Back to the Future with the ICA Global Archives Project

This article was written for ICAI Winds and Waves, August 2014 issue.

ICAI Winds and Waves, August 2014Welcome to this latest issue of Winds & Waves, the online magazine of ICA International.

The theme of this issue is ‘Back to the Future’, and it features a series of articles related to the work of ICA’s Global Archives Project (GAP). The contents are overviewed by W&W editors John Miesen and Dharmalingam Vinasithamby on page 2, and by GAP guest editor Gordon Harper on page 4.

ICA celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. Those 50 years of worldwide engagement in human development and social change have generated an extraordinary wealth of practical insight, models and methods, of which ToP (Technology of Participation) facilitation methods are but the best known and most widely applied today. We are fortunate indeed, therefore, that a small but tireless team of long-term volunteers has been prepared to work so hard for so long to make more of the wisdom of ICA’s global archives available and of practical relevance to the social pioneers of today and tomorrow.

Much of the material of the archives was developed and refined in the annual ICA Global Research Assemblies that for 20 years until the mid-1980s brought as many as 500 practitioners together from around the world, for as long as a month, to share, learn and create together. ICAI has continued this tradition to an extent, by means of its quadrennial Global Conferences on Human Development since 1984 – most recently in Kathmandu in 2012. The upcoming Virtual Global Research Assembly in September (page 39) is a particularly important and exciting initiative, as well as an audacious one, for seeking to translate the participatory process of research and development as well as the content of the global archives into the 21st century and the virtual age.

If you have been involved with ICA and its work of human development during the past 50 years, or if you plan to be involved during the next 50, I urge you to get in touch and get involved with the project and with the research assembly. You will find plenty of material in this issue to whet your appetite. Enjoy!

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