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Training program

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This wiki will ultimately provide support content for a training on using networks for advocacy.

We've been drafting and redrafting this program for months now. Latest version below. Please add your thoughts. As with all of this content, we're hoping the training program will be something others can pick up and use with their own networks.

Contents

Purpose

Empower network actors with the knowledge, skills, tools, motivation and support necessary to jump start network growth.

Goals

Training will:

  • Present and analyze the current advocacy context.
  • Introduce basic network theory and tools.
  • ‘Groundtruth’ content through interactive activities.
  • Promote and prioritize leaders and resources from within the group.
  • Weave participants into a larger community of network builders.

Training graduates will:

  • Understand our changing advocacy context, including challenges and opportunities created by the online space.
  • Learn about the power of networks, through stories and exercises.
  • Develop a practical network-building action plan, to bring training concepts back home. Be held accountable to other participants for successful goal-setting and completion.
  • Be woven into a growing and dynamic community of network builders through follow-up and online activities.

Milestones and Objectives

  • Pre-training readings: distributed 1 month in advance
  • Pre-training conversation with training facilitators: 2 weeks in advance
  • Two day training (details below)
  • Individualized post-training support for action plan implementation: 1-2 months following training
  • Post-training engagement with community of network leaders: 6 months following training. Ongoing for one year (assuming multiple trainings)

Training program draft

Two day program

Pre-Training:

  • Discussion of network needs, goals and participants with training sponsor.
  • Thirty minute phone call with each of the meeting participants prior to the training.

Day 1

Breakfast and registration: 8:30am

Welcome: 9:00am - 9:30am

  • Training schedule.
  • Training goals.
  • Expectations of participants.
  • Introduce the training team.
  • Introduce the community map.
  • Assign small jobs – timekeeper, note taker, etc.

Who is in the room? Participant introductions and icebreaker exercise: 9:30am - 10:15am

Social graph: where do participants stand on the discussions?: 10:15am – 11:05am Participants will be asked to cluster according to their position on various questions. Facilitators will encourage conversation on the issues. Potential questions:

  • Three years from now, do you think big organizations or small groups will drive and power social change? (theme: fracturing of the space)
  • Where does the public receive its information? What power will traditional media (print, broadcast) have in three years? (theme: new access to information, power of networks)
  • The public has more access to information than ever before, and can find and identify with causes relatively easily. However more casual members aren’t very helpful to big campaigns. They take more time to manage than they’re worth. (theme: new access to information, power of networks)
  • I know what other organizations and activists involved in my cause are doing. My activities are in turn pretty apparent. (theme: new access to information, power of networks, fracturing of space)

Break: 11:05am - 11:15am

Our current advocacy context: 11:15am - 12:00pm Presentation to highlight several themes:

  • We are increasingly connected.
  • At the same time we’re increasingly fractured: individuals are opting out and selecting in, and barriers to entry have dropped as drop small organizations are quickly entering the field.
  • Through harnessing the power of networks organizations can survive and thrive in this new scene.

Lunch: 12:00pm – 12:45pm

Summary of morning discussions: 12:45pm – 1:00pm

Introduction to networks: 1:00pm – 4:00pm

  • Examples of successful networks.
  • Introduce seven characteristics of healthy networks. Discussion will draw heavily from participant experiences building these characteristics into their own communities. (1 hour)
  • Network evaluation and feedback. (30 minutes)
  • Distribution of manuals, and introduction of Advocacy 2.org website. (30 minutes)

Landscaping the new wired space: 4:00pm-4:45pm Presentation of tools and examples. Hands-on open space: 4:45pm – 6:00pm Participant-initiated discussions on key conversations. Might include details on tech tools, evaluation, storytelling, RSS, etc. What additional information do people need?

Dinner: 6:00pm

Evening activity: 7:00pm

Day 2

Breakfast: 8:30am

Case studies: 9:00am – 10:30am Seven to ten successful case studies on how group members have used/built networks. Group discussion around what works and what doesn’t.

Fishbowl: 10:30am – 12:30pm Participants present challenges of real-life network. Audience poses questions and investigates. Room breaks into small groups to come up with action plan, priorities, etc. Group shares recommendations and insights.

Lunch: 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Identifying and filling in the gaps: 1:30pm – 2:30pm What do participants need to know to make this information actionable? Small group discussion on 4-5 key questions surfaced throughout the two days.

Bringing it home: 2:30pm-3:30pm Individual work on action plans.

Sharing action plans: 3:30pm-4:30pm Small group sharing and feedback on action plans.

Thanks and closing: 4:30pm-5:00pm

Post-Training:

  • Individual follow up with each participant.
  • Ongoing monthly group support calls.
  • Assessment and follow-up strategy planning with training sponsor.