We need to “Reclaim Conversation”

Professor Sherry Turkle is the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.  She studies human connection is being impacted by technology and our online lives.  Through her work and most recent book “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age” she challenges us to look closely at our new forms of connections, the impact technology is having on our lives, and offers conversation as the rememdy.  In this video she shares her work at Google’s office in Cambridge, MA.

While Turkle offers conversation as a remedy, we still need the HOW TO. How do you work coversation into our human institutions? How do you create spaces and structures to prioritize the conversations we need to have?  The “how to” is the purpose of the Small Group Lab. To receive resources as we release them, please sign up for Small Group Lab updates.

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Small Group Lab Events – Boston

Over at the Small Group Lab we are seeking corporations, nonprofits, and other organizations in the Greater Boston area interested holding a Small Group Lab community building event. This is in conjunction with our field testing and ongoing resource development process.   What kind of organizations are we seeking?

  • Organization interested in strengthening their community
  • Can gather 30 to 150 staff and volunteers in their own space to participate
  • Has facility with flexible seating for the above number of participants
  • Participants able to meet for a single two hour session
  • Participant feedback at the end of session and via questionnaire

There are group practices, activities, and conversations that have a powerful impact on all types of communities, but also context specific opportunities we want to identify, refine, and share.

Why focus on building community?  Stronger relationships have many potential benefits including increased communication, collaboration, and creativity.  Our ability to work together and the quality of that work is dependent on our relationships.

We are reaching out directly to organizations, but welcome inquiries via referral and this website. Please contact me with your interest.

Insight from a 75-year study is simple, relationships drive happiness.

In his Ted Talk on What makes good life? psychiatrist Robert Waldinger shares insight from directing a 75-year-old study on adult development.  He shares that happiness is not about fame and money, but instead, relationship.  Read more about this study: “Scientists spent 75 years studying happiness and this is what they learned.”

Do you have a video on the power of connection and community that you’d like to share with our  Small Group Lab community? community?  Share it and tag @SmallGroupLab on Facebook or Twitter.

Sparking a Small Group Revolution

As we enter this New Year, let’s talk intention. The mission of my new project the Small Group Lab is to strengthen the social fabric of human society.  Kind of big, I know.  But that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years offline.  Now I’m working to bring the models and resources online.

This is going to be a collaborative project.   First, I am going to work to take what I believe are the most successful and flexible small group models from my work over the years and make them available as Creative Commons resources.

There are a lot of specific programs and curricula available, often branded and tied to organizations.  I want to take the best group knowledge I have and share it.  From there, we can work together to adapt it, remix it, together.  As we move forward, I’ll be sharing models for gathering groups, facilitation and other guides, example session plans and templates.

As these Creative Commons small group resources are released, the hope is that more and more people will create, adapt, and share related resources and session plans.  Together we can support each other in designing, launching, and facilitating amazing groups and networks of groups.

These can range from personal friendship-based groups, groups connected to social justice causes, corporations, or other contexts.  Ultimately, it is about helping people use proven models to connect and accomplish more together.

I am working on the first batch and iteration of resources now.  If you are interested in receiving them, please sign up to receive Small Group Lab updates!

In community,

Creative Commons Small Group Resources

My project The Small Group Lab is dedicated to empowering people to strengthen communities and organizations everywhere using small groups.  A primary way we’re going to do this is by releasing small group resources and templates that can be adapted and shared in a wide range of contexts.

We’ll be releasing new resources over the coming months including Creative Commons small group models and session templates can be adapted for your specific context.

Sign up to receive Small Group Lab updates.

What is Creative Commons?  It is a way for creators to make their work publicly available with specifications for how that work can be used, remixed, and so on. The following video explains:

The content contained in this video is available under the Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike License v 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…) unless otherwise stated. The work is attributable to: Victor Grigas, Wikimedia Foundation. Video by Victor Grigas Music by Kate Orange