Maya Bobrowska, Pamela Schreiner, Thomas Tegtmeyer


Overall, we have 2 focuses for changing the political discourse:

  1. Participative Democracy – Host public events that are truly participative. 3 are currently planned:
    • Sept 19 at the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre in Ottawa
    • Oct 16 in Kingston
    • Oct 17 at the Bronson Centre
  2. Raise the level of political discussion by inviting would-be politicians and media to a get-together (meeting?) where we ask consciousness-raising questions

The participative democracy option was discussed for the remainder of this meeting.

The Methodology/Process for the Events

Methodologies that we considered for the events are:

  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Theory U
  • World Café
  • Open Space Technology (OST)
  • Art of Hosting
  • Chaordic Process

Although the design meeting will be in the following week, for now we thought that we’d use a modified Open Space Technology with Appreciative Inquiry and Theory U forming the foundation.

Open Space Technology is both very open and also provides a well-defined container. The participants bring the agenda. The result of the OST will be documentation of the various discussions. In summary, OST can be both spirit-led and simultaneously extremely practical. The following diagram shows that OST includes a marketplace that contains a schedule and locations for sub-groups.

The positive questions and possibly appreciative interviews will be used from Appreciative Inquiry.

Theory U will be kept in mind when designing this event. Following is a simple depiction of Theory U:


A well-crafted theme is an important part of an OST event. We’ll do this on Friday, Sept 3. However, here are some preliminary ideas for a theme:

  • Be the change
  • How would you like the city to govern itself?

Details about each Event

Here are some details about each event:

Sept 19 – Sunday in Ottawa

  • Determine a non-profit that can be used to get the discounted rate for the space. Ask OurOttawa.
  • The timeframe on Sept 19 will be 11 to 3:30. Setup will begin at 10 a.m.
  • Participants will be asked to bring lunch.
  • We’ll provide tea, coffee and cookies.
  • Donations will be requested if no sponsors found.
  • Call Diane Gibeault about theme and use of OST.
  • Set up meeting on Friday, Sept 3 to determine theme and initial advertizing.
  • Do press release to be sent out on Sept. 9
  • Design the event.
  • Print advertizing – about 30 should be professionally printed.
  • Thomas to provide media listings by Sept 7 or 8.

Oct 16 – Saturday in Kingston

  • The timeframe for the event will be 11 to 3:30. Setup will begin at 10 .m.
  • Participants will be asked to bring lunch.
  • Ask Rob Matheson in Kingston if they will provide tea, coffee and cookies.
  • Determine who will supply microphone, boombox and speakers.
  • Plan for 50 to 150 people
  • Ask the Kingston contacts to get the word out about the event.

Oct 17 – Sunday in Ottawa

  • Have already paid $50 for the room at the Bronson Centre. Must pay the balance of $250 by Sept 17.
  • The timeframe will also be 11 to 3:30. Check if this is ok since contract for 5 hours, rather than 5.5 hours.
  • Check if end-time of 3:30 or 4 p.m. is firm or flexible.

For now, it is assumed that all 3 events will use the same process design. This may provide us and politicians with insight into trends.

Advertizing the Event

Here is a preliminary list of organizations and places where we may be able to advertize the events taking place in Ottawa:

  • Political departments at the universities
  • Civics courses
  • Algonquin College
  • SEA (Sustainable Enterprise Alliance)
  • OurOttawa
  • Glebe Community Association
  • Blue Book agencies
  • Green Party
  • Ecology Ottawa
  • Media
  • OCRI
  • Group of ‘78
  • Information Ottawa
  • OurTown (The Ottawa Citizen)
  • Experience Canada
  • All candidates for Oct. 25 election
  • City politicians

Next Steps

Set up Doodle poll for next meetings to plan and design Sept. 19 event. (Pamela)

Give criteria to Rob Matheson in Kingston for him to find space. (Pamela)

Check the Canadian Wellbeing Index. (Pamela)

Contact Diane Gibeault about our use of Open Space Technology. (Pamela)

Send media listings. (Thomas)

Prepare press release to be sent out on Sept 9. (TBD)

Design the event. (all)

Plan the advertizing. (TBD)

Determine how the events will be funded. (Pamela)