Collective Visioning

How Groups Can Work Together for a Just and Sustainable World

Linda Stout (Author)

Publication date: 05/16/2011

Collective Visioning
In far too many organizational meetings, equal speaking opportunity seldom results in equal say. Factors such as race, class, and personal history too often inhibit open dialogue within and among groups, which can lead to a sense of disenfranchisement within the organization, and subsequently, disillusionment with the movement. Collective Visioning is the first visioning method to address these hurdles in the organizing process and to fully enable members to share their opinions without hesitation. Linda Stout uses her background and her own personal experience of marginalization within the organizing community to show how trainers can be more mindful of the diversity of their members as they strive toward a common goal. The book features a clear, actionable, step-by-step process to set up and create a welcoming space for activist leaders to collaborate for positive change. Stout details ways in which trainers should reach out to different groups, listen to and understand needs and concerns of the group, create a welcoming space for all voices, foster agreements, ensure the visibility of all members.
  • Shows activists how to develop an inclusive, inspiring vision of the future they want to create

  • Offers a process that guarantees the voices of marginalized people are heard and enables people of all backgrounds to work together with honesty, passion, commitment, and joy

  • Filled with examples and exercises taken from Linda Stout's decades of organizing

 

All of us want a future that's promising and a way to get there. For decades, activists and community groups have worked to create equitable solutions. Why then are so many of us disappointed at the results?

Despite sincere and well-intentioned efforts, organizers often fall short in creating groups in which people from all backgrounds feel comfortable speaking up. And while progressives are good at articulating what they're against, for a variety of reasons they have a tougher time getting specific about what they're for--creating a positive, energizing vision.

Linda Stout, a lifelong agent of social justice, introduces a process designed to ensure that all voices are heard, an inspiring vision of the future is agreed on, and an action plan is developed that leverages everyone's diverse talents and abilities. Used successfully by over 120 organizations, it creates hope for change among those who've stopped believing change is possible.

Stout lays out the extensive and innovative prework that must be done to build trust and openness before any kind of meeting is held--a distinctive feature of collective visioning. She describes creative approaches for encouraging people to share their histories and most deeply held personal values, and she explains how understanding why each person is drawn to the work is vital in designing action strategies that build on people's particular strengths. She illustrates her points with inspiring stories of what collective vision can accomplish, drawn from her decades of committed activism.

Collective Visioning is a complete guide for leaders seeking to create inclusive movements that work from a place of hope to create a better, more just tomorrow.

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Book Details
Overview
In far too many organizational meetings, equal speaking opportunity seldom results in equal say. Factors such as race, class, and personal history too often inhibit open dialogue within and among groups, which can lead to a sense of disenfranchisement within the organization, and subsequently, disillusionment with the movement. Collective Visioning is the first visioning method to address these hurdles in the organizing process and to fully enable members to share their opinions without hesitation. Linda Stout uses her background and her own personal experience of marginalization within the organizing community to show how trainers can be more mindful of the diversity of their members as they strive toward a common goal. The book features a clear, actionable, step-by-step process to set up and create a welcoming space for activist leaders to collaborate for positive change. Stout details ways in which trainers should reach out to different groups, listen to and understand needs and concerns of the group, create a welcoming space for all voices, foster agreements, ensure the visibility of all members.
  • Shows activists how to develop an inclusive, inspiring vision of the future they want to create

  • Offers a process that guarantees the voices of marginalized people are heard and enables people of all backgrounds to work together with honesty, passion, commitment, and joy

  • Filled with examples and exercises taken from Linda Stout's decades of organizing

 

All of us want a future that's promising and a way to get there. For decades, activists and community groups have worked to create equitable solutions. Why then are so many of us disappointed at the results?

Despite sincere and well-intentioned efforts, organizers often fall short in creating groups in which people from all backgrounds feel comfortable speaking up. And while progressives are good at articulating what they're against, for a variety of reasons they have a tougher time getting specific about what they're for--creating a positive, energizing vision.

Linda Stout, a lifelong agent of social justice, introduces a process designed to ensure that all voices are heard, an inspiring vision of the future is agreed on, and an action plan is developed that leverages everyone's diverse talents and abilities. Used successfully by over 120 organizations, it creates hope for change among those who've stopped believing change is possible.

Stout lays out the extensive and innovative prework that must be done to build trust and openness before any kind of meeting is held--a distinctive feature of collective visioning. She describes creative approaches for encouraging people to share their histories and most deeply held personal values, and she explains how understanding why each person is drawn to the work is vital in designing action strategies that build on people's particular strengths. She illustrates her points with inspiring stories of what collective vision can accomplish, drawn from her decades of committed activism.

Collective Visioning is a complete guide for leaders seeking to create inclusive movements that work from a place of hope to create a better, more just tomorrow.

About the Author
Excerpt

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