Based on two recent posts (“Oh come ON, all ye faithful” and “Ego-fodder, colluding in crap activism and lousy parenting“), I’ve jotted down the following algorithm. What do people think?
1. Plausibility is the key. “Participation” is one of those motherhood and apple pie words that gets thrown in. What is the organisation’s ideology? What is its actual track record?
2. Is it even worth contacting them? Do they have “form” in promising one thing and not delivering?
3. “Dear x, I’ve seen your event “blah blah” advertised. Before I commit my limited time, energy and money, could you explain to me what steps you are taking to make sure it won’t involve us sitting in rows listening to experts, followed by Q and As dominated by the most knowledgeable, confident and/or vociferous? What lessons have been learnt from previous events, and what innovations are taking place to get us away from plenary-itis and workshops dominated by “sage on the stage?” Is “open space technology” going to be used, for example. If not, why not?
Yours sincerely, Comrade y”
4. Two strikes and you’re out. One is not enough – the movement matters. Three is more than a busy individual can afford.
5. Erm, we MUST get into habits of reflection, reflexiveness, public discussion of what has gone well and what hasn’t. And if not us, who? If not now, when?