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Logistics

  • Have all the google docs available and ready to go at each table (pre-loaded)
  • Be sure to tell everyone that the google docs are there for their use 
  • Be sure to point out all the different information at each table - reducing the amount somehow would probably be better - maybe post goals and schedule on the wall only?
  • Provide more desk space to accommodate for warm up activities, note books, sticky notes and laptops
  • If groups are required to rotate and leave notes for each other, assist them in reading each other’s notes
  • Name tags!

Scheduling

  • Starting at 10 and ending by 2:30 is a really great schedule for me because it allowed me to drop my kids off at school and then pick them up afterwards
    • (Can we provide childcare at future events?)
  • Assume that it will probably start late and take longer than you expect :) i.e. plan for lots of flexibility
  • Towards the end, some groups became distracted or less motivated to work on design activities

Design Activities

  • Is it worth providing any introductory framing about the process? What is co-design and what’s at stake in doing it together? I am on the fence. :)
  • How can we carry over the fun, tactile engagement from the warm-up activity into the other design activities?
    • I.e. how can we make the design activities less wordy/abstract?
    • Can we use physical blocks somehow? With text labels? Provide some blocks with ready-made labels and allow participants to also create their own labels? Some large foam building blocks or puzzle pieces?
    • Can we encourage drawing in a way that isn’t intimidating or pressured to “look good”?
  • We think we would have liked to get a little more concrete and specific by the end of the day - how can we make this happen?
    • Do we need more time? Or a second day?
  • Large group discussion was very effective - maybe build on this - have everyone group their ideas together in a more structured way?
  • Good to move back and forth from larger group to small groups, to ensure everyone gets to speak / gets heard

Direct feedback

  • I love this collaborative warm-up activity and I want to use it with my students!
  • You all should take this on the road - it’s much more effective than many of the ideation sessions I’ve done with NGO’s etc!

Distillation of Ideas

  • Any translation or transformation of content should consider the dominant culture/dominant narrative
    • For example - choosing not to translate / provide subtitles for an Inuit film may be an intentional and integral part of the idea of the piece, whereas not providing audio description for a work of visual art may not be
  • Who we want to engage in the platform: those who are teaching students in 1st-year medical school, engineering, social work, computer science

Team Reflection Notes

  • Energy waned after lunch → how can we keep the energy up?
    • Natural downturn in energy after lunch → can we structure the workshop in a way that acknowledges that there will be a downturn in energy?
    • Short activity to re-centre (up to 10 min)
  • Length of the session was good: people didn’t seem to be checked out of the space → stayed present
  • Document outlining goal?
    • Giving access to the aims prior (and Andrea will also send to Lindsay)
    • Would have been helpful at the beginning and the end, for grounding.
      • What can we do today?
      • Then at the end could brainstorm how to apply what we discussed to the goal?
  • We provided info on the table but maybe too much.
  • Could walk through the goals together
  • Initially we took the “bring in people cold” approach but could have benefited from more priming
    • But, question is if you prime too much, do you end up structuring?
    • Knowledge platforms systemic problem: can end up in a place where you end up designing around the knowledge platforms that pre-exist, on other grants
    • Small budget
    • Nature of material
    • Might mean we need to rethink 
    • Interesting trade off
  • Provide some things beforehand → but no guarantee people read it, so maybe talk through some things at the beginning
  • Would it be useful to have different goals for each session, and clarified for the group?
    • So you could go back to the last session’s info at the next one to feel like moving forward
    • Has to happen → how to move through
    • No one wants to go to a workshop where someone else pre-determined the structure… maybe need strategic invitations; reflecting on what was talked about in the previous session
    • Recognize, amplify, critique and transform
    • See what there is, add to them, reflect on what could be better and change the weaknesses into strengths
    • Once we do some synthesis, build in additional space for comments from those who’ve participated
    • Lots of good concrete ideas for what the platform could do but not all will be achievable→ what are we going to try to do within the next year, 3 years, 5 years… constraints around this
      • Not necessarily ranking (down with “the man”...)
      • But something similar to get at the essence of what it is we’re doing
  • Activity that has people create some resources?
    • Something like they imagine what (resources) would be in the knowledge platform
    • Getting more specific
    • The actual making might be easier than think of an example
    • Could have people draw things out (doesn’t have to be a final product)
    • Forces you out of your head and into the product → people have a hard time getting out of their heads, easier to talk abstractly
    • What are we making… scary… how to get people there?
    • Maybe not Wikipedia (not accessible to non-normativity, always)
    • E.g., Disability Art wiki has almost no mention of Canada
    • If we’re talking about going outside of expected spaces, might be about looking to unexpected concrete spaces
    • We’re in conversation with Wikipedia now for BIT re: WikiEd 
  • Didn’t really get to activity 3 → moving beyond the fear, getting concrete; physical things and tactile objects
  • Can we compile and distribute what we’ve discussed that future participants can build on or change?
  • Presenting the ideas as a place to begin brainstorming
  • Is is a good thing to think about what’s working now or better to come up with something fresh? We tried to get people thinking about what’s working now and what isn’t
  • Flip chart to write out key things:
    • Tools people are using
    • What works and what doesn’t
    • Talking as a large group?
    • Draw out key things we are talking about, which might make it easier to focus in
  • Discussion in larger group was rich → could be captured in bullet points
  • We’re not super at wrangling structured meetings
    • More interesting to go in the direction they go → but can lead to dominance 
    • Some people we didn’t hear from
    • Making sure that everyone feels heard from in the way they wanted to participate 
    • Asking people what they’re asking themselves in their own work → were there questions missing that we didn’t think about
    • Fewer questions, maybe 2 or 3 and getting folks’ input into the questions themselves
    • Not really a good way of getting people to talk in a larger group without calling people out; don’t necessarily need to have everyone talking
    • Being conscious of who we are inviting and getting into the room
      • Diverse communities?
      • Being available on a work day during the times is a particular kind of privilege → framing of time and where?
      • Should we do one someplace else?
  • Strategic thinking about who we are putting in the room… can we invite beyond BIT
    • Could be interesting to have people in tech etc. and more artists
    • Was a bit academic-centric 
    • Teachers, art students
    • Medical community → or teachers of those in the medical community
    • We want people who will actually be using the platform
    • Social workers
    • Policy makers
    • As nice as it is to have people be on board, that limits us in some ways
    • Students → even engineering, computer science, medicine, social work
  • Cultural capital: making a platform for education for students and teachers to use, but what are we filling it with?
  • What are we putting into the platform?
    • Only the work of artists who’ve been a part of the grant would be part of the archive
  • Could communicate aspects we already know → to make sure the suggestions are relevant?
  • Archive is a big part of the platform (the artery of the platform)
    • Echos of BIT

Knowledge platform is a floating signifier → means what the person thinks it means when they’re talking about it…

  • Doesn’t need to be a single system or a system at all
  • Can’t think of a single thing that a knowledge platform is
  • Have a conversation about what participants think a knowledge platform is?
  • E.g. http://www.greengrowthknowledge.org/


But some things would be considered knowledge platforms that don’t identify themselves that way

  • Wikipedia
  • Library archives
  • Europeana

Floating signifiers can have value in creating space that drives toward a meaning → in the sessions figuring out what it is 

  • The shape of the container partially depends on what we’re putting in the container
  • A place to gather resources that might be considered a hub

Getting feedback:

  • A little structure to get people’s feedback → not necessarily a scaled questionnaire
  • What went well
  • What could have gone better
  • Any other feedback
  • Surveymonkey

When would we be looking to have the next one?

  • December becomes kind of impossible
  • Early January?
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