Programmatic Agenda

 

 

Envision Minneapolis

In order to have the capacity to address the practical challenges we face, we have to pay attention to two essential critical factors: the social fabric of the community, and the political will for sustainable change.

Listening to the diversity of the Minneapolis community in search of an inclusive vision for the future

Description

A grassroots listening campaign identifying sources of shared obligation to the community and the energy for practical ‘hands-on’ civic engagement.

Activities

500 appreciative inquiry interviews and 150 reference group conversations across 13 sectors and 7 stratas of Minneapolis, culminating in a community-wide ‘summit’ to discern and commit to shared action.

Outcomes

Engagement with current and new community initiatives under the umbrella of an inclusive vision representing the diversity of Minneapolis.

We constantly talk about institutions and organizations and collaborations – it’s all people. People trying to figure out this stuff together.

Civic Conversations

Description 

Small group conversation opportunities for engaged leaders using, the rubrics of vulnerability, shared responsibility, and energy for civic engagement.

Activities

Structured 75 minute conversations ‘with no strings attached’ between formal and informal leaders from different sectors and diverse stratas of the community.

Outcomes

The personal impact of seldom-held conversations, about what matters to the community, between key influential persons who have never met each other.

Engaging in meaningful conversations about what matters with people you might never have met

Living into our Welcome – Willmar

People need to know and trust each other to work together – especially across different sectors and diverse stratas of the community.

Building a renewed sense of community in the Willmar area in the midst of change

Description

A decision by the Willmar city council to be a ‘welcoming city’ serves as a call for concerned citizens to overcome fear, build respect, and celebrate shared values in the midst of difference.

Activities 

Grassroots organizing use active listening, inter-group encounters, civic conversations and collaborative activities, and community-wide celebrations to weave the social fabric of the community.

Outcomes

The opportunity for an ever-widening circle of citizens and groups to experience the benefits of active participation in the creation and nurturing of a truly welcoming and inclusive Willmar.

To understand the community in a holistic way, we have to hear from people of all perspectives – especially those for whom the system does not work.

A Seat at the Table

Description

Dynamic process for organizations, institutions, communities and elected bodies to insure that decision-making is inclusive of, and responsive to, the people served and impacted.

Activities 

Appreciative inquiry interviews make possible productive conversations about the needs, responsibilities and aspirations of all concerned, leading to scenarios for participatory decision-making.

Outcomes

The exploration process itself models what’s needed for shared and responsive decision-making, building a  social infrastructure based on a shared sense of reality, effective practices, and trust.

Insuring that those served and impacted have a definitive role in decision-making

Ecology of Actors

We have to get from the mentality of ‘us’ versus ‘them’, to ‘us’ versus what divides us. 

Getting the ‘ecology of actors’  into the same room with a community-first agenda

Description

Gathering together ‘community-first’ actors to cultivate the social infrastructure needed to address the systemic issues facing Minneapolis (after George Floyd) and Richfield (after Brian Quinones).

Activities 

An intensive year-long pilgrimage of community listening, mutual inquiry, and scenario thinking, by 200 ‘community-first’ actors.

Outcomes

Given this shared experience together, these ‘community-first’ actors will figure out how cultivate the social fabric essential to meeting the challenges of systemic racism, police violence, and social inequities in the communities.