A 7 days course, SEOC Training in June 2016 - Italy

Three Day Introduction to S3
** Learning Patterns and Course Outline** ** Based on notes taken from 8 - 15 June SEOC/S3 course in Italy
Description In this course there were four main facilitators, two of them organizers (Andrei and Claudian) and the other two S3 stewards (James and Lili)
The paper notes for the course were sometimes not organized and it was hard to define the order of the notes taken. Here lies an interpreted version of those notes, trying to put them in a logic order…
Day 1
Opening Dynamic (facilitated by one of the organizers of the course/co-facilitators)
Dynamic 1 - Opening Acknowlege people: People stand and say their name in turns, while grouping in a circle, standing up.
Have the site-hosts present the space/site we are at.
Pair dynamics: answer 1 question and then switch partners. Questions:
1 - What is sociocracy for you/How does it touch you?
2 - What are your expectations for the course?
3 - What are your tensions?
4 - What are the emotions alive in you when you are in a group like this ?
Finish the opening introducing Love Shower (People move their fingers up and down while pointing them at others)…Love shower for the others, and ourselves.
During the break try and meet people you still don’t know the name of.
BREAK (15 min ?)
SEOC presentation (the context that brings us together) Ask for translation needs.
S3 facilitator (Lili) presented overall agenda for the day Main S3 facilitator (James) introduced topic on Parent Child Relations (structures of relationship between people)

Facilitator asks if anyone has any questions, and a questions and answers round takes place
Someone from facilitation team (James was the one in June course) asks that anyone has any experience with groups may put their hands up. Ask one person with hands up to choose another person from to group to facilitate an energizer.

(Salad Mix was chosen)
**Dynamic 2 - Energizer - Salad Mix ** Salad Mix aims at moving energy around, just by people choosing a different place in the room to sit.

Other facilitator speaks:
Facilitator (Lili speaks about drivers both for people learning S3 an forr this course/project
Facilitator (Lili) introduces question:
What is your intended outcome for this course? People take (5?) minutes to reflect and write down their intended outcomes and then group in pairs and say to the other person. Meanwhile, each group writes down in one post-it a single intended outcome for the course.
Note - Thoughts and Idea from Diogo While I’m writing this I realize that asking to write down a single intended outcome for a group of two might have the intention to create a muttual support team for as long as the course takes. After the course I realize that if this was the intention of grouping outcomes, then it did not work, as I did not understand it that way. If that was one of the objectives of the exercise, then I find it may be valuable to be (more) explicit and say it clearly that each of us should somehow meet with the other and check how our intended outcomes are being satisfied, and somehow build a strategy together to make sure they are
This post-it was placed in a flipchart paper which was put in the wall and had three columns: Backlog, In progress and Done. (The post-its were glued by either the facilitator or by one of the pair group)
Facilitator (James) introduces: What is S3 -> Design, pattern-base Artful Participation: Is my behavior in this moment the greatest contribution I can mak to the effectiveness of this collaboration?
Role Description Facilitator goes through the contents of a role description pointing to them on the poster on the wall.
Facilitator’s Role - Facilitator exemplifies a role, by pointing the description of the facilitator Role and goes with contracting the role (using consent without saying it is about consent)

Facilitation notes * * Facilitators wanted to go and explain consent decision making and a tension was live that the time for the day had passed away. Lili noted the time, and both James and Lili decided not to continue. * James explained that they were with the time and that this delay was due to Andrei taking more time then was supposed to and to other kind of delays that he did not feel as accountable for. * This kind of explaination (Diogo’s note) sounds to me as James need to clarify that the delay was not his responsability and by doing so, he actually was letting people be aware that they should care more about respecting the agreed times. Where I find value in this explanation, at the same time I believe that just stating this in this way may be a less compassionate form and I would maintain the saying adding how I feel about the situation and how my needs (which I feel are not only my own) are not being satisfied when we do not respect previously agreed times. * - Closing moment - Facilitator (Lili) ask the group for people experienced in group facilitation, and for that person to chose another to facilitate the closing moment.

