Faial Community Day
A community weaving workshop in Faial Island.
One of my favourite things about living in Pico, is that it's a part of an archipelago of nine islands - each with their unique energy, landscape, and opportunities. Each island is a world, and together they form a galaxy.
I've recently had a pleasure to facilitate a community weaving workshop in Pico's closest neighbour - Faial island. This marks a significant step on the journey towards co-creating Azores Regenerative Network.
Here's a part of the invitation:
The word "community" can mean many different things. It can be challenging to align on a shared vision. And it can be even more challenging to actually work together and manifest our dreams. Yet, it's hard to shake off the feeling that creating together is not only more effective but also more fun. How could we do it effectively, given the context of our beautiful island?
The intention of this gathering is to get practical and move our collective energy forward.

The Workshop

Here's the outline:
  1. 1.
    Check in: how are you feeling? why are you here?
  2. 2.
    Theory: different community models; microsolidarity 101
  3. 3.
    Sharing: lessons from two years of implementing microsolidarity in Pico
  4. 4.
    Lunch break πŸ₯‘
  5. 5.
    Practice: Community Council - round of mapping & round of calls
  6. 6.
    Check out: how are you feeling? what are you taking away?
I've delivered the workshop using Cards - an analogue collaborative meta game I've been developing over the last two years, inspired by Zettlekasten method and "The Game" developed by the hacker community, which I've been introduced to a few years back while living in Astralship.
(If the tweet above doesn't load, click here.)
Cards for part 2 in full display:
Cards in display
Compacted version to make space for part 3:
Compacted version of cards
The story and lessons from Microsolidarity in Pico:
Cards with milestones of Pico Congregation
Note: Here are the milestones of our Pico congregation.

Community Council

​Community Council is a modular community catalysing game. In this iteration we played two rounds.
Round of Mapping showcased a few of the projects/crews open for participation that already exist in the island.
A wonderful moment occurred when one of the participants asked if there's a Tai Chi group in the island, and that was the project that was just about to be placed on the map.
Mapping existing crews and projects in Faial
Round of Calls resulted in calling 8 projects, with 6 of them receiving enough energy to begin. The next step is for the callers to reach out to people on the "List of Connections" to arrange the kick-off meeting.
Cards with milestones of Pico Congregation
The main intention is to experiment with crewing and begin to build trust. The success of the project is a secondary objective.
The group also committed to have a retrospective in three months to reconnect and check on their progress.

Reflections

  • Despite of my emphasis on the importance of building trust within the entire congregation, none of the projects called aimed to bring all of the group together. I'm considering tweaking the next iteration of Community Council for new proto-congregations to include a form of a sharing circle in order for the group to experience this format. On the other hand, building trust in small crews is also a very effective trust-building strategy, and the group committed to come back together for a retrospective.
  • 10 adults and 2 children attended the workshop. One of the adults played with the children during the entire workshop. Note: Integrating children into "more adulty" activities is one of the challenges we are exploring in our Pico Community Gatherings.
  • We begun the workshop 30 minutes late, which resulted in skipping one of the planned activities. The punctuality-sensitivity is always a challenge in multicultural groups.
  • The workshop was funded by donations with the explicit suggestion on the invitation: €15-65. We found €195 in the jar, which after covering the expenses was distributed between the facilitator, organiser, child carer, and the owner of the venue.
  • Fun fact: apparently one person decided not to show up because of the word "catalyst" I used to describe myself in the event invitation. Similarly, the signature "Love and Light" repelled another couple. This reflects the two-fold purpose of the invitation: to attract people and to repel people. At the end, whoever shows up is the "right" person to be in the room.

Belonging & Meaningful Work

Being a community catalyst, facilitating workshops and experiences, and supporting local businesses and projects to emerge is my meaningful work. Doing it locally creates a deep sense of belonging. In other words, it's a dream combination ✨.
My personal challenge is to make this work financially sustainable. I invite you to contribute with a small recurring donation via my Patreon page, and/or reach out to work with me on your project.
You can reach me via twitter or email: michal {dot} korzonek {at} {protonmail} {com}
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