How can we recognize barriers to participation and find ways of addressing them?
The IAF conference in Berlin will be an opportunity for us facilitators to share ideas, learn, and expand our knowledge, to network and collaborate.
We are inviting to enter brave(r) spaces: spaces where we can challenge our preconceptions (conscious and/or unconscious stereotypes and biases) we hold about the world, acknowledging inequalities and asymmetries of power - in groups and among people generally - and exploring what it means for us. Neither have we invented the concept of brave(r) spaces, nor are we experts or have ultimate answers to the questions arising. But we choose to refer to the concept of brave spaces to offer a broad framework which serves our felt need to address dynamics of privileges and disempowerment in groups and the implications for our practice.
In our rapidly changing world, we are facing emerging fundamental questions on the way we live together on this planet and on how we find a way towards a more sustainable and just future for all of us. We need to see and understand power structures around us and find ways to address them. How can we expand our facilitation practice to be more inviting, secure, and powerful for everyone? We often discuss participation and co-creation with our clients - then how can we design processes that ensure everyone feels heard and invited? Power structures may either support or oppose our call for participation and co-creation - how then can we address these issues?
Many important questions to explore… One thing is obvious - we need to start with ourselves, to become more conscious of our privileges and discriminating assumptions (although not intentional) and how they affect our practice. Eventually, we need to find a way to create spaces for collective healing and peace. Let's use our time together and develop this further!
We wish to bring together IAF and other international facilitation communities to move this topic forward and to use the power of facilitation to advance the fundamental questions for our joint future.