We are an umbrella organization meant to support local groups to form collaboration networks by using convergences.
A bioregional or thematic gathering, where individuals, communities and organizations form networks of collaboration and undergo a community building process together.
These are opportunities for connection, exchange, learning, inspiration, networking and sharing.
The participants are invited to co-create the program in advance and also take long term ownership of the convergences and networks that serve them.
During a CC you can experience a wide variety of happenings, from lightning presentations and workshops provided by the participants themselves to group dynamics and a gift economy market. According to the needs and the interest of the participants and the organizations they represent, thematic work groups are formed. They will continue the work on solutions after the event.
We believe that grassroots collective action is the emerging solution for today’s great environmental and social challenges.
If the existing projects, networks and movements that are working to make the world a better for everyone can succeed then we all succeed. This is how we measure the effectiveness of Communities Convergence.
For us community is a form of human co-existence where we value and support each other, practice respect for all people, care for the Earth and appreciate the miracle of Life.
Communities may have many different forms and practices and all hold a piece of the truth. Some examples are: ecovillages, networks, permaculture projects, transition initiatives, social etreprises, co-housing projects or any organization or association that holds a vision that values human potential and the inherent worth of Nature. We welcome all pioneers of change to converge!
We charge no event fees but we decided not to pay in advance for the food and accommodations of those attending as it is a big effort for our team but rather to engage participants to assume co-responsibility for this gift. We would love to support any and all participants who want to take part actively in the convergences to be able to join without being blocked by money.
If this is to be possible and sustainable we must be able to support those who are devoted and working for this project and to make solidarity funds to support participants who can not pay for basic food and acomodations. We are friend-funding so please support our work and especially if you want to come: buy the only ticket you can buy for a CC – the Gift ticket!
We build trust and learn about eachother’s skills, experience and projects, so that we can map out our needs and potential for collaboration.
The 6 days of a Convergence are used wisely because we research and design the structure or ‘frame’ of the gathering together with interested participants and experts in the field. In this way we are pioneering emergent design through crowdsourcing.
The content of the convergence comes from participants, their projects, the workshops they offer, work groups they wish to form etc.
We will be using: Open Space Technology, World Cafe, Lightning Talks, Flash Forums, Fish-bowl Forums, Constellation Dynamics, Networking Dynamics, Deep Ecology, Dragon Dreaming, Sociocracy, spaces for Spontaneous Self-Organization and a Free-economy market as well as many other tools for organizing meetings and work groups.
These are all innovative participatory methods that allow a diverse group to easily sort out topics according to interest and work on them creatively and efficiently but also in a fun and fulfilling way.
This allows fluid participation and gives everyone an overview of different sessions and outcomes. They will help us to cluster around common passions and needs and practice the skills of communication and collaboration.
If you feel inspired and wish to co-create the frame of a convergence together with us please contact us!
Open Space Technology: Open Space provides the opportunity for participants of a meeting, conference or other event to propose topics they would like to discuss or host sessions of their choice. It creates a flexible framework for sharing ideas, discussion, spontaneous workshops and brainstorms.
Learn more about Open Space technology here: http://www.openspaceworld.org/cgi/wiki.cgi?AboutOpenSpace, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology or http://www.openspaceworld.org/
World Café: World Café is a method to host large group dialogue about a certain question or topic. It is based on the recognition that “the best talks happen in the coffee breaks” therefore a cozy café atmosphere is created where participants can discuss the proposed questions around a small table with a cup of tea or coffee by hand.
Learn more: http://www.theworldcafe.com/method.html
Dragon Dreaming: “What this project has to be like for you to be the best project of your life?” This is the starting question of the Dragon Dreaming participatory project design method, which aims to transform dreams into reality. Dragon Dreaming is a way to create sustainable projects which support individual growth, community building and are in service to the Earth.
Learn more about Dragon Dreaming here: http://dragondreaming.org/en/dragon-dreaming/
The Work That Reconnects – Deep Ecology: “Drawing from deep ecology, systems theory and spiritual traditions, the Work That Reconnects (WTR) builds motivation, creativity, courage and solidarity for the transition to a sustainable human culture. First emerging in 1978, this pioneering, open-source body of work has its roots in the teachings and experiential methods of Joanna Macy.”
Learn more: http://workthatreconnects.org/the-work-that-reconnects/
Sociocracy: “Sociocracy is a method of structuring and governing organizations. The method is elegant, effective, and simple. The organizations are balanced, energetic, resilient, responsive, strong, and synchronized.”
Learn more: http://www.sociocracy.info/what-is-sociocrac/
The Way of Council: “Council supports both personal expression and authenticity, provides effective tools for sustainable development, conscious communication, community-building and non-hierachical forms of leadership in relationships community and organisations.”
Learn more: http://www.heart-source.com/council/way_of_council.html, http://www.ancienthealingways.co.uk/way-of-council/
Fishbowl: The Fishbowl is based on a small circle of people having a discussion surrounded by a larger circle. Since one place is always left in the small circle, the larger circle can always be involved in the conversation not only as observers but as “jump-in participants”. This way the members of the small circle are always rotating and keeping the discussion fresh, lively and providing the space to discover multiply perspectives.
Learn more: http://www.kstoolkit.org/Fish+Bowl
Communities Convergence aim is to bring people of all nationalities and walks of life together in making a real change in the way we interact with each other and our environment; to network, maximize resources and to avoid reinventing the wheel. We believe in community, active participation and responsibility. Those attending and benefiting from Convergences shall be empowered to bring in the knowledge and energy needed for creating them.
Collective intelligence can emerge in groups where trust, responsibility and solidarity are cultivated.
We use an organizational model inspired by Sociocracy/Dynamic Governance that empowers the teams working on different convergences while creating an umbrella structure that upholds the different events and makes it easy for partners and volunteers to join and contribute.
We wish to see participants and other beneficiaries being part of the creation of the convergences and the network!