An a-ha on harvesting
In my inquiries about harvesting, I have been searching for ways to make harvest the simplest possible thing. In the Art of Hosting community we often look for what we lovingly call “hobbit tools” – the core essential tools that you can bring with you anywhere. A few of us are in the process of developing hobbit tools around harvest.
A few days ago in a conversation with a client, I stumbled upon one of these hobbit tools of harvesting: have somewhere to take the harvest.
The conversation we were talking about was about a conference we are doing in February. The conference marks the tenth anniversary of the release of the final report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. In the 10 years since the report was released, very little of the Commission’s recommendations were acted upon. The federal government released a response to the report in 1999 called “Gathering Strength” which offered an apology to residential school victims and a promise to work in a new partnership with Aboriginal peoples. To some extent this has happened, but largely the report has been gathering dust.
And so my client is convening a conference which will look at the report and what it might take to get it moving again especially in the resources sector. Her initial vision for the conference was to produce a set of proceedings that would be used by others to kick start the implementation of the Royal Commission report.
I challenged her to do more than that – indeed to do more that the Royal Commission itself did- and to find a way to bring the conference proceedings to life. So we began to craft a strategy for the harvest of this event.
The plan now is to harvest the results of the conference as both a record of the event and as an inquiry itself. We can share the report but we will also craft a series of the questions – the questions we are left with after three days of deliberations – and these questions will be put to five different and specific forums. My client now is spend the next couple of months talking to influential gatherings, organizations and forums to find five places that will commit to co-inquiring with her on the conference proceedings during 2007. Our conference report will therefore not gather dust but will live in the discussions that follow on, as we seed ideas into the field of Aboriginal – government relations. This plan will be shared with the conference delegates in pre-conference note that will hopefully give them confidence that the conference will have an impact.
So the simple hobbit tool is this: guarantee that your results will not gather dust, and challenge yourself and your participants to keep it alive.