Thriving Communities

Identifying a Magnetic Focus

One Day Train-the-Trainer Workshop

The Power of Focus:  Every community is full of creative ideas, energy and talent.  The diversity of backgrounds, values, thinking and interests within a community creates a rich texturing but can also make it difficult to take unified action.  Smart, committed and well-intended people pulling in different directions can stymie change.  Community organizers get burned out and disengage. Social progress stalls while social ills persist.

This program provides neighborhood and community leaders with the ability to convene a positive forum of their constituents to identify a magnetic focus to which each participant is willing to make a commitment.  A magnetic focus attracts people and resources naturally, easily, organically.  By focusing on images of possibility, a thriving community is able to sustain its uniqueness, build on its strengths, attract and retain young people and innovative businesses and grow economically.  Knowing where to most effectively invest energy, a thriving community creates its preferred future.

Outcomes:  By going through the same highly interactive process they will teach to others, community leaders will…

  • Learn about a new type of community meeting
  • Gain insight into the web of forces that interconnect many issues
  • Get ready for action by seeing possibilities for change
  • Make supportive connections with their peers

Arriving at a Magnetic Focus:  Here are the steps in the process for creating a magnetic focus…

  1. In an interactive session, participants will identify the driving forces affecting the development of their neighborhood or community.  Both existing data and the expertise in the room will be brought into the analysis.
  2. Participants map out the relationships connecting the driving forces and then create a structure depicting the web of forces and connections shaping the community.
  3. Working with this structure, participants can see where their actions can bring about high impact, positive change and where they would have less impact.
  4. In small groups, participants find common ground through a rigorous process of identifying themes, projects and issues they still differ over.
  5. These views are consolidated by the entire group into a singular magnetic focus. 
  6. After time for reflection, the participants revisit their work, discuss, revise and confirm their support.


Structure of the Workshop:

Afternoon - Day 1

Work session
Networking session
Dinner on your own


Morning - Day 2

Work session
Interactive lunch
Confirmation of Magnetic Focus
Wrap up


Participant Materials:

Each participant will receive a copy of the trainers manual laying out each step of the process in detail and including logistical suggestions related to each activity

Each participant will get a CD with all of the slides used in the program

For more information about  Art of the Future's approach to Thriving Communities

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