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Dare to Suck: Designing Creative Methods

Hi, Amanda here from Think team!

Last week I had opportunity to facilitate and moderate an Interactive session during a two day long international Transformation Conference. In One of the session that spark my interest was about Designing Creative Methods for Community Engagement by Re-Imaginary because how it closely related to our scope of work in The first step to start with defining the pragmatic goal of the community engagement (i.e. Develop leadership capacities, collective and individual learning). Then, we move on to Fit-to-Purpose approach that consider three aspects:

1. Creative practices – engaging multiple senses, using practices from arts, thinking metaphorically, and working with hands. For instance, cooking, poetry , drawing, dancing

2. Intelligence types – considering one’s ability to learn and areas they excel. It is important as it indicates what approaches best suited for their skills. Examples of types of intelligence types are naturalist, Musical, Logical-mathematical, Existential and five other types.

3. (often) marginalize stakeholders – acknowledging all voices and perspectives. For intances the voices of the youths, people with disabilities, and people of marginalize socioeconomic or hierarchical status.

I did not get a chance to delve more into it with their examples as I had to leave for another session. However, I think that approach to online events and webinar is one great example of this method. Our goal is collective and individual learning. The creactive practice that we have tried out were many from online engagement tools, virtual tours, 360˚ video, Augmented Reality and let see what we will come up with in few months. We consider intelligence types based on the partners that we collaborated with, whether it is student organization, community neighborhood organization or more of a formal or governmental institutions. We also of course take into account voices of all stakeholders, such as youths in our kick off workshop.

There are so much more to explore in the creative process of community enagement. During the session, thereis one creative practice in that stuck with me, “Dare to Suck”. The researcher and practitioner from the Re-Imaginary , Kelli, shared that Dare to Suck is a creative process to bring all the embarrassing ideas to the table with no hesitation and pre-judgement. As a one of the popular success story, Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith band, do this dare to suck ritual once a week during band meeting. Nine out of ten, the ideas are likely to be terrible. But one time out of ten the band hit the jams with songs like Dude (Looks Like a Lady).

The way I see it, Dare to Suck is allowing ourselves to have bad ideas, present it, learn from it and move on to better ones. I think with value of not hiding mistakes, I can continue to be fearless and to value the perseverance in trial and error.

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Jun 23, 2021

I was also attending Re.imaginary session in which they asked participants to do self-brainstorming to trigger transformation thinking at individual level. It is really interesting!

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