RCE West Sweden-2014

1. Project Title: 
Summer seminar - Futures Experience
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
Select your options: 
3. Project partner contact information : 
Studieförbundet Vuxenskolan
Partner and organizer
Main Contact: 
Miriam Sannum, miriam.sannum@sv.se
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

The project, or summer seminar, brought eighteen participants from our RCE region and beyond the region together and we worked through a Futures Experience to reflect on what organizations and leadership could look like in an environment are calling the ‘New Normal’? For those of us involved in the Regional Centre of Expertise West Sweden (RCEWS) this in fact is our core research question. The answer to this is not definitive, nor precise. We understand and accept that it must be open ended, messy and even confusing. That however is not a bad thing. To come up with answers too soon would in fact lead us back into the old patterns that have created the social, environmental and economic conditions that have lead us to champion regional renewal through the RCE structure. We addressed collective exploration and we used drama as a basis. Drama exercises were interweaved with Futures sessions. The drama exercises are based on Stanislavsky’s method and the Futures sessions are based on four ideas: - ‘existential dissonance’ - ‘meme’. Memes are the cultural equivalent of genes - ‘anticipatory learning’ - ‘relational consciousness’ These four ideas, or concepts, set the scene for our workshops and our reflection on the possibilities for our emerging RCEWS. The following themes were addressed in the workshops - Three Objects. The purpose of this exercise was to locate the future in our own lives and to get us thinking by association as opposed to in a linear or ‘rational’ way. - The Futures Wall. In this workshop we broke into groups and answered three questions related to key drivers of today, bid ideas changing our world today and things we’ll need to do different in the future. Finally the groups were asked to create a futures algebra from one element from each set of questions and offer a final synthesis. - Futures Mandalas. This workshop focused on the implications of ideas on one another. The topic was power: Hard Leadership and Soft Leadership. We all agreed that we wanted our RCEWS to express soft leadership. The question we then asked how might this be expressed what would it look like? There was no ready answer to this question. - The fourth and final workshop involved an exploration of what a traditional and ‘soft’ or New Normal organization looks like. This workshop was interrupted because confusion and discomfort arose in the soft New Normal group and we became very much aware that although we know what we do not want it is harder to describe what we do want of an organization. In conclusion we identified one important thing during the Summer Seminar; we need time to do this work and that the new normal was an invitation to take time. The RCEWS is a rich opportunity to do better things. We will nurture this space and run more seminars and create more spaces to explore. We will try to avoid giving answers and generating solutions instead focusing on creating opportunities and possibilities. This is a key to the social learning at the heart of our RCEWS.

6. Project status
The project is finished for this year, but more projects/Summer seminars will follow. The RCEWS is a rich opportunity to do better things. We will nurture this space and run more seminars and create more spaces to explore.
8. Tagging
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