I'm writing from California and I've been enjoying my trip very much. I went to a three-day seminar produced by Community At Work. They specialize in group decision-making, and trained the participants to facilitate groups of all kinds to do just that. We got practical tools, experience, feedback, a little theory and a lot of heart. Our primary job as facilitators is to respect the group members and support them in doing their best thinking. There is something profoundly transformative about this practice. I came away feeling inspired and encouraged.
I also am beginning to articulate what it is I want to do professionally. I would like to facilitate communities of all kinds that want to become more sustainable. I believe we have a huge challenge in front of us and I would like to help people come up with solutions. I don't have the answers, in fact I am not sure if anyone does, but I have an understanding of the process that it takes to confront complex problems and work through them as a group.
Their next workshop is December 6-8, 2005, in San Francisco. If you have any interest in learning facilitation skills, I highly recommend it.