TA/Neutral Convener Services
TRANSPARTISAN ALLIANCE / NEUTRAL CONVENER / EVENT DESIGN, PLANNING + FACILITATION SERVICES
- TA ORIGINATES AND COLLABORATES ON LOCAL, STATE, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL EVENTS
The Transpartisan Alliance (TA) recognizes the need for and has become a neutral, trustworthy and effective convener (mettings, confernces, summits and conventions) for the purpose of bridging divides and generating high performance partnerships, solutions, projects and policies for enhancing economic, environmental and social well-being.
- TA also works in collaboration with other conveners to bring a Transpartisan presentation, panel and/or process to their conference or meeting.
- TA also provides consulting services for the design, organizing and facilitation of meetings that wish to be “Transpartisan by Design”.
The Transpartisan by Design Process: Creating Transformative Meeting Spaces
The continued honing of the transpartisan small group and Town Hall processes is an ongoing aspect of the Transpartisan Alliance’s work. This aspect of the Alliance’s work focuses on integrating, innovating, and refining the art and science of dialogue, deliberation and informed decision-making as it applies to now polarized partisan politics and issues. Some of the processes we are combining in innovative ways include:
• World Café: an innovative yet simple methodology for hosting more intimate conversations about questions that matter;
• Theory “U”: an approach to exploring the future that allows the inner knowledge and collective intelligence of the participants to emerge;
• Audience Response Wireless Keypad Polling: a tool to immediately assess group convergence and divergence through live input and feedback;
• Affinity Diagramming and Theme Weaving: using idea walls for capturing, synthesizing, and identifying relationships between ideas;
• Appreciative Inquiry: the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a groups’ capacity to apprehend, anticipate and heighten positive potential;
• Open Source Intelligence: providing missing knowledge and identifying specific information needs to support the public conversation about policy choices and true costs;
• Online Collaboration: live process documentation with interaction and input from people not physically in attendance.
The Campaign to Unite U S and the Uniting Communities Tour
Building on the national network of relationships and goodwill from five years of transpartisan events to date, in October a two member transpartisan “seed planting” team consisting of Reuniting America co-founder Joseph McCormick and conflict documentarian and Compassionate Listening facilitator Peter Hwosch (documenting this work since early 2006) will take to the road. They will convene transpartisan events in Portland, Seattle, Silicon Valley and Fresno this fall. Beginning January 2010 they will begin to travel to and around the capitals of the “nations” of cultural affinity within the U.S. depicted below – New England, Foundry, Breadbasket, Dixie , The Islands , Mexamerica , The Empty Quarter, and Ecotopia.
I. Transpartisan Introductory Meetings
As the first step in the Uniting Communities Tour, Joseph and Peter will come to a community at a time and place that is convenient – anywhere from someone’s living room, to a local library, to a place of worship – and conduct a 3 hour session aimed at exploring the passion for the transpartisan approach. Each session will be charged with personal story of how they came to be transpartisan, video content, circle dialogue and examples of practical applications of the Transpartisan Toolbox. At this initial event among 10 to 20 local leaders and community members the Transpartisan Toolbox workbook will be distributed. The goal of the evening is to a) motivate the group and inspire transpartisan action in the community, b) identify an organizer and c) identify two co-facilitators to start a Transpartisan Toolbox dialogue group.
II. “Building Political Cooperation” Town Halls
The Transpartisan Alliance will serve as advisor, coach and, in most cases, a co-convener of these events. They will assist with the design process, provide video content, provide speakers (where possible), and provide copies of the Transpartisan Toolbox workbook (to ignite additional groups) as well as a catalogue of books, CD’s and DVD merchandise to sell to offset the cost of the event. The first prototype versions of these events this fall will be called “Building Political Cooperation on Health, Food and Money” in Portland, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Fresno.
III. Transpartisan 101 Training
Some participants such as mediators, facilitators, trainers and coaches who attend Transpartisan Igniters and Town Halls will want to go deeper into the tools. It’s for these people we will offer a full day intensive workshop called “Transpartisan 101 Training.” At this gathering – first one planned for December 4-6 – participants will receive training sessions from national recognized mediators and facilitators, an intensive experience with the tools, be connected to our online resources and social network, and certified as Ambassadors to return to their community to begin convening and practicing.
