Dear friends and colleagues,
we apologise for the long silence from our side. After 3 inspiring training circles with Sofia Bustamante in the early spring the pandemic has hit us in various ways, and we were not able to continue the training circles as we had planned. While the pandemic has shown that working in a decentralised, hybrid off/online space is more relevant than ever, we decided to put Social Tools on hold for a couple of months.
Originally we had planned the 3rd edition of the Social Tools Conference to take place on the last weekend of September. The topic of the conference was simply “The Meeting”. Our intention was to role-play different meeting formats and situations and reflect upon one of the most typical social situations we find ourselves in when we work with others.
Nevertheless, in late summer we decided that the format we had envisioned for the conference was not compatible with social distancing regulations, therefore the conference needed to be postponed for a year to September 2021. After upgrading to a Zoom Pro plan and attending online seminars, festivals, concerts, workshops etc. we also experienced a certain “zoom-fatigue”, so moving the conference online was not a very enticing option for any of us.
But we did not want to go down without a beep! So here comes our invitation for the 2020 edition of the Social Tools Conference – pandemic style. It consists of one exercise, one questionnaire and one online/offline gathering.
FIRST, THE EXERCISE:
In order to conclude the spring training circle with Sofia Bustamante, which was all about dealing with conflict in decentralised organisations, we would like to ask you to join us for a 7 day exercise starting on SATURDAY OCTOBER 3, at 15:00 HELSINKI TIME.
We ask you to carry a raw egg with you at all times of the 7 days and take care of it and ensure that it doesn’t get broken. Yes, that’s right, a raw egg (we didn’t come up with a proper vegan equivalent, but if you do, feel free to use that!).
You can draw a face on the egg, give it a name, build a protective shelter and so on. The only condition is that you have the egg with you at all times and that it doesn’t get broken.
We will reconvene with our – hopefully unbroken – eggs 7 days later on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 16:00 for a hybrid offline/online gathering (see below – point 3).
You might ask, why? The exercise is not our idea, we found it online in an interview with
Erica Ariel Fox, who uses it in a corporate environment when addressing very aggressive and dominating behaviour. The interview with Erica is here. You can jump to min 27:45 into the podcast up until ca. 32:00.
While most of us are not the bullying type of CEO’s we nevertheless liked the exercise as it aligned with some of the patterns that Sofia outlined. We think it is a nicely absurd exercise, bringing some play into the daily routines but still reminding us about patterns of care and caring capacity. You can show your “personal egg” to your colleagues, talk about it, take a lot of pictures for instagram or other social media platforms. If you post to social media, please use hashtag #socialtoolsconference. Let’s see what happens!
AND SECOND: THE QUESTIONNAIRE:
We hope you could take a couple of minutes to answer 5 questions which are posted on this form. You can answer anonymously or with your name. The questions circle around any insights or learnings you have had caused by the pandemic in relation to decentralised working and collaboration. Did you have to re-invent certain practices? Which tools allowed you to survive? What new discoveries did you and your community/team make? We think reflecting on some of these experiences would be of great value, and we will share those learnings with all of the Social Tools email list subscribers.
AND LAST: THE ONLINE/OFFLINE GATHERING
We would like to close the conference with a gathering – both online in Zoom and in our office for those who are in Helsinki and feel like meeting in an offline space. Please note we will follow the THL regulations for meetings.
During the gathering we will share the best anecdotes and insights from the egg-exercise. We will as well present some of the answers from the questionnaire and conclude with a generous conversation about the issues that emerged.
The gathering takes place on Saturday, October 10 at 16:00 (Helsinki time). Pixelache Office (Kaasutehtaankatu 1/21, Suvilahti Building 7, 00540 Helsinki – see map here).
Please register for the gathering here at Eventbrite, so that we know who to expect both online and offline. The Zoom meeting link will be sent to everyone registered. 🙂
Would love to see you all!
If there’s anything, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Social Tools team: Oliver, Ilpo, Agnieszka & Owen