• Malka Kopell

Civity on the Move – Building Civity in Communities

Civity is on the move, bringing our work to communities!

Our conversations with civic leaders – who are deeply concerned about the problems fueled by inequity and hungry to connect with others – have inspired us. We asked ourselves: What can we do, right now, to support those leaders to better connect across difference and to help others in their networks?

Last year, we completed development of our Civity Academy, a combination learning-and-practice experience for leaders in civic organizations, business, and government. This year, we are taking the Academy to the people!

In February, we offered Tastes of Civity to civic leaders all over the San Francisco Bay Area. These hour-long sessions with groups from 2-12 gave the leaders a chance to experience the foundations of Civity-building first-hand. We brought Tastes to 40 people in all, including participants from the Presidio Institute, #Yes We Code, the Haas Center for Community Service at Stanford University, The Bridgespan Group, and Santa Clara University.

In the Tastes, people practiced authenticity and story-telling and shared experiences in their past connecting with people who were different from them. People took away useful insights that they can apply in their everyday lives:

“There were ideas I had intuitively known but never formally been taught that it was helpful to have put plainly in front of me.”

”I am modeling your technique to train my colleagues.”

“I loved that idea of being part of a culture that deals with difference with empathy.”

Following up on this energy and interest, we are forming our first cohort of Civity Angels, a cross-sector group of leaders working on issues of inequity in the Bay Area. These Angels will be participating in a full-blown Civity Academy starting in May.

In March, we took the Civity Academy on the road to the 2016 Fellows of the New Leaders Council in Omaha. Following a half-day workshop, which included some other young civic leaders from the community, these progressive millennial leaders are now in the process of engaging in Civity Conversations with people in their networks, and initiating shorter interactions called Civity Brushes.

Stay tuned!

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