Day 2
Facilitator (Lili) presents
James gives details (65 patterns currently designed) Lili explains why they are facilitating the cours an ask for those in the room with prior experience teaching S3
Open round for logistics (here is where questions related with the site usage and logistics parallel to the course have room to be ackownledged)
Pair round: Look to the group an find someone you can/want to connect with and fixate your eyes with that person. Meet with her and. in turns (facilitator signals the switch after 2 min, with a gong bell), answer “What is live with me?” After both had time to speak, facilitator asks if anyone would like to share with the group their answer to the same question.
Other facilitator (James) invites people to group in pairs and answer two questions:
What is consent ?
What is an objection?
and after both people had time to speak, facilitator asks to the entire group if anyone would like to share. Facilitator participates as a group-member too, also answering the question. Lili presents the definition of objections, using the wall flipchart as reference, and follows on to describe how to qualify objections (also refering to the flipchart on the wall).
James proposes exercise of consent an explains gestures (thumbs up means consent, thumbs to the side means concern, hands closed turning up means objection). (I think the exercise was consenting to the facilitator’s role)


Facilitator (James) tells the history of S3 (speaking only), explaining why he concerns about past history. - Comte - Sociologists Rule, James explains he doesn’t like the idea of having a minority group creating the rules that rule his life - Lester Frank Ward (Quaker) introduces the idea of the socius in sociocracy, changing the sociocracy idea from rule by sociologists to rule by people with relations with one another - University of Maastricht (Netherlands) recognizes sociocracy as a branch of social science - In the Netherlands, Sociocratic organizations are defined in the law
(During James talk, Lili observes the group…I believe she was looking for how the energy of the group was)
James presents his personal story with S3 - how an approach to TSG was made and how he chose not to join their group (a 4000 letter is in the making and he expects to share it soon, after validating it with TSG)
Facilitator asks the group for definitions of Values (and asking specifially for those with experience with S3)
Facilitator (Lili) goes through patterns of S3 (don’t have details here - need to cross-check with table and/or peers)
Other facilitator presents tensions and driver domains (refer to flipchart paper with domain circles an backlog tables)
** Lunch BREAK **
Facilitator (Lili) presents:

Facilitation notes
(using post-its as anchors for her speach, reorganizing them on the go -
Note This - using post-its as anchor - can be a good pattern to use with Aprentice Facilitators when they are not so sure on how to present)

Topics presented:
Ways to respond to driver
Qualifying drivers
Questions and Answers

Facilitator notes
James (as facilitator) backups Lili, complementing her presentation and answering questions.
James explains driver with live examples (picks a bottle lying in the floor full of water, opens it and drops water in the floor, saying : we now have a driver.
Note: I found this a good example and showed James experience by using the existing environment to his needs.

Lili explains “S3 Pomodoro”
Dynamic 3 - S3 Pomodoro
Three groups are created (using 1,2,3 method for group creation) : energy, stillness and connection. People have 5 minutes to meet and speak about which exercises they can put to service. When asked to serve, they have only 30 seconds to choose an exercise.
From time to time, facilitator asks a person to choose a flavor of pomodoro. This can be of one of the three groups and also have “sprinkles” from other groups. According to the choice the group accontable for that pomodoro flavor meets and facilitates to the others.
To make it faster, as there were 40 people in the room, while Lili was going 1,2,3 with the group, James started with 1,2,3 too with other people in the room.
Right after the explanation Lili asks someone to choose a flavor and the group meets and go on.

Explanation on Effectiveness Reviews (Role, Circle) - James draws domain circles in whiteboard and uses wall paper as reference
Introduction on Patterns for org. structure


Org. structure example (people standing): Double-Linking and Linking as needed

End of Day
groups meet to discuss key insights (15 min) general circle collects key insights (round: 1 key insight per group). When people connect with what’s been said they say “bingo” and put on post-its in a new flipchart sheet,
Day 3
Morning - Dance Moment
Agenda Presentation
Pair grouping and answer 5 questions:
Connect with self
Why, to collaborate better, shoul we define some values?
Answer “What are your groups chosen values” ?
Answer “What are your desired values” ?
How do desired and chosen values connect ?


