Last night, the Sydney Foresight Community of Practice held its first meeting for the year. This community of practice is an idea cooked up by Hugh Pattinson, Tim Mansfield and myself as a way of bringing Sydney people together who work in some way on trying to get people to think about the future.
The meetings so far have been great fun and we have gradually begun to reach out to other networks to broaden the community of practice. At last night’s meeting, my colleague Aleta Lederwasch led a fascinating discussion about the role of art and creativity in exploring the future. Artworks can be used to stimulate discussion, to document discussions or outcomes, or to provoke. And foresight practitioners often ask participants in their workshops to draw or create something that captures their vision of the future.
The community of practice is evolving in a very organic way – we didn’t set out with any real goal other than to meet each other. Now, though, we are starting to think about what makes a community of practice. Tim passed on a really pithy set of characteristics for a community of practice that really resonate with me. A community of practice should have:
- A purpose
We are still discovering the purpose of our new community of practice, but it is clear that we share values around the importance of engaging with the future and helping others to do so. Our rituals are also developing – so far, drinking wine together has been the main one but we have started a practice of having one of the participants provide a discussion starter about a project they have been involved in. It will be interesting to see how this community develops and whether a purpose emerges, or the group fades away. I hope that it continues.
If you are interested in attending the next meeting, details will be posted here or get in touch through the comments below. We are intending to hold meetings every two to three months.
Thanks to Tim for the photo!