Activity of the fortnight: How sustainable is your group?
By rob hopkins 11th January 2016
Time needed: 40 minutes
Resources needed: This guide, a place to meet
Why do it
Transition is about balance and people need to take time to relax as well as doing stuff, so getting this balance is crucial to staying healthy and effective. If you have a group which is really going well and people are giving a lot, do this before anyone gets exhausted. Or do it when you are starting to feel tired. In Transition Town Totnes we did something like this in our second Core group meeting and discovered that nearly everyone was working in a way they wouldn’t be able to keep up for more than the next few months – so our first decision was to do something about it.
Have someone facilitate (run the activity) who can:
- introduce the activity
- keep time
- guide people through each stage
The whole activity takes about 40 minutes, but is well worth doing for long term group sustainability.
Introduce the activity (5 minutes)
Many Transition groups have ambitious ideas about what they want to achieve – sometimes feeling the scale and urgency of the issues we know about it can be easy to take on too much. This activity is a safety check on the well being of individuals and the group as a whole.
Exploring giving and taking, and sustainability (10 minutes)
Explore the questions below using Active listening in pairs– where one person speaks and the other listens without any interruptions, or adding any comments at the end. If you’re an odd number, someone pairs with the facilitator, otherwise the facilitator reflects on the questions on their own and takes notes.
Take 5 minutes for the first person to answer all three questions below, and then swap:
- What do you give to this group?
- What do you get from being part of it?
- How sustainable is your current balance of giving and taking – for the next two or three months? For the next six months to a year?
Reflect back together (up to 25 minutes)
Come back together as a group and go round hearing every person talking for up to a minute about what they said, especially to the last question about sustainability. If several people in the group can’t keep going at their current level of activity give at least 15 minutes to talk about what you will do about this. If this isn’t enough time make it an agenda item at another meeting.
If you’re mostly totally sustainable – take some time to congratulate yourselves and feel great!
This support resource was produced by Transition Network to see all our support resources go to https://www.transitionnetwork.org/support. This document is released under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/