication tool.)
- To grow our base of LS practitioners, we decided to focus on the post-secondary sector (as this sector is related to our work) and changed our approach, forming a “travelling” meetup (our “LS Caravan”)
- LS meetups and primer sessions were hosted at the following post-sec institutions in the Lower mainland: BCIT (Burnaby), UBC (Sauder), Vancouver Community College, Douglas College, Langara College, Simon Fraser University (Surrey), Capilano University, Justice Institute of BC.
- In May 2018, the Vancouver and Victoria user groups hosted a meetup at the Festival of Learning.
- In March 2019, Barish and I attended the LS Global Meetup in Seattle where we met amazing practitioners from all over the globe. Tracy Roberts (co-lead of the Victoria LS User Group), Seattle LS practitioner Neil McCarthy and I co-facilitated a session.
- We provided LS sessions on invitation to the BC Children’s Hospital/Women’s Hospital (affiliated with UBC Dept. of Pathology) and the BC Organizational Development Network (BCODN).
- Barish and Zsuszi Fodor also conducted a LS session in partnership with UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.
- We continued experimentation of LS online together with the Victoria LS User group and hosted a session using Zoom (May 2019).
- I co-facilitated LS using online asynchronous methods (Moodle Course) as part of the Facilitating Learning Online MicroCourse “Designing with LS” (June 2019) with Beth Cougler Blom, co-facilitator of the Victoria LS User group. Barish and I have participated in meetings of the LS CoP Leaders, a group led by Keith McCandless, as well as, continued to raise awareness of LS via the LS Slack group (coordinated by Fisher Qua and Nancy White) and the Liberating News
Reading and research:
- In 2017, BCcampus surveyed workshop participants and published this report “Liberating Structures in Post-secondary: How are they Spreading?”
- 2018, Tracy Roberts and I authored articles – about the underpinnings of LS (complexity science and positive deviance) which we published on the BCcampus web site and on this blog.
Having worked the last few years on awareness, the initial spread of Liberating Structures, and building local capacity of LS practitioners, our”What”, we are reaching out to ask you …”So What” and “Now What”? The big “W3” and what would be most meaningful and helpful to you in your practice, whatever stage that may be.
We invite you to give us feedback in our user group survey by the end of October. We will share the results with you in a future post and/or discuss at a future meetup. Thank you.
All the Best,
With Barish Golland
Co-leads of the Vancouver Liberating Structures User Group
*Acknowledgements to members Catarina Moreno and Charles Lee for their help with the survey.