Naresh Giangrande on Launch Online.
By rob hopkins 10th March 2016
I love doing Launch Online. I get to facilitate a group of like minded people as we discuss important, quirky, stimulating, and touching subjects that constantly delight me.
Griet from Belgium said of the last course:
“This is the most energising, deep and at the same time very mind-provoking course I’ve attended in years. I had no idea that working together online could be that powerful…”
Typically, a face-to-face course allows an energy and camaraderie to build (ideally, obviously not always), which is usually very moving. However, during Launch Online, we are not in the same room, or even the same country. Communicating effectively is key to our success as a learning group. As this is a kind of broadcast medium, lots of energy and humour is needed at the outset to put folks at ease.
This starts the process of creating safety and trust by engaging our light heartedness. Next I ask questions, bringing my fellow travellers into the conversation. We have multiple channels to communicate. We have voice and visual (using webcams) and a parallel instant message chat that is running alongside. Chat messaging spreads the responsibility (participants start answering each other’s questions, helping to facilitate the conversation, and it creates a way for the less confident to join in. All these mechanisms make for powerful, moving conversations that matter.
From one of the participants of the first Launch Online:
“I have more than 10 years of experience both designing/delivering and participating in online learning but I have never experienced what I experienced today at my second week of Transition Training… Energized, emotional, inspired…again, a group of wonderful people from Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, UK, France, Senegal, Netherlands, US, Spain, Brazil, New Zealand and Canada demonstrated that around the world there are people who care.”
“I am familiar with how Transition works because I have the two books, and because our group initiated more than a year ago and we have accomplished many little things, but many of the tools and insights were either new or necessary as a reminder for me and the group. A training like this may be necessary every other year or so to keep the flame and remember why we are doing this…”
We have been also using ‘flipped learning’, which creates a much richer environment by radically democratising the learning space. I give participants access to past webinars or written materials on the subject of the week (the course follows our Transition Launch training, only over 8 weeks, meeting one and a half hours at the same time each week, and then discussing, commenting, and asking questions by email or on forums in between), and ask them to come ready to discuss or ask questions. The content is then tailor-made for everyone present, and I never know where the discussion will go or where it will take us. And I keep asking questions.
Launch Online is a great use of technology and also low carbon! We had people attending the last course from Belgium, Australia, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa, Scotland, and England – imagine what the carbon footprint of that would have been had we met face-to-face? Time is also key to the participants success. Spreading the duration over 8 weeks gives participants time to think about the material, working with it in a way that creates deep learning.
We often scaffold our learning by discussing many different, although aligned topics as we all are figuring out how to lead meaningful, resilient lives both personally and in our communities. I never get over the feeling of how cool it is that we can be having this conversation, literally spanning the planet, with people who care about the same things I do.
This course is designed to give people the skills and abilities needed to start and run a successful Transition group. But at the same time, we are learning essential life skills. You will gain expertise in how to learn and forage knowledge on the web – both essential life skills in this digital age. You will share some of the ways you are thinking about the world and what sort of life we and our children are facing – with others who are thinking about similar things, but within different contexts and cultures. There is an opportunity to learn online facilitation and also experiment with that.
Many of the skills of Transition are very ‘transferable’ to projects and businesses in a cooperative, co-creative world which is where all the opportunity is occurring today. Topics we cover include:
- how to create and maintain high performance groups
- how to enthuse and motivate others using vision
- ways of seeing the world that make sense in an interconnected, low carbon environment
- how to create and maintain your personal resilience in a fast changing, uncertain world.
All of these are essential life skills today. And there is a possibility for developing ongoing learning by sharing, and becoming part of an online tribe. Online tribes are a fantastic way to connect with people who are thinking similarly to you regardless of geographic boundaries, and they allow you to build community that are full of possibility. Becoming part of an online tribe is a great mechanism to create support, as well as share and try out ideas, and maybe even business opportunities. Launch Online is all this and more.
Join us for the next Launch Online, beginning April 12th for 8 (or maybe even 9) weeks of webinars, and online conversations limited only by our imagination.
Launch Online usually runs 3-4 times a year in English and Spanish at different times of day to enable it to be accessible in different parts of the world, and we are developing a French version too! To read more on from Launch onLine click here.