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Making a difference by Doing One Less Thing
 

Making a difference by Doing One Less Thing

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In today’s busy world, the focus appears to be on more and more doing. More mandates, regulations, guidelines and procedures. To make things worse, providing opportunities to help adults and ...

In today’s busy world, the focus appears to be on more and more doing. More mandates, regulations, guidelines and procedures. To make things worse, providing opportunities to help adults and children learn sustainable practices to living may be severely limited by the current paradigm of education – based on telling. This current state raises the key question of how can we work towards building relationships and truly empowering people to learn how to integrate sustainable practice into their day to day lives?

Sustainability Victoria's purpose is to show the way to using our resources more efficiently and reducing our everyday environmental impacts. As part of their ResourceSmart Education programs Sustainability Victoria is facilitating a growing Community of Practice that is working together to continuously improve Education for Sustainability (EfS) in Victorian communities.

The key methodology being used across this growing Community of Practice is an approach known as Open Space Technology which has at its heart the principle of “doing one less thing”, an approach that produces co-ordinated documented and action-oriented outcomes that participants themselves take responsibility for.

The presenters will share the story of how Open Space Technology has been applied to the Victorian EfS sector Community of Practice, the themes that have emerged, actions undertaken and reflections of Community of Practice members.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn how the 4 principles and one law of Open Space Technology enable people to participate in ways that are most meaningful to them.

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    Making a difference by Doing One Less Thing Making a difference by Doing One Less Thing Presentation Transcript

    • How Doing One Less Thing
      is
      Improving Education for Sustainability Practice in Victoria
    • “Open Space is simplicity itself. All you have to do is sit in a circle, create a bulletin board, open a marketplace and go to work. That’s all there is.
      The truth of the matter is that anyone with a good head and a good heart can do it, but there’s a lot more to learn as well.
      In fact, you can do it right now, but it will take you a lifetime, probably, to do it well.”
      Harrison Owen
      Founder and Originator of Open Space Technology
    • Passion and Responsibility are the two keys for a successful meeting. Without passion, enthusiasm for an idea will soon wane, and without responsibility, there is the risk that the ideas will never move forward.
    • “The impact of the Gippsland Open Space forum held in March is difficult to quantify, but has been a lasting and valuable one.”
    • “The original session by itself has had many effects, particularly by linking people in a meaningful way who would not have been connected by any other method and has galvanised many of them to continued efforts in the area of Education for Sustainability in Gippsland - and not only what is traditionally thought of as "education“.
    • “Gippsland Education for Sustainability has benefited from the links formed in many ways, an example being the way that Heyfield Resource Centre has blossomed through its director becoming known throughout the region and being asked to give talks to different groups and in turn she has gained knowledge from these groups to take back to Heyfield.”
    • “Another example is the produce swaps which were started at Trafalgar and Poowong which have continued and inspired efforts in producing more healthy food. These are just a couple of examples of what was "galvanised" and followed from this first session. There are many more.”
    • “Open Space technology has become the regular way of working for the Gippsland Education for Sustainability Network.”
    • “We actually decided to adopt the methodology as the regular way we network. It is perfect for our situation where we just want to provide a way for people to connect without necessarily having a particular agenda.  
      Aside from this we might have other methodologies for other purposes, eg a specific workshop or presentation or steering group meeting,  but the open space technologies is the methodology we chose for regular networking.”
    • “Regarding the effects of Opening The Box, as a performance measure there has been a great amount of traffic on the OTB Groupsite, with a wide variety of conversations appearing, and being followed. Some noteworthy aspects of the conversations are that: all of this has occurred without needing to be 'nursed along' by the Steering Committee or Managers of the groupsite; they are amongst people from across the sectors, especially education, community and government; and that open and free exchange of ideas, resources and events is occurring.”
    • “Good community architecture invites many different levels of participation. Consider the variety of activities we might find in a city neighbourhood on any given day: solitary shoppers, people walking briskly to work, friends out for a casual stroll, couples chatting at an outdoor cafe, a crowd watching a street performer. Others are on the periphery, watching the action from the windows above the street.”
      Ettienne Wegner
      Best known for foundational work in the field Communities of Practice
      (Extracted from his paper “7 Principles for cultivating communities of practice”)