Ashoka Ireland had identified ’50 proven solutions to change our nation’; Ireland had been going through a challenging time, the ‘celtic tiger’ economy having crashed. But how to make that happen?
Working with Boz Temple-Morris, they arrived at a format based on one-on-one conversations between the social entrepreneurs behind these solutions with locals. Like the Accenture ‘Festival of Ideas’, the central conceit was conversation. And like that event, the risk was the cliché of a talking-shop, where it’s all hot air. No follow-through. So, reprising the team, Stef, Carolyn and I wrangled a team and digital infrastructure to make the talk accountable.
Each of the fifty entrepreneurs had a young, up-and-coming volunteer assigned to them who, amongst other facilitation things, acted as a kind of journalist. We gave these volunteers big cards and thick marker pens, and onto these promises that came out of the one-on-one conversations were recorded – so much of what happened was “oh I know just the person you need to speak to about that”. These ‘actions’ were then promptly digitised and published in-venue and on-line.
With this growing public archive, the outcomes of the conversations could be tracked and followed-up upon. But more interesting to me, is that anecdotally within the three days our accountability work created a atmosphere that things-are-happening-and-my-contributions-should-be-a-proper-part-of-that… a positive feedback loop of positive action.