This is a guest post by Kathryn Meisner, Director of Hive Toronto.
Hive Toronto Learning Network (Hive Toronto) recently came together for two afternoons to accomplish two things:
- Continue to define Hive Toronto’s core beliefs
- Discuss the dispersal of funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s (OTF) grant to the Mozilla for Hive Toronto’s “Collaborative Community Projects.”
- Explore on-ramps to collaborate on Hive projects, whether funded or not
I added item number three because it was an unexpected—but very welcome—take away that was not an original goal for our eight hours together. More on this at the end of this post. Hint: Hive members can do more than they probably know.
The plan was to surface and translate Hive Toronto’s core beliefs into building blocks for the draft of the project proposals.
Why involve Hive members in this co-creation? Because in addition to reflecting the needs of our funders and our partners, we wanted the proposal process to reflect the goals of Hive Toronto and its members. And through this unique funding situation, we have been afforded the opportunity to do so.
Leah Gilliam, then Hive NYC’s Portfolio Strategist, led several member organizations through a design charrette to delve deeper into these conversations. Don’t know what a design charrette is? You’re not alone—think of it as a guided brainstorming process.
Hive operates with an open ethos which means that we involve participation as much as possible. A key thing to note about working in the open—and with Hive Learning Networks in general—although we seek input and collaboration, it is not the same as consensus-based decision making.
For a glimpse into how we spent our time together and what went down, check out the agenda and notes from our two afternoon-long of conversations on this Etherpad.
We issued an open invitation to all Hive Toronto members to participate in this charrette process. Over the course of the two afternoons, we worked with members from eight organizations:
As is the nature of networks, not everyone could attend so we set out to document our process and outcomes so we could bring our thinking to the larger Hive.
Since Hive is a system of interrelated partners and organizations, we started out by identifying Hive Toronto and its network of stakeholders. We did this by contemplating, who’s involved and how should their needs and interests be considered.
The result of that discussion? A whiteboard version of this diagram: