A small and fluid group met on the last day of the conference to make sense of what we had done and what kinds of language should be used for future Giving Conferences. We acknowledged MichaleHerman?
's comment on day one that "we read the invitation and we STILL came!" Such delightful self-selection makes for a wonderful conference. We wondered what it is we had learned that would make future ones more targetted, and what it might take to capture the diversity of voices called for by this kind of gathering.
Here are some of the results of our conversation.
Language and key words/phrases which resonate
- This may not sound like your cup of tea, but that's why we need you
- Honouring communities and boundaries and inviting them to open
- Conversation, dialogue, citizen-to-citizen
- Use some of the language from Richard Cornuelle's essay (http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=1733)
- Giving leads to a lrger democracy
- creating the capacity to solve, address, improve...
- Images of the market, the civic square, the town hall.
- Inviting a co-existence of ideas
- Connecting the connectors to create mutual understanding and to design projects
- The highest office in a democracy is that of a citizen
- This about doing something
- We will meet based on your passion
- Our giving is our being
- We invite you to give your highest and best
- Share ideas, converse and create projects (action oriented language)
- Meet people with like passion, leave with clear action, committment and follow up.
- We all have gifts to give
- Connecting offerings
- Moving from transactions to transformation
- Questions in invitations are powerful (see http://www.crabgrass.org/site/strategic_1.html)
- More invitation resources for Open Space: http://www.michaelherman.com/cgi/wiki.cgi?OpenSpaceTech/InvitationWriting
To bear in mind when writing invitations
- Each community needs its own language, so involve people in invitation writing from the communities you wish represented.
- Draw on quotations from previous conferences, including this one at ConferenceComments
- Use names to connect connectors...find a draw for each community you want in attendance
- Be aware that the spiritual and experiential themes and language will alienate traditional conservatives. These voices are important.
- Invitation should be clear and concise, descrobing the process and what the potential is.
- Invite bloggers and others who can tell the story and keep the conference alive, like this one. Engagement then continues widely online afterwards and the web's power is harnessed to organize and support project development.
- Make the invitation short and snappy but use expanded text to provide more information.
- Narrowcast rather than broadcasting. Find people specifically to invite and draw on their networks.