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AFN 2021 Online Conference

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Event description

The AFN Conference is online again this year and focused on the theme: Community and Connection in Turbulent Times.

There is innovation, information, variety and best of all… a chance to see those in your AFN community.

The Conference is going to be held over one day Friday 5 November with sessions in 4 hosted zoom streams.

In the program (below), we have sessions on facilitation techniques tailored to our new online working environments, and sessions that help us delve into our own practice and the clients and communities we work with.

The AFN 2021 Online Conference will begin with an opening at 9am (AEST) Friday 5 November.  


SESSION 1, STREAM #1 - Paradigm Shifts and Blind Spots with Bob Dick:
If “planning is everything; the plan is nothing" (Dwight Eisenhower),
what’s planning for if it’s not for the plan? That’s an important
question for facilitators, especially in turbulent times, and when
people are involved.

SESSION 1, STREAM #2 - Co-creating emergent feminist facilitation/ practices with Sienna Aguilar, Dr Caroline Lambert and Amy Haddad: The session will focus on sharing a story / case study of emergent co-facilitation from a national convening of gender equality advocates and provide opportunities for participants to apply lessons into their own contexts. Our approach puts into direct practice the idea that the means create the end, that role modelling inter-generational feminist co-facilitation and sharing practical lessons from the process can support equitable, brave feminist spaces.

We aim to employ simple experiential techniques including personal reflection, (amplifying poetry and music from First Nations poets and artists of colour as part of grounding practice), and role modelling co-facilitation that holds brave space to listen, think, trust, and act differently. We aim to provide emerging intersectional principles or ”ways of being” in a group setting and a ‘checklist’ for considerations and resource links to support psychological safety. These techniques and resources are readily accessible for any facilitator. They are particularly useful for facilitating groups where people from diverse backgrounds, experiences, power imbalances etc. gather for a shared purpose of social change / futures that serve all of us.

SESSION 1, STREAM #3 - Doing facilitation online - maximum engagement with the simplest tools with Ian Colley & Scott Newton:

Most of us have been propelled into the virtual meeting space, some of us
reluctantly. How do we translate our facilitation practice into the
online space. What works for most people, most of the time? Explore
simple approaches and tools that maximise participant engagement in
once-off meetings (consultations, workshops, training sessions) when you
don't have time to teach participants more sophisticated online apps,
you just need to engage them immediately.

SESSION 1, STREAM #4 - Facilitation as a Business with Andrew Huffer:

To create ways and means to check that AFN facilitators are appearing brightly on their client’s radar. (i.e. keeping a facilitative approach to our practices at the forefront in turbulent times).

SESSION 2, STREAM #1 - Conquering Fear and Self-Consciousness through Connection with Tony Sloman:
In order to connect with others, we must be able to connect with ourselves
first. It is what I refer to as ‘Intra-connection’; a sense of purpose,
alignment, being ‘centred’ and present… our authentic self. Our
authentic self connects to others in a profound way. We tend to
disconnect from our authentic self when the stakes become too high.
These are self-determined situations that provoke fear and uncertainty
in us. Situations that may be a result of sudden and dramatic change,
scrutiny, judgement, power imbalance - the breeding ground for
disconnection. My session will explore our methodology that seeks to
empower leaders in 'high-stakes situations'.

SESSION 2, STREAM #2 - 3 Questions Every Young Person Needs Answered with Brett White:
Young people crave belonging, and are subconsciously asking themselves 3 critical questions. 1/ WHO am I? 2/ WHY am I here? 3/ WHERE do I fit? I believe as coaches, facilitators, mentors, trainers and leaders, we have a responsibility to help answer these questions. Having worked alongside young emerging leaders in both Australia and Cambodia I have witnessed first hand the transformational power of understanding these 3 questions for young people. Brett will be joined by 2 young people in this session, one from Sydney and one from Cambodia.

SESSION 2, STREAM #3 - Humanising Zoom with Peter Wallman:

We all spend a significant amount of our time on zoom meetings. And it is a
common experience for facilitators to become ZOOMED OUT! It is little
known that Zoom uses an algorithm to dull down our images, making it
difficult to read fine emotional distinctions. Also watching our own
image constantly has a similar effect. In my opinion, these dehumanise
and de-energise us. In this workshop, Peter will discuss and demonstrate
ways we can utilise our own humanity and bring other processes and
approaches to zoom to make our experience energising, exciting and
productive rather than predictably dull.

SESSION 2, STREAM #4 - The WE Story with Gabrielle Martinovich:
The WE story gets beyond traditional I/You approaches to conflict and assumes everything each of us thinks and feels has a place in the dialogue. Its an integrative practice which points to a kind of leadership that can be used as part of conflict resolution strategies.

SESSION 3, STREAM #1 - Addressing problems with no known answer – using
simulation and Cynefin domains to play with solution finding
Elyssebeth Leigh:

Complexity cannot be merely ‘managed’ or ‘facilitated’. However, complexity can be played with on the way to finding workable solutions. Addressing complex problems requires fresh thinking and giving a good deal of
playful attention to the new and unexpected. Simulation is a research
and learning tool that provides a platform for such playfulness. The
Cynefin Domains of Knowledge provide a framework for identifying the
nature of problems confronting us. This session proactively engages
participants in ways of combining these into a means for learning how to
'play with' knowledge and knowing for the benefit of specific
communities and individuals. While simulations condense complexity into
abbreviated models of much larger landscapes, the Cynefin Domains help
to develop ‘map reading’ skills for navigating those landscapes. The
session will explore how to 'play with' knowledge and knowing for the
ongoing benefit of communities and individuals.

SESSION 3, STREAM #2 - Reflect and Integrate through Journal Writing with Kate Scholl:

This workshop will introduce some brief simple journal writing exercises to use in facilitation that assists participants to reflect, slow down, draw on their own experience and knowledge, and/or integrate their learning or perspectives. Helping people connect with their own perspectives and experiences often assists in building community within the group. The time will include actual use of some of the methods. Bring your journal or something to write in.

SESSION 3, STREAM #3 - How Can Facilitators Strengthen Connections with Michelle Rush & Helen Ritchie:

Within this workshop we’ll explore how facilitators can bring about
connections people to people, people to history, and people to place.
We’ll do this using methods from the Technology of Participation to draw
on participants’ experience, and share examples from our own work in
Aotearoa New Zealand.

SESSION 3, STREAM #4 - Building connection with Aboriginal communities in an online environment with Elle Davidson:
With extended lockdowns and project timeframes pressing forward there has never been a more important time to use online engagement tools. However, this can present significant challenges when working with Aboriginal communities. In this session we will discuss some practical tips on how to build connection and relationship in an online environment. We will use miro to unpack and share ideas and participants will walk away with a new confidence in engaging online with Aboriginal communities.

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