Forums Process

NESS forum - A resounding success!

Armidale Dumaresq Council contracted a new consortium of leading professionals and organisations – the New England Sustainability Strategy Executive, nicknamed NESSiE – to develop a whole of community New England Sustainability Strategy.

The Strategy work was funded by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change and addresses sustainability for the Region covered by the New England Strategic Alliance of Councils (NESAC).


Photo: Opening Session of the Forum held at NERAM Sept 22
Photo By : David Doyle

Stop Press!

The forum video is now up, fed to this site from Google Video - the full 30 minute digital video story has been broken down into 7 sections for your convenience & ease of download - you can see it at The Forum Video

With the forum over and the NESS Executive furiously processing all your inputs & the media gathered on the day, the next phase of is underway…

The day has been documented on The Forum page - more of the media content created on the day of the forum is found on the Media and the Forum Photo Galleries pages.

Video is fed from Google Video and the photos feed from Picasa - both to be found at Google.

Part 1 - NESS Forum Introduction 2:50mins

A sample of the video documentation of the forum - the rest can be seen here....

Sustainability Scorecards

The first phase of analysis of the sustainability of the New England Region has been completed. The global summary of this analysis can be downloaded here...(.pdf 99kB)

For more detailed sustainability analysis from the following points of focus…..

social and cultural

Progressing sustainability in the New England…

Requires building capacity and capital – social, environmental and economic.
The New England Community Sustainability Strategy can provide the basis to strategically position the Region as a leader in sustainability,
and assist in attracting people, business and investment interested in this pursuit.

So too, the Strategy, by articulating priority directions and objectives, could provide the basis for negotiations with
State, Federal and International bodies also working on sustainable development, including applications for funding, programs and services.

The Public Forum

A Public Forum facilitated by Ken McLeod held on Monday 22 September 2008 ( The New England Sustainability Strategy Forum) at NERAM(New England regional Art Museum) in Armidale,
is the first major step in creating the Sustainability Strategy, and a strategic analysis of sustainability of the New England Region was undertaken before the Forum to be provided as an information briefing to participants.

The major objectives for this first phase of work are establishing agreement between key stakeholders, analyse sustainability issues and opportunities, and establishing the necessary support and resources for the Strategy.

This initiative is being documented as a model for other regions to use, adapt and learn from. Read More... (.pdf 500kb)

Supported by the New England Strategic Alliance of Councils (NESAC). Download... (.doc kB)

Would you like to contribute to one of the forum groups online via your email? Click Here...

The reports from some of the members of the Visioning group who worked with Tex Skuthorpe and Anne Morrill can be found here....

This page has been prepared from the process document prepared by Kenneth Mcleod (.pdf 500k)

8:30 am 1. Introductions – Whole Group – Gallery

8.50 am 2. Connecting & Framing Discussion – Whole Group / Small Groups / Whole Group - Gallery

  • Participants invited to introduce themselves to three people they don’t already know
  • Quick sociogram to share information about who is participating
  • Participants invited to form groups of three – each person in each group has 3 minutes to share why they believe sustainability is a core issue for New England’s future
  • At the end of this session participants are invited to move downstairs for the Open Space set-up session

9.45 am 3. Open Space Set-Up – Whole Group – Studio

  • Introduction to Open Space – 2 laws, 4 principles
  • Participants invited to consider the questions related to the transition to sustainability that they would like to spend the next two hours exploring, then write their question on a sheet of paper and post it on the wall
  • Whole group reviews the questions, then people chose the one they want to work on
  • Groups allocated meeting spaces and conveners] move there with their group
  • Each group has written guidelines to assist their discussion with particular emphasis on how reporting will be done (posters)
  • 20 participants, selected at random to join the Visioning workshop with Tex and Anne remain in the studio

10.15 am 4. Open Space Workshops – Small Groups – Various

  • Groups self-organising
  • 20 minutes before the end of the session they are reminded to work on their report
  • At the end of the session the conveners post the reports on the studio wall during the lunch break

10.15 am 5. Visioning Workshop – Group of 20 – Studio

  • The selected/volunteer group works with Tex and Anne while the Open Space groups are working

LUNCH – simple, quick serve 12.30

1.00 pm 6. Open Space Poster Display – Whole Group informal – Studio

  • Immediately after lunch the convener and/or scribe for each Open Space group is asked to stand beside their group’s poster and participants are invited to review the outcomes, seek any additional information they require, and write their names beside the posters they are interested in further work on

1.20 pm 7. Vision Feedback – Whole Group – Studio

  • [[[tex skuthorpe|Tex and Anne] ]]and the participants of their visioning workshop present the outcomes of their process

2.00 pm 8. Topic Groups – Small Groups – Studio

  • Participants are invited to convene in groups according to their name-tag number or chosen rock
  • Each group convened by a representative of a pre-forum Working Group
  • Convenor presents their Working Group’s SWOC in the form of a mind map, then invites participants to consider:
    • What’s missing? (Gaps, oversights, emerging issues)
    • What should be the top three action priorities for the region in this issue area?
    • What would be the best leading initiative to advance these priorities? (Criteria: potential to build strong alliances/partnerships; to involve new stakeholders or sections of the community; to achieve early results – low fruit; to have the greatest or widest impact – knock-on; etc.)
  • At the end of the discussion period a spokesperson for each group briefly reports:
  • Evolveris mind mapping these report backs in real time

3.30 pm 9. Review of Outcomes – Whole Group / Individuals – Studio

  • Evolveris presents the mindmap
  • Facilitated whole group discussion
  • At the end of the discussion participants are invited to individually reflect on the outcomes, then write on a piece of paper some key words or images that arise for them as expressing the potential of this strategy. If time, some of these reflections are shared at random, but all are collected.

4.10 pm 10. Summing Up – Whole Group – Studio

  • Strategy Co-ordinator draws out some of the key outcomes of the day and outlines the proposed next steps
  • Thanks to participants and team

4.30pm CLOSURE

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