The name comes from the principle that we ‘give away’ new ideas for projects and ways of working, early germs of ideas that people want to develop, new facilitation techniques – basically anything that people want to share and work on with other like-minded people.
A Give it Away Day (GIAD) is about learning from and with interesting people with specific expert knowledge, and so developing ideas for new ways of collaborating and working together. We see a GIAD as a kind of CPD for independent professionals – to expand horizons, make connections and build relationships.
Each GIAD is different but the basic format involves a few short, snappy presentations on whatever topic our attendees want to bring, followed by facilitated, action-oriented conversations to further explore the topics and decide what needs to be done to move things forward.
We like to try new things at the GIADs and so to push the boundaries a bit we’ve used cutting-edge learning community development techniques like Leadership Groups, we’ve had speakers beamed in from overseas via Skype and we’ve used formats like Pecha Kucha to introduce a lot of new stuff in a short space of time.
Time is precious, especially for self-employed professionals, so we aim to make each session as useful as possible and, most importantly, as fun as we can!
At recent GIADs we’ve heard from experts who brought concepts like using Value-Led Personas to look more closely at an organization’s values and stakeholders; we’ve been introduced to ideas on how to collaborate to develop Enterprise for Life; we’ve looked at how Citizen’s Juries could help people take action on climate change and we have investigated the issue of Sustainable Livelihoods, presented to us by Julie Jarman of Church Action on Poverty to name just a few topics.
We like to hear presentations to make us think about:
- The big issues, opportunities or ideas that are going to matter in the next five years
- Why this needs collaborative action, and the best approaches to take
- How we can put our energies into it, and what the result could be
Here is a link to Julie’s short video about Sustainable Livelihoods: https://vimeo.com/205462545
As a result of our GIAD’s some people have joined Shared Future as Associates, several ideas for new projects have been set in motion, and new working relationships have been formed, not to mention the simple benefit of spending a day sharing learning, knowledge and experience with interesting, stimulating, like-minded people.
Here are some examples of what people said they liked about our Give It Away Days:
- The sparks, connections and peer-to-peer moments
- The people invited and hearing from the presenters
- Skills sharing from new people with new ideas
- Trying out the ‘social learning leadership group’ format
- An improved understanding of leadership
Get in touch with Laurie Smith if you have any questions about our Give It Away Days or would like to know more.