On Thursday, January 24th, community leaders volunteering with the One Earth Film Festival (OEFF) came to ICA GreenRise to learn how to lead a focused conversation. ICA staff taught these volunteers the foundational method of the Technology of Participation (ToP) facilitation method to help them "educate, raise awareness, and inspire the adoption of solution-oriented sustainable actions." This is part of the film festival’s unique model: each of the 67 film screenings will go beyond the end credits by featured a facilitated dialogue. This community-centered, asset-based, and participatory approach is deeply aligned with our mission, and we have been proud to partner with OEFF for the past seven years.
The next day, trainers headed to the American Planning Association (APA) office in downtown Chicago to lead a workshop for community engagement specialists, city planners and engineering consultants from across Illinois. In addition to the focused conversation, participants learned an action planning process that gathers input from every person in a group to create a roadmap for implementation.
To close out the weekend, ICA staff met with board members of the Hermosa Neighborhood Association (HNA), a “resident advocacy group fighting for better city services, schools, parks, and safety” in the northwestern Chicago community. In the coming weeks, our staff will help HNA to craft their own strategic plan that will help them to understand their role within the community and create a sustainable future for their work.