Participatory Harvesting

Really loving the thoughts Chris Corrigan put together on the “wisdom of keeping the harvesting participatory”. His teaching of “we’re not planning a meeting, we’re planning a harvest” significantly shifted my design and facilitation of meetings, gatherings and more. This reminds me – I’ve been meaning to put together a post of some great widsomy bits on harvesting I’ve been collecting from others. Stay tuned.

From Chris’s post The Art of Harvesting:

Basic principles around harvesting from participatory processes include:

  • Participatory processes should also have participatory harvests – what is co-created is co-owned.
  • Meaning making should be shared.
  • Harvests need both artifacts and feedback loops. Artifacts make learning visible and portable and feedback loops making learning useful beyond events. Both need strategic conversations so that needs can be met. these conversations include what media the artifacts need to be in, and how to use our harvests with existing power structures and methods of enacting change in order to maximize impacts.
  • Harvesting can be both intentional and emergent. Intentional harvests are the fruits we set out to gather – in this case the report that we know we will be writing. Emergent harvests are the surprises we learn along the way. As these often require different eyes (focused vision for intentional harvests, “soft eyes” to see what is emerging) I often have people take on these distinct roles.

I’m working on a design that is bringing some participatory elements into a one-day conference and thinking about what we can do to keep the harvest participatory, not just a harvest.

 harvest bountyCreative Commons License Faith Goble via Compfight