Portion of sketch notes by Yvonne Hollandy from a recent Generative Communities call. To see the full rendering click here.

Changing the Way We Do Society
‘A-ha’s’ and possibilities from a journey in Peterborough

The work of cultivating generative communities might be talked about as “changing the way we do society to be in service to life.”

A core shaping question for those gathering in a way that is generative is this: Ideas are cheap now, but what can we land in that can actually happen based on our intentions, and how do we make that real given the limitations of our time together?

Embodying and Activating the Senses

Weaving the narrative arts in with the hosting tends the field for unexpected change. The narrative arts could be phrase poems that come out of a gathering, a news story, a sense-making theory piece, a video including all these embodiment pieces that are really important and imaginative.

In doing this work of hosting, when we think a certain thing OUGHT to be happening that will blind us to what actually WANTS to happen.

  The amount of stuff that dies only for something new to come out of it afterwards seems to be an almost necessary pattern.

Powerful moments have come out of embodying and activating the sensing piece.

Convergence and Divergence Patterns

Convergence and divergence patterns have people come together in relationship with an intention of seeing each other and then in that process something happens between them and makes something new possible.

Many times those groups that decide to come together on an “energy point” to create something get smaller and smaller and they end up fearing nothing will happen. Then the group becomes two to three people and then something happens and then this large thing starts to open up that no one expected.

So the thing they thought they would create together at the beginning was a first best approximation. But it was not until they chipped away to get to a small number of people that there arose a moment when people stopped talking, paused, and then an agitation set in that could reduce the number of people into a space without guidance or structure, or at least with minimal structure.

Sometimes you need to express energy outwards to see that there’s no life there.

The amount of stuff that dies only for something new to come out of it afterwards seems to be an almost necessary pattern.

The Reconvening Process

There’s also the reconvening process of becoming small unto becoming big again. That pattern is critical. It’s done best in a place where a sense of being in that place is very important, so we’re not always weaving interconnections widely geographically. The sense is when this hasn’t been happening it’s harder to hold the field and to witness outcomes because the activity becomes too diffuse and we can’t see it.

These insights are drawn largely from a conversation on cultivating generative communities. Click here to read the full transcript.

  • More to Come