Facilitator explains Driver statements (refering to flipchart) facilitator asks different people to read out loud the different driver statements written on the post its Questions and answers around driver statements.
People write down their org driver statements Facilitator asks people to popcorn their driver statements and checks for ressonance of the group to this statements.
Demo: people volunteer to demo a proposal forming in a closed bowlfish set, around the driver that was previously chosen by the group. (This was the SEOC Driver) Lili facilitates with James backing her. During the proposal forming, rounds go on for people to present (one questions at a time) clarifying questions, and each clarifying question gets an answer immediately as it is possible within the group. Same round system goes on to the considerations and ideas stages.
Day 4
(Saturday, 11th - after lunch)
Opening - facilitator asks for key insights from the morning
Patterns for coordinating work:

Facilitator notes
Facilitor(Lili) starts presenting different patterns which are written in post-its which are in a flipchart containing a simple kanban with backlog, in progress and Done columns. As facilitator presents, she moves the post-its from backlog to in progress to done.

Patterns: - Kanban - Task tracking meeting (with table - see flipchart - as support) - Governance meeting - Support Role - Helping circle/service circle - Logbook (Diogo’s note: not sure if this was covered here) - Backbone and Fractal Organization patterns
Example of backbone application:
Sweden Case Kids were being injecte with heroin and police , peace and anarchists movements had to collaborate (because police was arresting anarchists). John Buck was the one proposing this pattern.
Dynamic - Tickle attack - energizer
Energizer teams meets and arrange for a tickle attack: people group in circle, approaching the center of the circle with their face towards the center. The dynamic facilitation team stays in the outside. When people cannot move more into the center, someone facilitating says tickle attack, and the outside team starts tickling the inside and then everyone starts tickling everyone…! (quite funny this one :slight_smile: )
** Break **
Driver Mapping (based on impact mapping)
Starts by answering the questions:
Who is impacted?
What is needed (in relation with the who)
To answer Who is impacted, James and Lili ask the group and as people go in and say some whos, James and Lili go on and write on the wall those different groups (in A5 sheets, landscape format, with a frame border around them)
After, to answer what is needed, post-its are made available and everyone self-organizes and writes down post-its and places them next to the Who’s impacted. one of the facilitator then gives a number to the “stakeholder” and th same number to the post-its on it, in order to be able to regroup them in case they fall down from the wall.
After everyone has placed the post-its, a facilitator asks that group self-organizes by inviting anyone with an appeal to group the different actors together.
After, the other facilitator asks people to place new post its, stating “services, products, principles and actions”, with post-its with different colors
Note from Diogo Though this last step happened, I don’t think it was clear for me the value within…In the end, we didn’t think of what was a service product or whatever…All post-its were taken as “drivers”…and that was it…
Some more understanding of this step is needed.
Also, after this step, people were invited to step in as they felt connection with a specific group of actors. As a lot of people connected with the learning group, facilitator asked some questions to help “splitting people into groups”:
Who feels they are experts or experienced in this group?
Who is passioned about this group?
Whos is passioned and feel as experts? (these people are invited to step forward)
Who is passioned and don’t think they are experts (these people are invited to trust the people experienced and passionate ?? not clear if this was so)
Note from Diogo Splitting people into groups of interest revealed a difficult process, as people felt somewhat reluctant into going to other groups, and it is advisable to rethink this process. Not clear if this initial step contributed to it but some of the groups dissolved…and I believe that while there is learning there, it is important that, in a learning context, people have the chance to experience “the right way of doing things” and if experiencing the “wrong way”, may it be in a contained manner, as it was not so much the case, from where I looked at it.
One of the first things we went on doing was to give a name to the domain we were on, and then define and consent to a driver statement for this domain.
Closing moment for the day (participants facilitated closing moment for the day)
On the night of Saturday a Gift Economy Circle took place
Day 5
Check-In, facilitated by someone in the group (spontaneous volunteer)
How to group and prioritize “drivers”/post-its… Sheet spliting backlog and In progress, and prioritizing by value and by complexity. Turning the sheet from vertical to horizontal position, backlog an in progress columns turn into lines, and most valuable items are on top and most complex items are on the right.

Note by Diogo - By this point, when Lili was presenting this exercise, I felt it hard to pay attention and the exercise was not so clear for me.

