The Technology of Participation (ToP) methods were distilled from decades of experience facilitating meaningful, transformative experiences in community. The methods have been applied throughout the world, in cities, towns, and villages. They have been used at every scale from the United Nations and Fortune 500 companies down to staff meetings and family gatherings. For most of its history, ToP has thrived in-person, face-to-face.
For years, the focus of the ICA Social Research Center (SRC) has been to translate our massive collection of written and recorded material to a comprehensive and accessible website. Throughout that journey of digitizing documents and building websites, the dedicated team of volunteers also began exploring tools for working together virtually. By last fall, the team was reconsidering the in-person meetings that had brought colleagues to Chicago twice each year for the past decade.
We’re excited to announce that ICA will be working with the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition on the Listen. Lead. Share. (LLS) campaign! Last year, we joined a cohort of organizations working to educate the public about clean energy and hear feedback from residents about recommendations for the upcoming energy bill for Illinois.
If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class and our nation
We at the Institute of Cultural Affairs and the Ecumenical Institute are infuriated and deeply distressed by the murder of Black people by law enforcement and the continued racial violence being directed at the Black community over and over again on a daily basis.
We stand in solidarity with protesters, activists, and organizers expressing outrage at the long history of systemic racism that continues to perpetuate injustice with complicity by public officials.
The One Earth Film Festival (OEFF) model is tried and true. For nearly a decade, they’ve made environmental film screenings into social events by embedding our Technology of Participation (ToP) methods to stimulate audience participation. In an era of online streaming and unprecedented digital connectivity where it’s easier than ever to watch films from home, OEFF makes a powerful case for the benefits of physically coming together.
How can we maintain grassroots energy in the midst of social distancing? The first Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) meeting of the year, which was also the first virtual full network meeting, explored that question on March 26, as the changes wrought by COVID-19 and public health guidelines swept Chicago.
When I look at the shift in perspective that I experienced in participating in ICA methods, when I’ve engaged meaningfully with people that are steeped in the practices and principles of ICA, it warms my heart to know that people can be grounded in community, radically caring for one another, and making progress.
I feel like ToP brings hozho—balance—to my life. It helps me a listen, but also opens opportunities for me to share my voice and to be heard and to just be a better human being, and to be a better mother, a better wife, a better colleague, a better friend, so that's what ToP is to me. It brings balance to my life.
In the days before the ToP Network Annual Gathering, three facilitators completed assessments and became Certified ToP Facilitators (CTFs). Congratulations to Jennifer Allen of Long Beach, CA, Jasmine Jetton-Gonzales of Deerfield, IL, and Diana McCall of Asheville, NC!
Certification is a long journey of skill-building, practice, and reflection. Candidates create and submit extensive portfolios that showcase their competencies and application of ToP methods, get structured feedback from mentors and clients, and are supported by a coach and a community of practice. Upon completion of the final assessment, facilitators are welcomed into the global community of ToP practitioners.