We have 1 if not 2 pilot experiments happening in the next fortnight. People are coming out of the woodwork and we are finding people in the woodwork to link up with and get involved in the pilots, including some of the lovely and brilliant eggs I studied with at the School of System Change last year.
The Empathy Talks idea seems to gel so well with so many— definitely a signal to pay attention to.
“Perhaps we need to be reminded often of both the small and grand forms of connection.
Relating, relationships + relational leadership has very much been topic of the week. Was therefore thrilled when Sarah Firth posted her latest on-point-ness yesterday on the shape of me, the shape of you. Again with the serendipity ❤
Maybe we are being too rigid in how we are designing the Talks. We’ve been told they feel a bit like a structured design sprint, and that perhaps they should be more fluid and allow emergence.
FWIW we thought a more structured approach was necessary for psychological safety, given, the potential volatility of an Empathy Talk. So this is something we’re dwelling on, and will take into the pilots this week and next for exploration.
Looking back, we’ve had so many good chats in the past weeks that a more detailed write up is warranted.
The official ‘live’ site that we’re hoping to do a Talk in, in Rybnik, Poland, is taking time to shape up; 4+ weeks so far. Arguably this isn’t a difficulty so much as a learning about what it takes to do an activity like this in challenging contexts and environments, and how difficult it might be to bring people together in these ways. After all if this kind of concept was easy, we’d already be doing it… right (?).
5 weeks 4 days til end of the year — back in September when we pitched the idea we had aimed to do 6 experiments by the end of year. We need to adjust our expectations, but also we are learning a tonne. We are still gaining a lot of ground, just not in the ways we’d anticipated. Hypothesis -> experiment -> learning.
The first mini-experiment is done, with Sebastian Wolf Siebzehnruebl trying out the format with attendees of an anti-lockdown protest earlier this week. Learnings to come.
Week in a GIF
Got feedback on Empathy Talks? Want to join a pilot? Just want to say hi? Would love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.