The Great Gathering and GFSI

Have you ever asked yourself the question “How can we work together to make Greater Fredericton better?” If you have asked it, you might be interested in an upcoming conference hosted by Greater Fredericton Social Innovation (GFSI). It will be held on November 23 and 24.  I have included two questions today, with answers gleaned from the GFSI website:

Q. What is GFSI?

A. Greater Fredericton Social Innovation Inc. (GFSI) is a social planning council that works to strengthen our community by focusing collective efforts and resources on community defined goals.

GFSI was developed to fill the need for long-term social planning in the Fredericton region. We have adapted the successful model used by the Human Development Council in Saint John and other social planning councils across the country to facilitate action aimed at making our community a better place to live, work and play.

Our Mission

The mission of GFSI is to enable a process through which diverse stakeholders work together openly, collaboratively and strategically towards a shared common future. GFSI supports our community to maximize its potential by:

· facilitating collective decision making,

· establishing a clear and shared vision of community priorities,

· coordinating collaborative work across sectors,

· offering broad avenues for civic engagement,

· taking strategic action for the next generation

Q.What is the Great Gathering?

A. The Great Gathering uses a meeting style called Open Space Forum, where the participants actually create the agenda based on their passion/topic, and attend only the sessions they wish to attend. If you take a look at the Agenda you will get a sense of how the days will flow. In very brief description: we gather in a circle; the agenda is built as people come to the center of the circle to share (and write) their passion/topic on a sheet of paper; the passion/topic is posted on the Marketplace wall and a time and space is assigned; people then survey the Marketplace and chose which passions/topics they wish to join; at the end we gather in the circle. 

Some participants may choose to attend the entire Gathering, some may go for a day, some may go for a session. The choice is yours.

If you want to watch a video of how this works, please watch:

It’s me again. Tomorrow I will spotlight one the outgrowths of the last Open Space Forum held in Fredericton. And in the meantime, check out the GFSI website and consider making yourself available for the Great Gathering.