What to Expect at a Regional VOICE Session
All who attend a Regional VOICE session will be warmly greeted by our volunteers and directed to our registration table. You will be asked to fill out a nametag which will have a participant number assigned to it. You will use that number on your demographic form. (Don’t worry—your name isn’t attached to that number. But we will be able to link your demographic information with your vision. That creates some beautiful data!) Also, we love to take pictures of all the elements of our VOICE process—please sign our Photo Release agreement. Don’t want your picture used? We’ll respect that request by placing a bright sticker on your nametag that will alert our photographers to your request.
1. community timeline
2. Overview & introductions
3. the Flower Man book
4. Carry forward, leave behind
5. your community vision
6. vision presentations
1. Community Timeline
After completing those steps, you’ll be directed to our Community Timeline. Take some time to read through the regional highlights. This timeline incorporates the negative and positive events that have shaped our community. And you belong to the timeline, too! Please write a significant personal event/memory from your life on a bright post-it note and add it to the appropriate decade on the timeline. This exercise helps us to know more about our community and who’s participating in the session.
2. Overview & Introductions
Once everyone has had a chance to engage with the Community Timeline and enjoy any food or refreshments, all will gather and sit together in a large circle of chairs. The lead facilitator will share the session guidelines, expectations, and rules to ensure all feel safe and understand the process. We’ll start the conversation by asking everyone seated around the circle to share their name, affiliation, and 1-2 words that describe what they are most passionate about in their community.
3. The Flower Man Book
After introductions are made, everyone receives a copy of The Flower Man by Mark Ludy. This unique illustrated book, which is loved by all in attendance, introduces the concept of servant leadership. Everyone flips through the book with the facilitator and discusses their observations. Servant leadership becomes our guiding attitude as we move into the next phase of our session.
4. Carry Forward, Leave Behind
After experiencing The Flower Man book, people are counted off into smaller groups to be led in discussion by different facilitators. In these smaller groups, you will take turns being honest and open about your community, discussing what you would like to see more of in the future and what you believe should be left behind. Because we get to determine our preferred future, this element of the session gets our creative juices flowing!
5. Your Community Vision
Following the Carry Forward, Leave Behind exercise, smaller groups of 5-6 individuals will go to a table supplied with white paper and markers. All will listen as the lead facilitator takes the group through a Community Vision story. The story inspires you to think about your own vision for your community and what your preferred future looks like. After the story, all will draw their individual community vision. (This is done in silence so that your ideas aren’t altered by anyone else’s. Don’t feel comfortable with your drawing ability? We welcome all stick people!) As you finish your drawing, volunteer recorders will be stationed at each group to record each individual’s visions, ensuring that all visions are heard.
6. Vision Presentations
Once all individuals have shared their thoughts with our recorders, each group will come back together in the large circle to share their visions. This generates a lot of excitement as you hear others’ thoughts and dreams! In most cases, a volunteer architect will be gathering everyone’s visions as they present and will compile a beautiful, bright visual rendering. To see all the different dreams come together in one drawing is empowering!
The lead facilitator then explains to everyone how you can become more involved, how you can access session reports and statistics, and what meetings are coming up. You then have the opportunity to fill out a feedback form—maybe you have an idea to help us improve the process? Or perhaps you may have forgotten to share a thought during the session? The feedback form allows you to finish your thoughts.
Regional VOICE doesn’t stop there!
We’ll keep you informed as the project continues. You can also stay connected through our website and check out what others have envisioned for their communities.
Do you want to make a difference in your community? In the region? Visions will become actions as Leadership Everyone continues the conversations between neighborhoods, communities, and the region. Stay tuned for our Summit meetings as Regional VOICE culminates in regional projects evolving from our meetings. Stay informed and stay involved!