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We'd welcome your feedback on the story, either here or in our discussion forums.
After reviewing the document it's so nice to see our ideassynthesized into a meaningful direction!
Can't wait to see how people are reacting to the vision and howwe can start integrating the values of the document incommunity/local initiatives as well as policy!
Check out the French version as well.
I have just started coming to grips with the background of thethe project and the Beyond Boarders Draft (6).
I have always had trouble with Power Point type presentations,and unfortunately that is the case here at the moment. To me a setof slides is something to be spoken to. If I start with the slidesand no speech, I usually can't get passed the extreme high-level ofabstraction imposed by the slides to generate my own narrative.Perhaps I'd liken the slides to the bars in Rilke's poem 'ThePanther.' However, that's just me. I prefer to start withnarratives and see if I can find a story in it.
I will work with the draft a bit more and see what happens. Iwill take some guesses and make some comments in the meantime.
In the 3 C's slide, the center object is Canada/ians as a rolemodel in the world. Since I haven't read the discussions, I takethe idea of role model as a prominent feature of our national lorethat has been allowed to atrophy in recent decades. My ownorientation is that I feel the country lacks direction and has hada direction I don't agree with imposed as a result of our federalpolitical process. That may be the orientation here as well.
If I wished to play a role in forging a new direction, I wouldcertainly start with ideas and stories that already exist withinour national lore. Organ transplants are simple compared to culturetransplants. The idea of Canada as role model seems a good, even apowerful, place to start forming a narrative.
con't from above:
In the 3 C's slide, I do understand the 'double headed arrows'between the center and objects surrounding the center, even thoughI'm not sure the outer elements are exhaustive or mutuallyexclusive, or even members of the same set. However, they shouldwork just fine as discussion points. On the other hand, I do havesome trouble going around the circle of outer elements through thesingle headed arrows. For example, I have some trouble saying'Embracing diversity feeds into promoting good governance.' I canstretch the idea to make it fit, but perhaps the stretch is toomuch to provide an easy foundation for compelling narrative. Muchthe same is true for the other outer relationships. I also am notsure of how the elements to the right of the role model circlerelate to the idea of role model. I assume these elements arenational resources.
Overall to this point, I'm not sure I could generate narrativedirectly from the set of draft 6 slides. As I mentioned, that mayjust me. I do recognize the difficulty of summarizing input, oraggregating content to use more zippy language. Nobody has a lot ofexperience, and as noted, this is an experimental effort.
I am reminded of a book called 'Black Elk Speaks' Black Elk wasa contemporary holy man of the Oglala Lakota who allowed himself tobe interviewed by anthropologists. He rhetorically asked hisinterviewer ''Where are your stories . . . How can you know whoyour are or what is right to do without stories?" Indeed! Perhapsthat's a good question to ask ourselves. I also am reminded ofPascal who wrote in the 1600's: “…We know truth, notonly by the reason, but also by the heart, and it is in this lastway that we know first principles; and reason, which has no part init, tries in vain to impugn them.”
My orientation is that strong truth requires both the mind andthe heart. That is why I look for stories, since stories speak toboth heart and mind. I need to find a story here.
Thank you so much for your level of engagement with thedocument. It's personally very meaningful to me to have someonereally take time to try to understand the work that we are doing -work that can be challenging to explain in the online context.
It seems like a lot of what you were struggling with hererelates to the limitations we face in our ability to present ourfindings - a Power Point is most definitely not our first choice,and we are working to find the funding and the creative teamnecessary to produce something much richer, more interactive andmore in line with the emotions we heard in all our dialoguesessions.
I'm fascinated by your attachment to the word "story" - I myselffeel the same appreciation for it (and also for Rilke). In our mostrecent dialogue session, a lot of participants felt uncomfortablewith the term, as they thought a "story" was something that wasn'topen to change. They preferred the term vision. I think for us thejury is still out - and it should be more than a question ofsemantics anyways.
Next week on March 11th we'll be releasing a full report of ourdialogue session, and you'll see a lot more details in there(including how we arrived at the graphic representation of thestory). Again, this will just be a PDF, but we are edging closer toreally being able to bring the depth and complexity of our findingsto a public audience.
Did you find that at least the five key areas (green economy,equality, governance, diversity and innovation) felt like a goodbasis for you, in terms of re-instating Canada as a role model inthe world?
Yes, I guessed that the Power Point file represents a manualsummary of a work group. As an external audience, I did find theideas are not easily accessible. I also am aware that alternativessuch as Wiki technology are not inexpensive, and some of the Wikiapplications I've seen also are not particularly accessible.
Yes, the five key areas seem like a good starting place. I couldwork with the single arrows provided I don't think of them asimplying causality or deny that other paths among the key areas orother key areas may exist.
I will note that the areas seem to be at somewhat differentlevels of abstraction. For example, 'advancing a green economy'might be taken as an implementation of a more general 'advancing asustainable economy.' Other areas such as 'promoting goodgovernance' may have a flavor of a simple normative that everybodythinks they advocate. I observe that such issues may complicategenerating a compelling and accessible story. One of the skills inwriting is keeping the time, place and who's speaking clear for thereader. If it's not clear, readers tend to go and do somethingelse.
I think there may be a problem with using the Beyond Bordersdraft for both an internal summary as well as an external face. Itsummarizes for the group but may not tell a story to an externalaudience. I also have no ready-made solution, but maybe astory-board might help. If you accept Jeff Jarvis's take that thenet has moved from a content to a link economy, the home page ofthe site should tell a compelling story or else there will be fewlinks--no links, no fame, no impact, no value. Tough world!
When I first accessed the site, I scanned the home page, clickedon 'conversations,' and identified content to read, and then hitlinks that led to the draft. The draft was where I startedwondering what the site was about.
I'm still here becasue I think the work is important. I'm tryingto be constructive. I have both an arts and a sciencebackground.
Again, thank you very much for your comments - they aredefinitely constructive. I understand what you mean about theproblem with using the same draft for both internal and externalaudiences. We've completed a full report from the national dialoguenow, called Back on theMap. A report still isn't the type of easily digestible,interactive format we hope to have in the future, but I thinkyou'll find that even if you just read the Executive Summary you'llget a better idea of where the story came from, what it reallymeans, and where we'd like it to go.
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