Appendix III - Examples Of Collective Projects
Here are some examples of the kinds of projects that can unfold in a Collective context. Each of them is intended to generate a deep sense of cohesion and belonging between members of a community, whilst also encouraging personal development, social change and just generally being fun to participate in.
The Origins Story Project
This project is involves inviting each person in a Collective to share their Origins Story with the rest of the group. The Origins Story idea is borrowed from the world of comic books and refers to the stories that reveal the how the main characters become heroes in the first place. Using just twelve photos and a small number of words to describe them, each month a different community member is invited to post in an online community space and tell the story of how they became the multifaceted ‘hero’ they are today. Often there are so many wonderful people in our communities that we simply don’t have enough time to meet up in person and share the intricacies of where we’ve come from, so the Origins Story project is a great way to deepen our shared understanding of how we came to be. It also provides an opportunity for the participant to self author their own story and to frame their history the way they wish to, which can be a surprisingly transformative and therapeutic process to undertake.
The Hatchery is a seven week program designed to help members of a Collective incubate or launch new Social Enterprises. The format is simple, after an introductory session, each of the remaining six weeks are dedicated to one member of the group. Each week a different participant shares about a new idea or an existing project which they wish to either launch or further evolve. They then receive coaching, feedback and advice from the other participants, as well as any other experienced entrepreneurs in the Collective who are happy to donate their time. This format can also be applied to running Case Clinics, which is a methodology with similar aims to the Hatchery which emerged from the management methodology Theory U.
The Solstice Goals project involves inviting members of a Collective to meet together on all four of the Solstices and Equinoxes in order set their goals and intentions for the three months ahead. The idea is to help each other stay on track with achieving our dreams and to support each other to remain healthy and balanced while we do it. Breakout sessions held during the event provide an opportunity to help coach each other in small groups, after which everyone is then invited (but not obliged) to publicly state what it is they are aiming for in the months ahead. There is also a chance to celebrate successes and commiserate about any frustrations people experienced while trying to reach their goals in the previous three months. It’s a practice that also serves as invitation for the community to come together and find a moment of Collective stillness, to recognise the changing of the seasons and to reflect upon everything that is happening our lives.
The Creative Boost
The Creative Boost is a project designed to support the artists, writers, comedians, poets, musicians and other kinds of performance artists within the group. Every month or a two, a different Collective member that falls into one of these categories (be they professional or amateur) is chosen. They then share with the wider community a list of ways that they can be supported by the group that will help to boost them in their creative endeavours. This might involve having people like a social media page, leave a review online or buy an album or a book. The rest of the Collective are then invited to choose one of the ‘boosting methods’ and flood the particular artist with a sense of appreciation and support.
The Annual Meme Contest
The Annual Meme contest invites everyone in the Collective to create their own meme around a particular subject or topic and then post it in an online community space. The rest of the community then votes on which one they like the best, different categories can involve ‘most creative’, ‘most hilarious’ and ‘most funny but true’. Such meme contests can also serve as a means for the Collective to make fun of itself and point towards any shadow elements that are not often openly discussed within the community.
The Grand Eco Challenge
Each year, during one particular month, everyone in the Collective can be invited to participate together in a Grand Eco challenge. This involves each person taking stock of how their lifestyle choices impact the surrounding ecology. Participants then make a commitment to make relevant changes in their lifestyle. Annual themes might include removing or reducing animal products from our diets, composting at home, increasing the use of bicycles or cutting out the use of plastic in our live. The motivation to follow through on the behaviour change comes from the fact that there is a group commitment to doing it together. It’s a process that can be made more fun and enjoyable by encouraging everyone to post photos and share stories along the way of what did and didn’t work, and by celebrating the victories each person has along the way.
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