Basic propositions of the ICA workshop process, plus some
Adapted from ICA material by Peter Taylor
Notwithstanding any initial impressions to the contrary, everyone has
insight (wisdom) and we need everyone's insight for the wisest result.
There is insight in every response. (There are no wrong answers.)
We know more than we are, at first, prepared or able to acknowledge.
When a person is heard, they can better hear others and hear themselves.
This causes us to examine decisions made in advance about what the other
people are like, what they are and are not capable of.
The step-by-step workshop process thus aims to keep us listening
actively to each other, foster mutual respect, and elicit more of our
Your initial conclusions may change -- be open for surprises.
What we come out with is very likely to be larger and more durable than
what any one person came in with; the more so, the more voices that are
brought out by the process.
In particular, we will be engaged in carrying out/carrying on the plans we
In sum, the workshop process aims for the "greatest input, with greatest
commitment and the least confusion, in the least time."
The basic structure of ICA workshop processes is to move through four
phases -- objective, reflective, interpretive, decisional. This is best
represented in a "focused conversation" (Spencer 1989, Stanfield 1997).
Contacts and references
Burbidge, J. (Ed.) (1997). Beyond Prince and Merchant: Citizen Participation
and the Rise of Civil Society. New York: Pact Publications.
Spencer, L. J. (1989). Winning Through Participation. Dubuque, Iowa:
Stanfield, B. (Ed.) (1997). The Art of Focused Conversation. Toronto:
Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs.
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