IV. Solutions Summits
The emphasis of a Solutions Summit is on applying whole system, transpartisan thinking to address complex challenges in an issue area or sector like food, health or money. The Transpartisan Alliance will serve as a neutral co-convener facilitating a search for win/win public policy options that integrate knowledge, issues and interests from a wide range of stakeholders. These events will begin with a review of the transpartisan tools but then emphasize a whole systems thinking approach to creating public policy options. These summits will serve as incubators of out of the box choices for solving complex, interrelated problems. Participants will not decide among options and then advocate positions. There will be an explicit follow-up process to facilitate ongoing collaboration that leads to subsequent transpartisan activity under multiple banners. The first of these types of summit will be the Transpartisan Food Summit currently planned for early February 1010.
V. Citizen Summits
These Summits serve as a place to bring all of the above together. They are intended primarily to build relationships across divides. Each Summit will be focused on personal mastery skills, citizen empowerment training, and building grassroots networks. Invitees are people who are looking to build regional and national transpartisan relationships and networks. They will leave the Summit with innovative tools and skills, new connections, and restored inspiration for healthy citizenship. The Second American Citizens’ Summit, with a leadership pre-conference is currently planned for April 2010.
VI. Professional Documentarian
Since April 2006, many transpartisan events have been professionally documented by filmmaker Peter Hwosch (with documentary credits for using dialogue in resolving conflict in Israel-Palestine and the Balkans). The intent is to produce a myriad of media products that help shift the partisan cultural narrative. This video content will be fully integrated into our website and be used as a medium to disseminate the transpartisan principles far and wide. These videos will include:
- short promotional films to articulate the Transpartisan Alliance’s mission and inspire engagement;
- web-based instructional videos and longer format webinars on how to use the specific tools in the Transpartisan Toolbox;
- interviews with the citizen leaders of the Transpartisan Alliance;
- edits from the large Transpartisan Alliance events and strategy meetings to provide transparency, information and inspiration to supporters from the grassroots to the philanthropic level;
- soliciting and addressing Frequently Asked Questions about the Transpartisan Alliance and transpartisan facilitation;
- and much more.
Additionally, Hwosch Productions has a feature length documentary film under development, (to be independently funded), with the working title of “Transpartisan,” which will look at the wider issue of the partisan divide, its history and consequences, who is doing what, and how to become empowered and engaged. This film will serve to draw many more to the work of the Transpartisan Alliance, its mission, and resources.
VII: Transpartisan Consulting
There is demand at all levels society for the unique political bridge-building experience developed by members of the Transpartisan Alliance. The skills, tools and knowhow for constructively engaging across divides to achieve greater collaboration are in demand at all levels of society, within and between all types of organizations. As part of its mission the Transpartisan Alliance will offer fee based consulting services to conference planners, conveners, organizers and design teams for:
- framing purpose, themes, intended outcomes and event invitations in ways that attract politically diverse participants
- designing meetings and gatherings that create the level of safety and trust needed to address and process the emotional wounds of division
- applying transpartisan design principles to producing gatherings that maximize opportunity to connect, dialogue, deliberate and explore opportunities to build relationships/partnerships/collaborative initiatives going forward
VII. Online Organizing
The Transpartisan Alliance is currently re-branding an existing internet framework that can hold and organize the presence of thousands of participating organizations and up to millions of individual members. This framework:
- defines the basis for partnership and cooperation among participating organizations and individual members
- has a “broadcast email” function that can reach all participating individuals, and selective email functions that can reach individuals or organizations interested in specific topics
- dovetails with the existing Transpartisan Alliance social networking system, but does not duplicate its functions
This body of organizations and individual members, held in relationship through the internet framework, is the core power of the Alliance. Through this framework, organizations can interact with one another, support one another, interact with the public at large, and the at-large members of the Alliance.
Also built into this system are the organizing tools needed to support and coordinate the on-the-ground activists engaging in transpartisan initiatives in local communities.