These three articles were first published in the ICA International magazine Winds and Waves, December 2013.
Welcome to another great issue of Winds & Waves, the online magazine of ICA International. The theme of this issue is Imaginal Education, a whole-person approach to life and learning that has been at the core of ICA’s work in human development and participatory social change since it began some 50 years ago.
The 2012 book Changing Lives Changing Societies, republished by ICA International this year, quotes Gail West of ICA Taiwan:
“Imaginal learning is what ICA has always been about. Enabling the shifting of one’s images or internal pictures of ‘what is’ is what directs my beliefs and behaviour. As a facilitator or trainer, or any person supporting another’s development, my understanding is that learning requires image shift. In order for that to happen, a person needs to change the messages that one pays attention to. No change in learning, no change in behaviour.”
This important link between self-image and personal behaviour remains core to ICA’s approach to ToP facilitation and human development worldwide, as illustrated by the many rich and varied stories from ICA colleagues included that book. It has also been at the heart of the of global, online community of practice on Reshaping Education for the 21st Century that grew out of the 8th ICAI Global Conference on Human Development hosted last year by ICA Nepal in Kathmandu.
This issue draws on the work of that community of practice and others to share something of what works, and some of the challenges and the rewards, of applying such an Imaginal Learning approach in the field of education and more broadly. Marge Philbrook of ICA USA writes of the ICA Archives project in Chicago, and its efforts to make these and other ICA models and tools from the archive more available online to a generation. Svitlana Salamatova and her colleagues of ICA Ukraine, in a country and a city again currently in the midst of profound social change, write of their use of online communication tools for connecting, learning and empowering of communities. Nelson Stover and Shankar Jadhav share insights from ICAI India’s ‘Global classroom in a village school’, and Isabel de la Maza writes of changing self-images in Chile. Mane Arratia writes of ICA Spain’s facilitation role in the global conferences of Initiatives of Change in Caux, Switzerland, and Amani Jensen-Bentley of Australia writes on ‘a teen’s perspective on a rural Aussie initiative aimed at celebrating multiculturalism’.
As I write, ICA International has just completed its third series of online regional gatherings this year, to connect ICAs and ICA colleagues and facilitate peer-to-peer learning and collaboration worldwide, and we are poised for our online General Assembly in a couple of days’ time. Nineteen ICAs participated and shared reports for the regional gatherings, and also in this issue you will find an overview of the gatherings and excerpts from some of those reports.
You will also find a scattering of graphs, maps and word clouds, illustrating both the diversity and the commonalities of our global ICA community. These are drawn from the 37 responses to this year’s new ICAI global membership survey that we have received from ICA locations around the world. We are grateful to all those who took the time and effort to respond.
I hope you will agree that all this makes for a stimulating and inspiring read. Please let us know what you think, and connect and learn with each other online, by posting your thoughts on our facebook page.
ICA International online regional gatherings facilitate peer to peer support and collaboration
The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) is a global community of non-profit organisations advancing human development worldwide. The role of ICA International is to facilitate peer-to-peer interchange, learning and mutual support across the network. ICA International also maintains consultative status on behalf of the membership with UN ECOSOC, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO & FAO.
With member organisations and related organisations and groups in over 40 countries worldwide, online gatherings play a key role in facilitating peer to peer support and collaboration among ICAs and ICA colleagues, within and across regions. ICAI currently convenes online regional gatherings three times per year, for three regional time zone groups – Asia/Pacific, the Americas, and Europe/MENA/Africa.
These regional gatherings are open to all ICA members, staff and volunteers worldwide, and people are welcome to attend another region’s gathering if they cannot attend their own. The third series of gatherings for 2013 were held December 9-11, and attracted 23 people from 19 countries.
The aims of the gatherings are to connect ICAs and ICA colleagues with each other, and help to build & strengthen relationships between them; to share information and facilitate peer-to-peer support and collaboration among ICAs and ICA colleagues; and to hold ICAI accountable to its members, and seek input & support to strengthen our global network and advance our global mission.
The agenda every time includes introductions and questions & discussion on reports shared by ICAs and ICAI. Agenda items particular to the December gatherings, in preparation for the following online General Assembly, included criteria for ICAI financial support to member initiatives, a proposed procedure for developing global policy for ICA, our pattern of face-to-face global conferences, and categories of ICAI membership. A full transcript of the gatherings has been circulated, including links to the meeting papers and online recordings of the three 90-minute meetings – please ask if you’d like a copy.
If you have not been able to join the online gatherings this year, please do let me or another ICAI Board member know if there is anything that we can do to make these online regional gatherings more relevant and accessible to you next year. Please also let us know what alternative approaches to remote networking might work better for you, whether synchronous (such as online meetings and twitter chats) or asynchronous (such as email, facebook and linkedin).
ICAI December 2013 General Assembly
The ICAI General Assembly meets normally once per year. Its aims are to take ICAI membership decisions, including approval of Associate & Statutory memberships; to take ICAI strategy & policy decisions, to direct the work of the Board and to guide & support the peer-to-peer collaboration among ICAs; and to elect the ICAI Board and hold it accountable to the membership, including by receipt of an annual audited finance report.
The 2013 GA was held online on December 16, using Adobe Connect. Nineteen people from 12 ICAs participated, including voting representatives from 10 of 19 voting statutory members. We were grateful for technical support for the meeting from ICA:UK Associate and virtual facilitator Orla Cronin.
Seven ICAs were accepted as new or renewed statutory members, bringing the total to 19. A further 11 ICAs were accepted subject to payment of dues and/or formal request. It was decided to change the term of membership from the January-December calendar year to the 12-month period following receipt of dues. The GA received the audited financial statements for 2012, and Timothy Wright in Canada was re-appointed to audit ICAI’s Financial Statements again for 2014. The seven serving members of the ICAI Board were re-elected as Directors. A new procedure for development of global policy was approved, and a number of ICAs agreed to propose a working group to use the procedure to develop a new global policy for ToP facilitation and training.
In addition to this decision-making, feedback was invited on the Board’s plan to develop its work plan for 2014 on the basis of the 2013-14 strategy approved by the GA in 2013, and no objections were raised. Further discussion was had on the question of whether to call a face-to-face General Assembly for 2014 and/or a Global Conference for 2016, although it was decided not to hold a vote due to insufficiently inclusive and in-depth discussion among members prior to the meeting. The meeting was notified of the new legal requirement to obtain a ‘continuance’ in order maintain ICAI’s registration as a non-profit in Canada. A special General Assembly will be called for February 2014 to amend the Bylaws for that purpose.
A full report is available on request, with a link to the full online recording of the 90 minute meeting. Feedback from those participating included: “Efficient and effective”, “Very smooth and good timing”, “It was excellent. Thanks for all who made it possible”, “Awesome organization! Thank you for such professionalism!” and “Appreciate clarity, preparation from area meetings and moving well”. Isabel de la Maza of ICA Chile was unable to attend but watched the recording and wrote:: “It was a great meeting!!!!, Thanks for a very professional virtual facilitation job. Wow!!! It is incredible what technology is permitting in these days”.
A brief online survey has been circulated by email to 99 representatives of 42 ICA locations worldwide to seek further feedback, particularly from those who did not participate, to help the Board make future online gatherings and GAs more inclusive and more effective.