What It Means to Have an Open Conversation

Five Weeks to a Social Library officially starts next week. We have preliminary meetings with our groups this week, to make sure everything is kosher and shiny. Today, I realized that we had forgot to mention the concept of “open conversation” and thus posted this to our blog space.

The last time I was involved in a group learning project, the open conversation was decidedly not. I learned a lot from that experience. I learned what it was like to be a user with an entity that was absolutely not interested in what I had to say. I want to make sure that 5 Weeks is exactly the opposite of not listening, not open.

We built this project so that we could all learn. I want to learn what goes wrong when you plan an online class from scratch. I want to know what people hate about it and what they love because next time I do something similar, I can make it better.

Our other goal is, hopefully, for other people to build their own learning projects, and they too will be able to learn from our triumphs and failures.

All of this means listening, reflecting, and fixing what it is possible to fix. It means engaging the conversation and being open to change, criticism, and praise. Sometimes, it means having tough skin. Other times, it means being humble, gracious, and able to see your failures. I am still working on it all.

–Jane, still a work in progress

or if you prefer

–Jane, beta