Spreading the Practice of Liberating Structures

 We had the first meeting of our Vancouver Liberating Structures user group a few weeks ago and what we accomplished in our two hours together was a sweet culmination of several years effort. Slowly, but surely, we are spreading the awareness and practice of Liberating Structures (LS) as a way of including and unleashing everyone!

My journey with Liberating Structures began with a Nancy White keynote when we invited her in 2013 to keynote at ETUG’s “Tell it on the Mountain” workshop at SFU, Burnaby Mountain campus. In  “The Blissful Survival Rucksack for Engaged Online Learning”, she unpacked and shared the magic of how these simple, but effective, engagement techniques can help us to improve levels of energy, activity, and creativity in our classrooms, meetings and gatherings.

Then the following Spring 2014, my colleague Tracy Kelly and I trekked to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and participated in a Liberating Structures Immersion Workshop facilitated by co-creator Keith McCandless. We met some very lovely people, ate some very good cheese, and experienced Liberating Structures, “hands-on”. Then in  February 2015, we successfully partnered with UBC CTLT to offer for the first time a LS Immersion workshop for B.C. educators. This was attended by more than 100 people and was led by Keith McCandless, Fisher Qua and a team of  LS  “micro-structuralists”.

BCcampus Professional Learning followed with Liberating Structures workshops at the Festival of Learning in June 2016 and this year with a workshop led by Nancy White, Tracy Kelly and a small ensemble of facilitators from B.C. post secondary institutions.

So in April when about 10 of us met up, it was a thrill to finally be able to get a practice group started. We began the meeting with Impromptu Networking, then worked through Purpose-to-Practice to articulate our user group’s Purpose, Principles, Participants, Structure and Practice.

We left the meeting feeling motivated and energized by everyone and their commitment to learning, to practice Liberating Structures and playfully, fail forward together.

We have since started a LinkedIn Group and our next meeting will be May 29th 6-8 pm at BCIT DTN (Vancouver campus) 555 Seymour St.,  Room 820. We hope you will join us!

If you have any questions, please contact Barish Golland barish.golland@sauder.ubc.ca  or Leva Lee leva.lee@bccampus.ca.

Visual created to document results of our user group’s Purpose-to-Practice activity,