My journey as as Wednesday Web Jammer started shorty after the lockdown - period that I call it the 2020 revolution that united people from all over the world in front of a screen. :D
As I’m a curious person at heart, I was very eager to attend the first session of this amazing Wednesday Web Jam journey that was initially started by Arne Van Oosterom. And what an adventure it was so far.
What I have found in Wednesday Web Jam, was first of all, a lovely community of people joining together from different parts of the world. Meeting all these new people that shared their stories, life/work experiences with people that they’ve just met online for the first time. It was amazing to be surrounded by open-minded people, to learn about different cultures and customs, and learning together as well.
As part of this amazing Wednesday Web Jam community, I have contributed with sharing my success stories. Not only, presenting new ideas and my own thoughts, point of views regarding the topics discussed during our weekly sessions. It felt good to have your voice heard and listened, and to co-create together as a community by simply sharing, collaborating and learning from one another.
What I have learnt so far with Wednesday Web Jam - first of all personally for me - is that I have a voice that wants to be heard. I have a story to share. I have my own successes and my own failures such as all of us. And I shouldn’t let the fear of speaking up to hold me back. I have learnt something from all the people that are part of this wonderful community of Wednesday Web Jammers and that is because - and I will always say this - we are all unique. We all have that WOW factor within us, that spark that makes us unique. If we put all these unique people in one place together, just imagine the possibilities we can create by making this world a better place for all of us and for future generations as well.
As an initiative to start making a change and being inspired by the Wednesday Web Jam community (and first of all by that person that believed in me more than I believed in myself) I have created my very first podcast. I bring people from various backgrounds to talk about their passions and how the same passions are positively influencing their personal and professional life. It’s as a way to give back to the community by offering people a voice of their own as well and face the fear of being heard as I’m no different at all.
Whatever you want to accomplish in your life, never give up despite the fear, the self-doubts, the negative self-talk, remove yourself from all that and do what you’re meant to do. As the saying goes: “The world is your oyster.”
Building a session at WWJ was driven by curiosity, questioning and the element of play. It was a quick faced session where the participants were given context and related design activities for execution, persona making and role-playing. Breakout rooms were made for the participants to carry out the tasks while a casual discussion took place in the main zoom room. We were all quite chatty! The aim was to co-build as a group and explore what is important to us in this world of shifts and new normals.
Do we always know what kind of experience we are aiming to build for our facilitation group?
Some say it should be pre proposed, indicative or predictive while others think the experience should be immersive and intuitive. I believe in a combination of both. There should be perspective, and yet it should be free-flowing, it should be fun yet relatable and enjoyable. I have never before designed such shortly timed activities. It was challenging, but it did add up to a new experience. I loved the fact that people from remote locations were present! The WWJ was very encouraging.
What was my takeaway?
Be ambitious with a cause
Designing a fast-paced workshop requires more planning and precision than longer ones. There is no room for wonder. Be thorough with your ambitions, purpose and outcome. You might want to serve them the main course and entree. But be aware! How will it work? What are your participants achieving out of the experience? Will they understand? Giving the users enough time to understand the exercise; being transparent and descriptive is very important. It allows immersion to follow easily.
Essence vs practicality
We have to take clarity, time and feasibility into account! I said it's quality over quantity! You should have one idea that works well and is easily performed. It has to be about the method. Furthermore, the experience, the participant's ability to connect to the task and your outcome are essential focuses. If you have a series of tasks in one session, it has to be correlated with continuity.
It is not a guessing game. Users should not be wondering " what am I supposed to do?" It should be like - how can I contribute? Participants should have to spend time figuring out the exercise. This way, it gives the participants more time to appreciate their input and value for the exercise. Value and self-worth is a critical component in organising group activities. We all need to be heard. Building importance for voices that are there to solve your question or help you gain insight, should be a priority.
Play more than presume
What you feel, they might not feel. What you think they might not believe. However, what you see, if your vision is clear, they will see it also. This will automatically allow the participants to think it, feel it and be immersive enough to see your experience. There always has to be an element of play. Can we be young at heart while being serious? I wanted people to have fun and enjoy the session. I wanted them to feel comfortable and yet ensure they leave with something memorable.
I have found in WWJ: A sense of community and connection during Covid-19. It was great to connect creative-minded individuals across the world to come together to share ideas where everyone is welcomed. I made a few great connections I now keep in touch with regularly since attending WWJs.
I have given to WWJ: A contributor as a co-creator inputting ideas about Creative Leadership and also sharing my side project Inclusive Pioneers inspired by WWJ. I plan to faciliate learning circles to co-create conversations about shaping a more inclusive culture.
I have learnt with WWJ: You shown it is possible to create and faciliate a safe space for creativity to happen without physical presence. You encouraged me to embrace playfulness, experimentation and permission to fail fowards in my work and life as a navigate this uncertain period. lick here to edit.
I have found in WWJ: A really awesome group of diverse individuals from across the world from whom I have learnt so much. I have looked forward to Wednesdays to learn more and hear diverse perspectives. The light-hearted and fun atmosphere, but yet so powerful with its deep learning, has been absolutely amazing in getting me through the past few months.
I have given to WWJ: I have shared my own experiences in the breakout rooms and in so doing have hopefully contributed to something bigger and facilitated the interconnections.
I have learnt with WWJ: ... I have really appreciated the interactive nature of the WWJ sessions... but all so well run and professional. This actually helped me in turn as an academic and facilitator with running my own Zoom sessions.... especially with the breakout rooms. The WWJ philosophy about chaos and learning, helped so much!
I have found in WWJ:
- An amazing group of people, willing to share ideas, knowledge, insights, doubts, dreams and projects, with a clear purpose to co-create a better future for the business, the society and the planet.
- An amazing group of people open to see, to sense and to feel. To be vulnerable and courageous while learning and co-creating together.
- An amazing group of people with open minds, open hearts and open arms (and smiles 😊) always ready to receive all that arrived at that space, independently of their background.
I have given to WWJ:
– My time, my willingness to learn, my trust, my confidence and some of my feelings and my opinions during the backstage sessions.
- My effort to disseminate the WWJ messages to other friends as well as in my own social media contents
- My gratitude for this journey of intention and action, towards a better future.
I have learnt with WWJ:
- that even with the online tools is possible to create deep connections between people from different countries, professional backgrounds and ages from all over the world, because the processes and the techniques are based on the essentials – empathy, vulnerability and joy as well as organization, focus, bias to action and last but not least, always searching for win-win solutions.
- I have learnt several online facilitation tools and how they can be used in different contexts. - I have learnt several subjects that I was not so familiar with, as climate design.
I have found in WWJ a diverse community of professionals ready to explore different aspects of humanity, design, joy, facilitation and learning.
I have given to WWJ my own practiced presence, shared my experience and created space for learning for everyone in my own session.
I have learnt with WWJ new perspectives to familiar issues and familiar perspectives to new issues.
I have found in WWJ: A community and connections during a period of isolation and radical change in society and working life. I have found new inspiration to my work.
I have given to WWJ: I have shared my own professional experiences and given positive input, active participation.
I have learnt with WWJ: About my self as a leader and new ways to build community and interact with distance.
I found in WWJ New connection with great new insights on culture and new ways of working.
I gave to WWJ: just my time and willingness to join view sessions.
I have learned in WWJ: that failing forward is a great way of starting new journeys and discovering new ways of working. I have learned that you guys have an amazing active community that's willing to share, connect and learn. It's impressive what you guys have done!!