Suggestion is for people to:
identify any drivers that don’t seem to belong to this domain and set them apart (ideally sending them away to other groups) *
start by grouping the post-its (so called drivers),
define driver statements for each group of “post-it drivers”
start by identifying the most important drivers to work on, and then, form same priority drivers, order them in terms of complexity.
(for this we can use a dotocracy for example…)
Place some due dates on the drivers
Decide what to do for each driver: action, proposal/agreement, create a role to handle it, create a team to handle it ? (This step was not clear when we started working, and it was only clear to me after…).
*one idea to send them away and avoid chaos and uneffectiveness from getting installed is to setup an area for “To be Adopted drivers”, where groups can go in and check for drivers that may belong to them. Having people from one group thinking on which group a certain driver belongs to may be exhausting and hard mainly when it is not clear the domain a specific driver should be in. Of course, if it is immediately clear where one driver should belong to, then people should give them right away to that domain.
Note from Diogo (analysing what happened while writing this text) For our group (learning) it was challenging to go through this work of grouping drivers and start working on them…When I look back, I find that this happened for several reasons : - the team members were not used to work together - there was no work coordinator distributing tasks for people (as this was operations related to governance issues), and no one with a clear vision on an effective way to go through (we tried to group and prioritize, but there were a lot of blocks and constant interruptions from people from other cirles bringing in drivers) - In the overall, and after hearing the general feedback, I find that this self-organizing mode with people going through working on drivers was not the most effective one to actually learn how to facilitate, although I find it a very enriching experience in understanding where I am at current moment relating to the easeness of going through different patterns in chaotic scenarios.
One major difficulty with this exercise of Driver mapping I felt was working with post-its like drivers which were not introduced by someone within our domain and also not knowing who had written that post-it in order to clarify what they mean. An improvement might be for people who write the post-its to also write their name on them in order to have further clarification in the future on what may be needed and how we should really prioritize it.
I have no further clear notes on what happened during the following days of the course, so I write it here from memory.
On Sunday (5th) afternoon, there was a filmed demonstration of a governance meeting of the delegate circle (the delegates were sitting in the middle , inner, circle and everyone else was sitting on the outward circle). James facilitated this meeting, giving room for people to facilitate sub-processes within the meeting (cannot recall which processes were there)
On the night of Sunday a Massage was facilitated

Day 6
Check-in and morning announcements
On Monday, the 13th, groups had some time to be together and try on and go through their drivers. We selected a person to go to the delegate circle and represent us there. We also had a proposal forming process to tackle one of the drivers which suddenly was taken as the most important one (which had been sent away to other circle and then taken back).
We went on a quick nomination process to choose the facilitator for this proposal forming exercise. We did this in 40 minutes, with people from other domains present as well.
In the end we decided to propose an open space to the entire group. This proposal to the group happened in the morning of the 6th, and the open-space explanation happened at 11am, being that we, the helping circle meanwhile accountable for the open space, had, from around 10h00 to 11h00 a proposal forming (in a quick governance manner) process to tackle the open space facilitation and build a script on what to do.
Meanwhile there was a quick nomination to select a person to be part of the helping circle regarding finalization of a proposal regarding the proposal forming process that went on some days before.
During the afternoon of the 6th Trello was introduced an online platform to centralize logbook information on what was going on.
Somewhere uring the 5th or the 6th Andrei, as co-facilitator and SEOC initiator, initiated a “contract” for people to become part of SEOC, specifying some terms and principles, and a list of “SEOC members” and “SEOC trainers” was setup.
Closing at 18h00/18h30 ?
On the night of Monday the 13th James facilitated a psicology of selves session.

****Day 7
Check-in and morning announcements
The open space happened on the morning of the 7th day, starting with a session on “tips to pull-in S3 and on how to facilitate”, a learning session around drivers and proposal forming. a session on power/vulnerability, and an introduction on organization structures (backbone and fractal organization)
On the afternoon at 14h of the 7th the helping circle for the delegate circle met to setup a final proposal…
(I went off for an hour nap from 14h20 to 15h20)
In that same afternoon, around 15h30 people got together again around SEOC (cannot recall what happened…perhaps it was here that the lists were created…)
Closing the day there were already some sharing moments.
Day 8
We had a morning check-in at around 9h30 and then went on after to a closing circle with deep sharing (with a break in between and some people already having left)