As well as creating the agenda directly from their interests and concerns the Digital Mobilisation Skillshare puts participants’ expertise front and centre of the event content.

Tools and Techniques

This is now the third DMS event facilitated by Allen Gunn (or ‘Gunner’) of Aspiration. The tools and techniques freely available on the Aspiration website are a fantastic resource for anyone looking to organise community-led participatory events.

Gunner says, “It’s a model of event leadership that mirrors some of the values we hope to instill via the Mobilisation Lab.”

Crowdsourcing Expertise

As well as co-creating the agenda, attendees take full responsibility for running individual sessions. Anyone can propose and facilitate a session, acknowledging that the purpose is not to present all the answers, but to draw on the knowledge of the group to come up with answers, and pose new questions.

Nic Seton speedgeeking at DMS 14

‘Speedgeeking’ is a fast and furious way of sharing information: 3 minute presentations to small groups.

Overall, the event emphasises that the most helpful input could come from anywhere. Passion often translates into a strong desire to talk and there’s no doubt that everyone here has something valuable to share, but at the DMS participants are encouraged to limit the length of time they speak and to make sure that all voices are heard.

Questions open a space in people’s minds, ready for new information.

There’s a reason for this, beyond good manners. It leads to better learning. No matter how dazzling the information you want to share, you stand a better chance of getting people to truly understand it if they engage with it on their own terms.

As Gunner puts it, “Questions open a space in people’s minds, ready for new information.” Responding to their need for information is more powerful than just telling them stuff.

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