Global Convening for Peace: Leveraging Large Group Process during Covid Times
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
What do the recent events of World Unity Week, Peace Weekend, and the UP Convergence all have in common?
They are all online, virtual global convergences of passionate change leaders. They use new technology to enable self-organization and data synthesis. They introduce leading-edge topics merging the latest in the science of consciousness, regenerative design for our ecosystems and cities, indigenous wisdom, world water law initiatives, social justice, interfaith collaboration, planetary healing and gamification for peace and compassion. They are omni-present; happening over a series of days and time zones. They leverage intention, music, dance, song, and prayer. They challenge our limits around capacity, screen time, and endurance. Most importantly they generate a potent energetic frequency of peace and unity, which is an energy that we really need right now.
I had the pleasure of facilitating a combined 12 open space sessions and 3 community engagement sessions over the course of these three different events happening in between June and September 2020. What I witnessed is what I'd like to call the future of large group interventions. I experienced global collaboration on a new scale, leveraging a quantum theory of change for systemic transformation.
I've been told by a mentor that I need to let go of everything that I have ever been taught with regards to what I believe influences organizational and systemic change. Structures of hierarchy and cultures of control are outdated. What worked in the old paradigm will not be as useful in the new paradigm. With that understanding, I leap forward into this new era of "leading through convening" and working at a deeper level of change through the essence of self.
We can intentionally convene global populations of change makers virtually to collaborate across boundaries for social and planetary transformation. I believe this is the next iteration of large group methodology; one that combines virtual meeting technology (Zoom), project management software (Trello), digital collaboration tools (Miro), social network mapping (Kumu), and purposeful event design and artful process facilitation. Until it is safe again to convene in person, this is our best next step forward.
I thank Jon Ramer, the founder of the Synergized Impact Network Exchange, for providing this "scaffolding" that empowers groups to self-organize around meaningful issues and topics. This opens a new door for those of us who are enthusiastic about igniting movements through large groups. We are entering a new phase of "Network Development" where we can purposefully leverage each other's wisdom across boundaries and encourage authentic conversation amidst complexity and chaos. Doesn't that just FEEL better?
If you are interested in soaking up some of the wisdom shared at these events, please "like" Peace Weekend and World Unity Week on Facebook or visit the following websites.
The picture below is the "harvest" from the UP Convergence, representing a graphic visualization of 25+ convergence zoom rooms, all stacked with content over the course of 8 days. Kara Stonehouse from the Hague Center created this visual, and its an epic representation of the experience!
If you are interested in learning more about this work or this vision, please reach out to me! firstname.lastname@example.org (I am a Conscious Change Agent on a Mission!)