##Collaborative Visioning Processes

When working on community technology projects it is important that those impacted most by your project are involved in the visioning and shaping of your project. This can be done in several ways from collecting surveys to creating collective design processes. Below are a few visioning activities that help generate shared principles and visions for community work.

###Working from the Future

Step 1: Create a prompt about the future for participants to write about. Example: It is the year 2040 and you are sitting at a park in your neighborhood. How do you see (X) having an impact on the environment)?

Step 2: Give participants five mins to free write what they see.

Step 3: Have each person share their vision and record the main ideas on a large piece of paper in a central location.

Step 4: Once everyone has shared, ask the group to brainstorm what needs to happen in order to make these visions come true. Create a list of ideas.

Step 5: From this list of ideas have a discussion about what needs to happen in the project to work towards those visions.

Step 6: Refine your list of ideas into a set of tangible goals for that project that reflect the participants’ vision.

This is a great first activity with a group that is just starting to work together.

###Creating A Shared Mission Statement

Step 1: Have each participant write responses to the following prompts as an individual free write, giving each prompt 3 minutes - 5 minutes.


Step 2: Have participants review what they wrote and then use sticky notes to write down words, phrases or sentences that stand out to them.

Step 3: Have participants place their sticky notes on the wall.

Step 4: As a large group categorize the sticky notes sorting them into groups that relate to each other. Similar ideas should stay together. If themes emerge, name them.

Step 5: As a large group, discuss the themes and groupings that have emerged.

Step 6: Together, begin to craft sentences as a group that include the theme and reach address the prompts these themes and the . Each sentence should be representative of the skills and desired outcomes of the group.

###Media Based Orgaizing

Media-based organizing is a process of speaking and listening, as a community, in order to investigate the problems that shape our realities, imagine other realities and then work together to make them real. When we use media in this way, we build new kinds of relationships internally, interpersonally and within our communities. We transform ourselves from consumers of information to producers, from objects within narratives of exploitation and violence to authors of the transformation of our worlds. Allied Media Projects’ theory of change

###The Detroit Summer 12 Steps to Media Based Organizing

1. Identify your issue
What is the issue you’re focusing on? What is the background/context of that issue? Who currently frames the narrative of this issue? Whose voices are missing/silenced around this issue?

2. Assemble your team
Who will be the core team of media-makers for your project? How are the members of your team personally impacted by the issue? What unique insight does this give you/them as media-makers? Who in your community is most impacted by this issue? What will their role be in this media project?

3. Articulate your vision
If your team had all of the resources and the power to address this issue, what would your community be like? How would it look, feel, smell, sound… How would people work together towards solutions?

4. Choose your media
Whose voices will be featured in this media project? What medium are they most comfortable with? Who is your primary audience? What medium is most accessible and compelling to them?

5. Learn your media
Who in your network is skilled in this media and would be willing to teach you? If you can’t pay for this training, what could you barter?

6. Develop your questions
What are the questions that get to the heart of this issue? What are the questions that guide people towards solutions? Who will you interview? Where will you go to collect interviews? How will you get good interviews?

7. Reflect on the answers you gather
What are the common themes? What are the most compelling stories? What are the most powerful quotes?

8. Share your footage with your community
Hold an event in which you share the voices that you’ve gathered. Facilitate a discussion about the media you have created so far. Share articles and other media that helps contextualize the ideas raised in your interview. What kinds of art can these ideas inspire? How can art (music, poetry, visual art) take these ideas further?

9. Edit, edit, edit
How will you tie all of the ideas you’ve collected into a coherent narrative? How will you honor all of the complexity of the issue? How will you not only reflect ideas back to your community, but push their thinking forward? What will get cut?

10. Produce a gorgeous final product
Who will put the final touches on this media piece so that it sounds and looks as good as it possibly can? If you can’t pay for this labor or do it yourself, what could you barter? How will you package/present it? What graphic design elements will you need to make it gorgeous, accessible and compelling to your core audience?

11. Create a distribution strategy that is also an organizing strategy.
Where will people encounter this media (hand-to-hand sales, film screenings, workshops, an online store, at a community forum…)? How will they process the information? What will they do with the information? What will you learn from them?

12. Build relationships
As you distribute your media project build real relationships with the people you meet. Create a database of contact information and try to organize it by demographics (for example: teachers, students, parents). What will you ask them to do? How will they be able to shape the vision of the project through their involvement?