C2012 Occupy THIS Cafe: Developing "Guiding Principles" and "Agreements"

The importance of having and explicit statement of guiding principles and/or agreements for OC participation is emerging from our inquiry to date.  Some of this overlaps with the OC Culture conversation but I think the specificity of this concept makes it somewhat distinct as well.

We can use this thread in three ways as far as exploring this subject.  Following our Appreciative Inquiry model, we can start with any personal experiences you may have had in developing and our being part of a group that used principles and agreements really effectively.  Here are some questions you might consider to frame something you to share along these lines:

  • Describe a time when you were involved in a group (esp online) that had a culture you loved.
  • What was a high point of your experience with that culture?
  • What was your contribution to the culture's creation, persistence and/or power?

Second, we could begin to collectively imagine what having such principles and agreements might look like--how would the Cafe operate as a result?  What would be some of the most positive outcomes?

Third, we might brainstorm some specific principles and agreements we might like to see, as the beginnings of a "design conversation."

My thanks to Mitch Gold for noting the importance of this topic in an appreciative interview we conducted yesterday.  I will share a few of the thoughts he offered in a second post below.

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In an appreciative interview with Mitch Gold, ideas that came up with respect to this topic included:

  • Having people sign onto principles up front and agree to them, so the community can respond appropriately if they are not followed
  • principles should reflect core ideas of trust, respect and the golden rule
  • The ISO 26000 Standards might provide a model in some respects
  • A reliable set of guiding principles, as well as having a clear governance structure in place,is key to being able to develop partnerships with other initiatives.

Suggested guiding principle:

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world"


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