|Calling all change makers!
Do you want to join or help build a more cohesive, global Community of FSSD-related Change Makers? Here is a link with different options to register your interest. The deadline to volunteer for the Launch Team is January 31, 2013, so act fast!
Last month, in December 2012, I wrote a post entitled “Name It and Come Together”, in which I described the two project proposals I believed were the highest priority leverage points for disseminating the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) more broadly, and fostering a more cohesive community of FSSD change makers. These were:
1. NAME IT: Build the Base for the FSSD Brand by
a. articulating its Unique Value, and
b. giving it a New Name that is easy to say and remember, globally
2. COME TOGETHER: Build an Online Sharing Platform for the broader FSSD Community of Change-Makers
Several of you replied, raising your hands to let us know you’d like to be involved, which has been very exciting!
Shortly after writing that post, however, I received a raft of excellent feedback on what should still be considered and done before launching the call to form task forces around these projects. Sifting through this feedback, at first I felt a bit overwhelmed. But, taken as a whole, it made me realize something important, that has caused me to shift tactics in my efforts to help get our happy community off the ground.
I was a spider, and I was too far downstream
Here’s what I realized:
- I can’t do all the things the feedback suggested by myself, especially since my role at The Natural Step International (TNSI) is turning out to involve a lot more than “just” FSSD diffusion and community building, which limits my time for these projects.
- I shouldn’t even try to do all the things the feedback suggested, because the whole point is that this is supposed to be about co-creation and helping a community to build itself, not about Scott trying to build something for the community.
In other words, I realized I was one step too far "downstream." In working to identify the first two priority projects for FSSD dissemination and the fostering of the community, I had been proceeding by using a “spider” model. I was hosting many small conversations, sensing the system, studying the challenges and thinking about ‘best’ ways forward from my imagined spot at the center of the web. Everything was flowing through me—a single point in the system. While I believe this method produced some things of value, I also realized it is not co-creation, and it is not TNSI helping the community to lead itself…which is our mission with this agenda.
Need for a Launch Team to Set The Priorities and Call The Task Forces
|Join and you get to wear these nifty outfits.
(Lockheed Martin photo/Bruce Johnson)
So in the spirit of learning loops and rapid iteration (in this case of our plans) we’re stepping "upstream" a little. That is, instead of calling for specific task forces to tackle the FSSD name and the online community platform, we are first calling for the assembly of a multi-stakeholder “Launch Team” that broadly represents the community, so it can decide what the priorities are, set the agenda, develop the process and call the task forces. I would be one member of that team.
The advantages of this approach are that we get more minds and hands working on this big task, we are more likely to have outcomes that accurately reflect the needs of the community, and done right, we can foster community engagement as we build.
In this model, my original two priority projects are presented as options/ideas to the community team. I will provide the rationale for these being priorities based on my studies so far, but the team will decide (perhaps in consultation with the broader community). Other priorities to choose from may include community governance and business modeling, possible timelines for ongoing development, gatherings or events (a “drumbeat” of activity), and a plan for further branding and marketing.
Next Step: Team Formation and Expressions of Interest…That’s YOU!
Now for the fun part—let’s get rolling and see what we can build!
A brief of what we anticipate the Launch Team’s purpose, anticipated activities and composition might look like is provided below for those who would like to read further. For options to express your interest, please click here before January 31, 2013!
Launch Team Preliminary Brief
Everything below is what I propose based on my research and thinking so far. It is all subject to review, change and/or approval by the team itself once formed. I consider this a rough draft.
To represent and engage the community in building on the Tarm Principles in order to take the first steps needed to organize and launch an FSSD-related Community of Change-Makers.
- Confirm the Principles that came out of Tarm, and a vision of success
- Identify a map of priority projects, and structures to host these projects
- Assemble community-sourced task forces to carry out these priority projects
- Decide at what points throughout the process which types of community engagement would be fitting, and host that engagement
- Identify the point at which the Launch Team will know it has achieved success, and will disband.
- The (starting) scope of the community is defined
- Principles and a vision of success for such a community are confirmed
- Priority projects to launch and maintain the community are identified
- Task forces and processes to carry out those projects are identified and launched
Core Skill Sets Needed for Success
On The Core Team:
- All should have the ability to work well in collaborative, co-creative settings.
Not everyone will have all the following skills; we just need them in the room:
- Project management
- Inclusive, multi-stakeholder process design and/or facilitation, especially when the stakeholders are:
- whole communities of people, and/or
- scattered across the globe and unlikely to assemble in a room together
- Deep knowledge of the FSSD and experience putting it into practice with groups of people
May Be On The Core Team Or In A Circle Of Advisors
- IT expertise/knowledge, especially around online sharing and collaboration tools and platforms
- Crowdsourcing expertise, including knowledge of effective platforms and processes for this
- Successful business modeling
- Experience fostering communities of practice and/or online communities
- Experience hosting, facilitating and/or managing online communities
Stakeholder Groups To Be Represented
- FSSD pullers (those pulling it into organizations from the inside, like sustainability directors—often these are the clients or past clients of FSSD advisor/consultants)
- FSSD pushers (those pushing it into organizations from the outside, like advisor/consultants)
- TNS pushers
- non-TNS pushers
- FSSD academics
- Other FSSD practitioners (Who are you? What are you doing with the FSSD?)
I believe the following stakeholder groups also need to be either represented on the core team, or included in some integral way in our process, however they overlap with one another or the descriptors above:
- The TNS community
- The Master's in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability (MSLS)/Master’s in Sustainable Product-Service System Innovation (MSPI) Alumni communities
- The Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) community
- That part of the broader FSSD community that is unaffiliated with TNS, MSLS/MSPI or BTH.
- FSSD client/users
Light operating principles for us to build on once the team is formed
One of the first tasks of the team will be to form its own operating principles and select a decision-making method. I suggest the following as some foundational principles to get us rolling.
- We respect ourselves and one another
- We listen with attention and speak with intention
- We seek out our varying strengths and build on them, together
- We keep the work and the mission in the center, not ourselves
- We focus on solutions, not problems
- We make use of what’s here, not what isn’t
- We keep our promises; the mission depends on this
Thanks for reading.
For options to express your interest in participating, please fill out the form below before January 31, 2013!