Archive

Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

Member Spotlight: Lauren Cobb

November 13, 2015 Leave a comment
Lauren Cobb

Lauren Cobb

Lauren Cobb came to IAP2 USA through a leap of faith. Trained as an engineer, she had started her family and was active in the community when her church suffered a series of devastating, divisive losses. Lauren was part of the leadership team that looked for ways to help the congregation come together and heal. They found a series on resilient congregations and dialogue work that led them to Public Conversations Project in Boston. The team invited training director Bob Stains to train nine church members as dialogue facilitators. This team continued to work through the materials over the summer, and began their work by facilitating a dialogue group with people they identified as sympathetic to the need for healing. That fall, the entire congregation was invited to participate in small group dialogues, resulting in 25 group sessions each with 6-8 people involving about a third of the congregation being hosted through February.

“The results were marvelous. The conversation shifted. The way people talked with each other changed. The confidence people had in each other reflected trust. People focused on finding common ground and differences became less important.”

Lauren went on to lead a second team through Appreciative Inquiry to help prepare for a search for a new pastor and begin the hiring process. The facilitation and capacity building skills she had gained proved invaluable as she went on to lead the diverse hiring committee through the pastoral search process, and a new pastor was hired in 2010.

Lauren discovered IAP2 USA on a more recent journey that took her from an NCDD discussion to the IAP2 USA Facebook group, “Everything sounded so interesting!” She saw a post for the Mentorship Program, and even though she hadn’t been a member, she submitted an application …another leap of faith.

Through the Mentorship Program, Lauren has been working with Kit Cole to organize monthly events in Southern California/Greater Los Angeles. The mentoring program has given Lauren a chance to learn about the different kinds of work practitioners are doing and what they think is important in their work, broadening her perspective about how people are engaged in P2. “I feel like I’ve entered the cave of wonders. I’ve found these people who are cultivating engagement on so many different levels. It’s given me a greater understanding of the different ways people approach their practice, and the different things people hold as important in their practice.”

Lauren was able to go to the North American Conference, where she came away with a strong sense of “this is my tribe.”

“I see IAP2 as peacemakers. People helping people speak and hear in a way that create understanding. Public participation intuitively makes sense to me. I have a lot more to learn and practice to do, but it’s almost like re-learning something I already know.”

Lauren and her daughters, Joy and Ellis

Lauren and her daughters, Joy and Ellis

Lauren was asked to serve as a proxy for Kit when she couldn’t come to a 2016 Skills Symposium planning meeting and offered to help. She has continued to participate in planning meetings and plans to help with local support efforts during the Symposium. And she has taken her community engagement efforts local, to her neighborhood. “I really wanted to bring a Little Free Library to my block, but our house isn’t in the best location. By talking with neighbors, I found someone who was willing to host the library in a much better location and another neighbor helped build it!”

Lauren came to IAP2 from the involved and engaged side of the IAP2 Spectrum, and has embarked on a journey to find a way to put her unique strengths – engineering, communications, and facilitation – to work.

President’s Message from David Hovde

July 27, 2015 Leave a comment
David

David Hovde, President

Greetings from Wisconsin!

If you’ve ever lived in the upper Midwest and/or northern climes in the U.S., you’ve either heard or said that there are really only two seasons – winter and road construction. The good news is that it can’t keep me from the good news, so here goes:

After a period of inactivity, the Georgia chapter of IAP2 is in a period of “renewal.” The first big step back toward being an active chapter is due to a dedicated and energetic group of folks who’ve organized a kick-off mixer scheduled for August 5. If you’re anywhere near the neighborhood, or if you’ve been thinking of taking a trip before summer is over, I encourage you to consider attending! Click here for more information.

There’s also a lot of new energy and enthusiasm about IAP2 USA in southern California! If you’re interested in learning more – or in participating in upcoming events – please contact Kit Cole at kit.cole@sce.com or call or text 818-822-6378. Or attend one of their upcoming events such as an informal get-together at the O Hotel or “Turbo Charge Your Efforts with Social Media”.

If you’ve been wondering when IAP2 USA would develop and offer a professional certification program, wonder no longer.

The pilot for the new professional certification program will launch in September this year, offering a 2-level certification award: Certified Public Participation Professional and Master Certified Public Participation Professional. Credentials are awarded upon completion and evaluation of a 3-step assessment of candidates, based on 5 core competencies that were identified through the membership consultation process.

The Certification Task Force (Yeah!) held a special webinar about the process earlier this month; 70 people from the U.S. and Canada participated and learned a lot, including how to apply. Applications are now closed but, we will continue to report out on the process – so look for more information soon.

I know that some of you have been putting off your registration for the 2015 IAP2 North American Conference. (For once, I did not procrastinate.) I encourage you to register as soon as possible for the best rate – the “Early Bird” registration rate is still available through the end of this month.

Click the link for the IAP2 North American Conference Schedule at a Glance. This will be a jam packed Conference with more than 50 sessions, sessions in the field, dynamic keynote speakers, an IAP2 Core Values Award Gala and more. You will need to sign up for the sessions in the field so take a look and get registered.

Speaking of the Core Values Awards, and procrastinating, it is not too early to start thinking about which of your projects might qualify for one of our field’s most prestigious and meaningful awards in 2016. For more information on the Core Values Awards click here and start planning now!

As you’re thinking ahead, keep the 2016 Skills Symposium in mind. Planning for this event is just getting underway, and there are several volunteer opportunities available. If you’d like to help shape this event, please contact Anne Carroll, chair of the Training committee.

Finally, as always, there are ongoing opportunities to help IAP2 USA serve members, advance the practice of public participation, learn and share knowledge and expertise. One important way you can do that is through service on our volunteer board. More information will be share over the coming months; in the meantime, please consider the possibilities.

I hope your summer is still wonderful. Oh, and I’ll see you in Portland in September.

Safe travels!

— David

Cascade Chapter PI Network focuses on “collaborative governance”

April 14, 2014 1 comment

Cascade Chapter PI Network  focuses on “collaborative governance”

About 40 attended Cascade Chapter’s PI Network on March 20 at the offices of Harper Houf Peterson Righellis Inc. in Portland, Ore. The professional development and networking event was shared with the Puget Sound chapter by live broadcast to the Seattle offices of EnviroIssues.

Sam Imperati presented “Collaborative Governance: turning conflict into resolution” about the evolution of public involvement to the mediation of high stakes, high conflict disputes when everyone is watching. Sam is the executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management and collaborative governance guru.

Image

Attendees learned theories of collaborative governance and practical techniques used to bring diverse stakeholders to resolution — not just “settlement,” where they walk away unhappy — to help groups make wiser decisions at the intersection of logic and emotion.

 Immediately after Sam’s presentation, IAP2 USA Board member Tim Bonnemann demonstrated Zilino, a new online engagement tool for hosting deliberative online forums that enables public participation practitioners to design and manage well structured, well facilitated online dialogues and consultations. A social followed at the Buffalo Gap.