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Story of the NIRES Water Sustainability sandpit

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Story of how a knowledge ecologist facilitates a research sandpit for NIRES the Newcastle (University) Institute for Research on Sustainability http://www.ncl.ac.uk/sustainability/
18 Students, 3 tutors and a knowledge ecologist all brought together in a Youth Hostel in Alnwick for two days in June 2013 to look at ideas on how to meet the 8 Global Challenges on fresh water.
The best idea(s) must be multi-disciplinary and stand the chance of winning up to £2000 of funding

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Story of the NIRES Water Sustainability sandpit

  1. 1. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 1NIRES - Alnwick18 - 19 June 2013Facilitated by:Ron Donaldsonknowledge ecologistThe Story of the workshop ...
  2. 2. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 2Water Theme “flow” sandpitfor Early Career ResearchersNIRES – The Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS) coordinates research acrosstraditional discipline boundaries to deliver practical, engaged solutions to real-world issues,under the banner of Enough, For All, Forever.
  3. 3. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 3A knowledge ecology approach entails:● Creating the starting conditions fornew relationships and collaboration.● Exploring the narrative landscape.● Removing constraints and disruptinglinear thinking, to allow an anticipatoryawareness of the present to emerge.● Seeding, triggering and encouragingcreative thinking.● Amplifying the positive and dampening thenegative, by way of feedback.● Promoting storytelling as a way toshare knowledge and ideas.The locationThe Youth Hostel at Alnwick,Northumberland
  4. 4. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 4The 8 Global water challenges explainedas a backdrop to this sand pit event ...
  5. 5. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 5A different room, light, airy, buzzing with enthusiasm.Minimal instruction, maximum self organising,self realising and experiential learning.
  6. 6. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 6An energiser to get everyone started...
  7. 7. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 7Purposefully leading the witness into self-realising thefailings of human problem solving...
  8. 8. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 8Experiencing the problem of human, pattern matchingand embedded linear thinking
  9. 9. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 9Future BackwardsA Cognitive Edge Method
  10. 10. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 10In relation to Water and Sustainability:What is the current situation ?...
  11. 11. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 11
  12. 12. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 12The facilitator uses only light constraints to keep the exercise on track ...
  13. 13. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 13Other marker pens are available ...
  14. 14. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 14The past is plotted out, by key event, decision and turning point, but always backwards ...
  15. 15. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 15What if, in five years time,everything that could gowrong, does go wrong ? ...
  16. 16. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 16What if, in five years time, everything that could go right, does go right...
  17. 17. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 17
  18. 18. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 18A volunteer storyteller from each group prepares to share their story ...
  19. 19. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 19Once upon a time ... sharing the story with the other groups.
  20. 20. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 20Three stories, three different perspectives...
  21. 21. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 21Having made sense of the current situation by way of the three stories.New collaborative groupings discuss creative ideas to tackle each ofthe Grand Challenges
  22. 22. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 22Then rotate and build on each others ideas...
  23. 23. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 23Co-creating ideas and deep thinking...
  24. 24. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 24All the creative ideas areshepherded into an Idea Park
  25. 25. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 2586 Creative ideas collaboratively emergedfrom under two hours of facilitated activities.
  26. 26. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 26Ideas are considered and sponsors invited to pitch for a collaborative,inter disciplinary team on an idea that attracts or intrigues...
  27. 27. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 27We have crossed the bridge from divergentcreative thinking with new colleagues to theconvergent development of ideas byconnected and committed collaborative groupsOne of two local excursions to takeparticipants minds off the challenge,allow new ideas to form and more importantlyopportunity to chat and connect with each other
  28. 28. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 28The newly formed groups develop their ideas,roles and relationships ...
  29. 29. © Rondon 2013 All Rights ReservedCHAOS SIMPLECOMPLEX COMPLICATEDOne outcomecertain and predictableOne Outcometakes time but repeatableMany outcomesmake sensein retrospectOutcome unpredictableCognitiveEdgeProjector bring in an expertSafe to FailExperimentTake controlMove situationinto another domainTo Do List… diagnosed using the CYNEFIN FRAMEWORKcontextualised using material from Future Backwards
  30. 30. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 30Pitching and receiving feedbackIn response, everyone completes a yellow“Things that I would amplify” and an orange“Things that I would dampen” post-it andgives these to the group as feedback.Initial thoughts are pitched to all theparticipants and tutors as a peer review.
  31. 31. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 31Embedding the feedbackParticipants make their own senseof the feedback and adapt their projectand pitch accordingly.The idea improves and itsweaknesses are minimisedBenefits increase, costs andharms are reduced.
  32. 32. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 32Deadline for submissionsFinally the proposal is capturedin a pre-determined format andsubmitted, digitally, to the Tutors,for assessment against pre-determinedand published criteria.
  33. 33. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 33A Dragons Den style pitch of the ideasthen follows
  34. 34. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 34Time to relax with a drink while decisions are made...
  35. 35. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved 35The proud winners emerge triumphantand pose for publicity shots
  36. 36. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved36Ron is a very experienced trainer and facilitator.He has worked in Change and KnowledgeManagement (KM) for more than 15 years.He is accredited in Cognitive Edge(narrative and complexity based methods)Knowledge Associates KM Methodology andTRIZ (the Russian Problem Solving method).He has brought together the best methodscurrently available into an ecologicalapproach which focusses on (and amplifies)the flow of ideas through communities(not individuals) within a wider ecosystem.Facilitated WorkshopSatisfied clients include:BAE Systems, Oracle, MOD, Mars, MBDA,Dept of Health, Pfizer, Girl Guides Assoc,Envision, Peterborough Racial Equality CouncilLead facilitator: Ron Donaldson
  37. 37. © Rondon 2013 All Rights Reserved37FEEDBACKSo thats 100% then...So if you know of anyonewho might benefitfrom a workshop like thisplease get in touch ...
  38. 38. Ecology of KnowledgeNarrative – Complexity - CommunityBased: Peterborough, UKemail: ezrond@gmail.commobile: 07833 454211twitter: @rondonblog: rondon.wordpress.comRon Donaldsonknowledge ecologistAccredited Knowledge Associates, Cognitive Edge & TRIZ practitioner

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