As we reconfigure ourselves at Groupwork Centre to meet the needs of clients and members in the post-lockdown world, one of our big ideas – an alumni network – is starting to take shape.
The concept came from a graduate of the advanced program, Tanya Edlington, and it was so well presented, we decided to run with it. We employed Tanya as network weaver to examine the needs and recommend how it might work, with support from lead educator in the advanced program, Sarah Norton.
Scoping this project, to find out whether it resonates with alumni, is well under way. The results of a survey we sent out in May show graduates are overwhelmingly in favour. The next big step is a weekend gathering of AGF (Advanced Group Facilitation – year long course) graduates at Commonground in October.
Tanya takes up the story:
The informal networks people have are powerful and sustaining. This network won’t replace those. My hope is that it will be a place of generation for work and ideas, professional development and also support for us out in the world, whatever our work is.
It was inspiring to see the variety of roles people are working in. Many work as facilitators, often in conjunction with other roles. These include consulting, learning and development, educators, coaches, writers, designers, directors and managers, community development workers to name some of the most common.
Despite the appetite to connect, the survey results tell us that the vast majority are not members of any professional association for facilitators. So we hope to be able to fill that gap for people and become a place for sharing skills and ideas and perhaps providing some services too.
One such service might be the provision of professional indemnity insurance via a group scheme like the one GC runs for its associates. Others could be participation in webinars and masterclasses.
There could also be opportunities for linking up with existing Groupwork Centre activities such as kitchen table conversations where new ideas are tossed around, or Peer Learning Centres, where we troubleshoot issues we are grappling with.
Many were interested in partnering with Groupwork Centre in the delivery of facilitation services and training.
All these ideas are in the mix, and while there are no guarantees, it’s clear they are all possibilities.
All graduates of the Groupwork Centre AGF (Advanced Group Facilation – year long course) courses are invited to attend the gathering at Commonground on the weekend starting Friday October 13 2023. Please register your interest here in attending this AGF alumni gathering.
The broad themes for the gathering will be reconnection, shaping the network and professional development. And the agenda will be open and determined by the group.
If you have an idea for the AGF gathering please contact Tanya (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As part of the open door, there will be a standing survey on the Groupwork website to continue the conversation with those who may have missed the survey in the first instance.
And don’t forget the Facebook group for Groupwork Centre graduates. You can join here and invite others: https://www.facebook.com/groups/187893881606072/
Registrations and ticket prices for the AGF gathering will open soon, please click the register your interest link above to receive the latest updates. We can’t wait to see you.