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Community Created Humboldt/Jan 23 10
Community Created Humboldt (CCH) is an ongoing series of meetings providing a forum for the diverse people of Humboldt County to discuss how we can, together, create a healthy, prosperous and thriving future.
This Open Space community meeting took place on Saturday, January 23rd, 12:30 – 4:30PM at Greenway Partners in Arcata, CA. It was the first local Open Space event on How can we, together, create a healthy, prosperous and thriving future?. Many more, and more specific, events are being planned.
The event broke up into approximately 14 different groups over two 1-hour sessions. The results are photo-documented (thank you Oliver) here and are transcribed (thank you David and Melanie!) on the pages below. If you were an attendee, feel free to add or edit notes as needed.
- Engendering Innovation
- Experiential Education, the Children
- Food System Coordination/ Small Scale Agriculture/Food Security
- Food Policy Council
- Law of Attraction
- Economic Self-Sufficiency
- Credit Exchange
- People's Media
- Energy, Transportation, and Trails
- Normalizing Marijuana for Community Benefit
- How do we popularize Buying Not/Buying Less?
- How do we make the General Plan Update systems based?
- Principled Community Managed Resources
In addition the group generated a short list of relevant organizations.
Community Created Humboldt (CCH) — an Open Working Space, is a coalition of individuals, businesses, non-profits and other organizations that believes that Humboldt County is capable of providing a stable, prosperous and thriving future for our kids and our grandkids—a future in which they are safe and secure, and not overly dependent on systems and events that they cannot control.
Many of our social and natural systems — energy, agriculture, water, timber, and so on—are key elements in creating a thriving future. We need non-divisive, creative, open ways to talk openly about these issues, to bring multiple stakeholder viewpoints to bear, and to simply listen to each other. We need to talk to each other if we hope to develop a workable vision for the future of Humboldt County.
Most organizations use meetings as the primary method of connecting people with tasks in the hope of getting something done. Typically, meetings have pre-set agendas, a fixed structure, and a designated process to follow. Meetings are where you are assigned obligations and responsibilities that you do not really want to take on. But it is very likely that most people don’t like meetings or think they are a particularly productive way to get things done. CCH promises to be a different type of “meeting.”
Most people that have attended a multi-day conference will tell you that it is during the coffee breaks—the open spaces in the schedule—where the most productive and substantive discussions actually take place. Coffee breaks are where you meet new people and exchange ideas and business cards. They are where you form new strategic alliances and networks because they matter, not because you are obligated to do so. Everyone loves coffee breaks.
In short, we are planning a coffee break, and you are invited. CCH is designed to foster the synergy and excitement of a good coffee break, with enough structure that participants can get some work done and have valuable outcomes at the end of the day.
How does it work? The participants at CCH can identify issues related to a theme (in this case – how to create a healthy, prosperous and thriving future) for which they have real passion. Issues are written on a large piece of paper, grouped, and posted on the session (coffee break) schedule. Participants then attend sessions that include the issues they are most concerned about. Importantly, participants are free to move among sessions as their heart desires (e.g., they can get up and move in the middle of a session). Over the course of an hour or so, discussions, opinions, and ideas are recorded. At the end of the hour, session participants can decide to stay or to move to another session.
The compilation of the proceedings is a significant outcome of the event; a bunch of new connections is another. The proceedings are combined and distributed to all participants. A pre-talk on Humboldt Sustainability took place on Veterans Day, you can see more here.