World Café – Minneapolis, A recap of the Group Leaders Forum
By Guest Contributor on Monday, September 17th, 2012
There are two kinds of Group Leaders Forum at NPCA:
- the virtual GLF where group leaders can communicate and pose questions or share solutions with other groups (http://community.peacecorpsconnect.org/groups/groupleadersforum); and
- the physical GLF, where we get together once a year to do the same thing, and also have the opportunity to propose changes to the ByLaws.
This year, the physical GLF was part of Peace Corps Connect – Minneapolis 2012, and we had almost three hours dedicated to group sharing activities…more than 2011, somewhat less than 2010…similar to 2009…my personal experience does not go much deeper than that.
This year we tried a World Café approach to sharing ideas. Based on the surveys that I sent around late last year and early this year, I identified eight key themes that kept coming up as special group concerns:
1. Data Sharing and Privacy Policies
2. Leadership Skills
3. Membership Engagement and Development
5. Startup or Restructure Legal Issues
6. Intra-group communication
7. Inter-group communication
The room was setup with eight tables that each seated up to 10 people. The tables were hosted by an NPCA staff or Board member, whose job was simply to welcome the participants, introduce the topic, and take notes. There was a timekeeper, who rang a bell after 8 minutes of discussion. It was fast-paced, and people kept moving from table to table. I noticed lively discussions at all the tables once we were underway, and the concept seemed to be well-received.
One helpful suggestion was that we do something similar next year, but precede the GLF with relevant training sessions. For example, this year there was a session on Friday entitled “How to Start a Non-Profit,” led by RPCV Brian Singer. He presented lots of excellent information covering the details of registration and organization, which several people found helpful. Those who attended were able to make the most of the “Startup or Restructure Legal Issues” World Café discussion on Sunday.
The draft minutes of the physical GLF will be posted soon on the NPCA website, and on the virtual GLF; I am trying to sort out the details of one of the sessions before posting the information. They will include the notes from each of the World Café sessions, and I hope these will be of interest and use.
I look forward to hearing from group leaders about what you would like to see for the physical-GLF next year at Peace Corps Connect – Boston 2013! Mark the date of June 28-30, 2013!