Saturday, May 26, 2012

Group Works: A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings and Other Gatherings

A friend loaned me a deck of these cards at The Evergreen State College's 40th Anniversary. They look intriguing. Here's a bit about the project:
Welcome to the online home of the Group Works cards. Why is it that some meetings bring life to your soul, while others leave you wishing you'd never stepped in the room?  What happens at the best ones, that makes them productive, fulfilling, sometimes even magic? 
This deck of 91 full-colour cards names what skilled facilitators and other participants do to make things work.  The content is more specific than values and less specific than tips and techniques, cutting across existing methodologies with a designer's eye to capture the patterns that repeat.  The deck can be used to plan sesssions, reflect on and debrief them, provide guidance, and share responsibility for making the process go well.  It has the potential to provide a common reference point for practitioners, and serve as a framework and learning tool for those studying the field.

The Group Works cards have been created by more than fifty volunteers (the Group Pattern Language Project) from diverse organizational backgrounds who collaborated over three years to express the core wisdom at the heart of successful group sessions.  The cards are accompanied by a 5-panel explanatory legend card and a booklet describing the deck's purpose, story, and ideas for suggested activities. 

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