#Convene4Change: Lessons From the Social Good Summit

How Do We Convene Change?
Oct 18, 2013 5:15 PM ET

By Alicia Bonner Ness

This is part III in a series of articles by the editor of The New Global Citizen on insights gained at the Social Good Summit. Read part I and part II.

I left the Social Good Summit (SGS) with a swirling mix of emotions. First and foremost, I was exhausted, as I’m sure all the organizers and attendees were. Each day, the agenda was packed from noon to 7PM with back-to-back main-stage sessions, some as short as nine minutes and others as long as 20. Never had I witnessed such a broad range of challenges and solutions, presented as seemlessly as the Broadway shows just down the street.

I also left contemplating the purpose and power of convenings themselves and how and why they successfully catalyze change, if and when they do.

Earlier this year, the Rockefeller Foundation published a superbly thoughtful e-book on mindful and effective convenings.  Gather: The Art & Science of Effective Convening, using easy-to-read, creative, visual, layouts, takes its reader through a step-by-step consideration process that ultimately delivers a successful event. Originally developed for the foundation’s internal use in partnership with the Monitor Institute, the compendium was so useful, the Foundation made the resource available to the public.

Gather is an excellent tool with which to clarify a convener’s approach to mindful event planning, but it stops short of helping the convener decide what best motivates their specific audience. How do we ensure that, as event organizers and attendees alike, our intended objectives are achieved by the substance of the event itself?

Continue reading on The New Global Citizen.