I have encountered so many ways in which Action Learning would benefit the city this week! I have never thought about using this method of learning outside of a business or school but there are a few city projects happening.
One, my friend Karen went to an brainstorming event at a local gallery to find ways to best use a small triangle park, which I read about on her blog. People split up into teams and brainstormed ideas. While I was reading her blog, I kept thinking about Action Learning and how tweaking the experience just slightly would result in learning and growth for everyone involved.
Second, my friend Hilary writes about music for Style Weekly. She came last night to my husband’s birthday party at Portrait House, a very small gathering of Richmond musicians and me and Caitlin (hey, we are in grad school!). She began telling us about a conversation she just had with several other musicians for next month’s music issue about the lack of a mid-sized venue for touring and local bands. With four of us left, we were all eager to talk about this with her and she turned on her iPhone (it actually didn’t record, boo!) and we had a really great conversation about how to improve the scene in Richmond. How necessary is a mid-sized venue? Is there a community to support it? How would it affect other clubs? Where should it be located? There is so much research to be done too, and there are definitely bigger problems at play here (VA liquor laws, Richmond leaders saying they support an arts district but they really don’t). I would love to see a project like this become a city-wide learning experience.
There are so many ways Action Learning could benefit the city–having involved parties brainstorm, ask questions and come up with well-researched suggestions about the music community, local parks, land usage, new baseball stadium…?
Yesterday we had another meeting, and while things are happening, process on solving the problem seems slow to me. I don’t know if we need to meet more often or what. I would like to see more action and less talking in future meetings (we were all guilty of this). And Susan posted a blog about the experience as well! I do not think I am learning as much as I should because I am not spending enough time reflecting–the problem-solving is one thing, sure. But if I spent more time thinking about and reacting to the problem and my reactions to it on my own, but learning would grow AND I would have better ideas for helping UMFS. I would like to spend some more time this week reflecting and see how it affects the learning.
Sometimes when I get stressed out I just admire this gif of Stephen Colbert kissing kittens!