Thursday, 30 April 2015

As this project is an experiment, it must be assumed that the material below will evolve so as to reflect any development of thought.

What is the Big Conversation

Flowing out of the idea that individuals and communities should flourish, the purpose of The Big Conversation is to stimulate conversation in a defined geographical area on the aspirations, questions, issues and hopes that most concern its residents. 

Our vision is to facilitate conversations among people at the kitchen table, in the local pub, at the school canteen or work cafeteria, in the local community centre or across the borough. 

Rather than give space only to the more vocal, the goal is to hear the voice of those from across all sections of a community. More than simply stimulate conversation, we are keen that communities should work with the stakeholders in their location to bring about positive change.

Setting up the big conversation
For a Big Conversation to run well at the centre of it there is a leader (could be two or three people) with influence who have caught the vision of what it is about, have a relationship with other community leaders and know how to harness a group of people to facilitate the project.

This individual will canvas support from other community leaders and then organise a core group who will help them facilitate the initiative. This can take between 3 and 12 months.

The big conversation is in 3 stages:

Stage 1: Letting your community speak: Discovering your community’s voice!

Rather than imposing what we think are the questions that a community needs to be asking, the goal of The Big Conversation is to work with the community to hear what are their aspirations, questions, issues and hopes.

See “Run - Phase 1” for a list of mechanisms that can be used to facilitate this phase.

Stage 2: Stimulating conversations 

Phase 2 is all about encouraging and facilitating conversations across the community on the content raised in Phase 1.

See “Run - Phase 2” for a list of mechanisms that can be used to facilitate this phase.

Stage 3: Working with stakeholders

We will launch this stage with a summary of the questions and discussions had so far, with the aim of then working with stakeholders in the community to address these.