Posts tagged ‘cloister’

Becoming Obama — Workshop report

I had the chance to host a workshop this weekend. The title “Becoming Obama” just came into my mind like two weeks ago. And i finally presented was in a cloister in Rinteln — worth enough to mention. For intro look at my blogentry before.

We started “Becoming Obama” (unexpectedly) on a sunday morning — the last of the 2,5 conference days. So I was concerned about the 10 participants being exhausted. Plus there was another workshop on the “Grundeinkommen” (Basic income)  following mine, but they were flexible so that i could present the fully intented 2 hours.

So there was a tight last-day schedule and a freezy cloister: But under these circumstances, thanks to good preparation,  i still could change some agenda points (without the participants noticing it), created a mindmap less and could come to the points quicker. The participants worked out their flipchart-paper outside in the sun, in the cloister yard.

I got positive “quality feedback” from people I considered to be quite critical in the sessions before and I still feel energized by this (look at this entries posting time…). Really: There’s no better motivation than participants doing the tasks you thought about, working concentrated and had great output. Niko, host of the whole “Wissen 2.0” weekend said:

“It’s fascinating with all the influences — i may read the biography of Obama.”

This is the best compliment you can make on a workshop, as the design of a workshop should always make people want more — besides the secondary or tertiary aim to inform the participants. 

So what was the concept like? The workshop was introduced by a video and a Powerpoint-Karaoke. Then I facilitated a brainstorm what people connect personally to Obama (Agenda-Point “You and Obama”). Critics would call this method Rorschaching, thus projecting own personality on a different subject/person. But this method was intendet to introduce this workshop not on Obama facts but rather on a biography in general (s.b. “closing”)

After the warming-up, the core of the workshop lasted 45 minutes: Particpants read excerpts of various stations in Obamas career (In the room I created a spatial connection to Kenya, Chicago, Washington, Hawai, Indonesia).  I called it an “Obama Village”. If participants were already experienced, they could skim through the 2 Obama autobiographies or the full Wikipedia-entry on Obama’s policy and create a flipchart at the “freestyle-station”. Excerps from the autobiography were chosen by me on the criteria of being easy to read, as well as providing a good mixture of private stories and political ones (…the unpolitical is political!). Then, Participants presented them in drawn tag-clouds on flipcharts or mind-maps.

Closing: We relaxed with a Simpsons-Clip. I continued with a model on how to look on a biography — with the metaphor of a tree: The ant on top-branches can easily walk to the ground again. But it’s nearly impossible for an ant to go to a certain branch through the maze-like tree structure. Coincidentially a similar metaphor was used some hours after my workshop in the ending assembly of all 30 conference-attendants in an emotional video by Steve Jobs;

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

I closed my workshop with another emotional video, comprising the backwards/forwards idea in a biography, but also a “change message”.

If you wanna have the concept, please mail me. I am also opening a facebookgroup concerning the further development of “Wissen 2.0” workshop lines. Simply join it, if you want to know more.

The excerpts read in “Obama Village” part of the workshop were:

Washington: S. 46-49 (The Audacity…), S. 189 – 193 (TA)

Chicago: 348-352 (TA), S. 207-211 (Dreams from…)

Hawai: 23-27 (Dreams from…)

Indonesien: 271-276 (TA)

Kenya: 304 – 309 (Dreams from…)

May 12, 2009 at 1:29 am Leave a comment

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This Blog has no real mission, but it is just a place for me to publish stories.
I like to have the pressure to simply write something down for an abstract audience. was another attempt of me to do this when I was in Bristol. See below.

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