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Collaborative Funding Dojo
May 17, 2021 @ 8:00 am – June 30, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
The Dojo is an action-learning space open from May 17-June 30, 2021. The purpose is to learn about and practice ways to shift power from funders to the people doing work on the ground in service to a more just, equitable, and thriving world.
More than a dozen “hosting teams” are offering a variety of activities via Zoom. See the “What is happening?” section below for a list. Many of these activities are open to general participation, while some require that you request an invitation and others have limited capacity or are closed.
See the Dojo home page for more info, blog posts about some of the activities that are planned, and the calendar of currently scheduled events. Many more are still TBA–subscribe to the Dojo email list to receive updates.
Read The Story of the Clouds and the Forest to learn more about the theory of change that has inspired the Dojo.
Who is offering this?
The Thriving Resilient Communities Collaboratory (TRCC) is offering this Dojo as a way of building on nine years of experience bringing together funders and fundees. That work includes the facilitation of collaborative funding processes that distributed $1.5 million to over seventy different projects and initiatives from 2013-2020.
In addition to forming a core team to create the Dojo and host some of the activities within it, the TRCC invited a variety of organizations, networks, and groups to offer opportunities for learning, practice, and the support of their work out in the world. More below on how this was planned.
See “What is happening?” below for the list of activities and the the hosting teams offering them, plus links to blog posts with more detailed information.
Who is this for?
The Dojo is intended for all who care about how we move money in service to a Just Transition across the planet and at all scales, from local to (bio)regional to national to global. We are particularly interested in participation by funders, fundees, network weavers, consultants, and coalition builders who wish to support the growth of collaborative funding as a keystone process for bringing about systemic transformation.
What is happening?
Over a dozen teams are planning action-learning activities for the Dojo. More teams may also decide to make offers as well. As of the latest update to this post (May 20th) many of these were still being designed and scheduled. Notes about scheduling and links to blog posts with more details will be added as they become available. Subscribe to the Dojo email list for updates.
Here is a list of current and planned Dojo activities:
- Weekly Open Space Sessions: every Monday and Wednesday from May 17-June 30. Participants build the agenda at the start of each call. Hosted by the TRCC, details here.
- Allocating a funding pool for initiatives: during the Dojo, a process will be developed to decide how to distribute a pool of money (currently $20K) among initiatives related to the work of the Hosting Teams that are offering Dojo activities. Hosted by the TRCC, details TBA.
- The Thriving Communities Fund: learn about this innovative approach to broaching the discussion of race, class and wealth gap. Hosted by Eagle Market Streets and Faith+Finance, details TBA.
- The Money Game – Virtual Edition: an interactive exploration of the meaning of money. Dojo sessions are already filled. Hosted by Greaterthan. More information about this work and future availability here.
- Operationalizing equity, transparency and forward momentum using the Principle of Consent: a two-hour interactive workshop. Hosted by Circle Forward, details TBA.
- What would be possible if the Defund, Reparations, and Regenerative movements joined forces? A conversation inspired by the questions and concepts outlined by Peter Block in his book Community: The Structure of Belonging. Hosting team led by Dr. Fatama Hafiezh of the TEA Group, details TBA.
- Telling the Story: harvest the wisdom emerging from the Dojo in order to create shareable resources and tell the bigger story of collaborative funding. Hosted by the TRCC, more info here.
- Resourcing as part of Network Governance Design: an inquiry based on the Network Governance Design Canvas offered by Circle Forward. Details TBA.
- Exploring Shared Gifting as Network Empowerment Strategy: a deep dive into a participatory funding process. Hosted by a team organized by Ken Morse of Community Food Strategies, details TBA.
- Grantwriting Quest: help build a coalition to increase the chances of collective intelligence groups and individuals to obtain more grant funding. Here is some background from the hosting team at CICOLAB. Dojo activity details TBA.
- Learning Circle: explore the use of integrated capital for regenerative economic development in Northern California. Hosted by David Cobb of Cooperation Humboldt and the US Solidarity Economy Network, and Leslie Meehan of the TRCC and SiliconValleyCAN. Details here.
- Letting the Heart Lead: Embodied Approaches to Decision-Making in Uncertain Times. Hosted by the Western Massachusetts Regenerative Food System. Initial session on listening to the land during the Open Space on Wednesday, May 19. More details TBA.
- Transferring Wealth as Land and Material Resources: a new initiative to support those with wealth who wish to collaborate with groups that have the skills, know-how, and trust-based relationships to facilitate regenerative, communitarian place-based projects. Details TBA.
- Northern California Fire Affected Communities Network: support the continued development of a movement and coalition to create a new relationship with Cal OES and FEMA and a new model for funding. Hosted by New Stories, details TBA.
- Collaborative Fund Design for Northern California Resilience Hubs: help design a collaborative funding system to support trusted, inclusive centers and spaces that build local community, respond to disasters, and implement permaculture-inspired climate solutions. Hosted by a team that includes Repaired Nations, NorCal Resilience Network, and several other organizations. Details here, event schedule TBA.
How was this planned?
Planning for the Dojo, which is the final phase of what can be seen as a learning “lab” on collaborative funding, has been a collaborative process from the beginning. It has followed the four phase arc of an “appreciative inquiry.” To begin, the TRCC formed a core team including its two stewards, Leslie Meehan and Ben Roberts, plus Dounia Saeme. They initiated planning with a “Discovery” phase based on appreciative interviews of over a dozen leaders and innovators, included Hugo Araujo, Michelle Mascarenas-Swan, June Holley, Kevin Jones, Don Hall, and others. The full list of the interviews that are publicly viewable (plus links to recordings) can be found here.
After the interviews were completed, the Core Team reviewed what was learned and decided to move ahead with the “lab” concept, with the goal of offering a variety of action-learning activities in the Spring of 2021. The term “dojo” was adopted to describe that final set of events. At this point, Ryan Rising joined the Core Team, and planning moved to a “Dream” phase where small groups gathered to consider forming additional hosting teams to offer these activities in the Dojo. Here is the invitation that was used to gather these groups, and here is a video that was created as part of that invitation.
Twelve teams (including the Core Team) formed by April 23 and collaboratively divided a pool of ~$28K in funding to support their work as hosts in the Dojo. More teams have continued to form since then, offering their activities pro-bono. After forming, the hosting teams moved into a Design phase to plan and schedule their Dojo offerings. As each team completes this work, they are posting invitations on the Dojo blog and adding their events to the Dojo calendar, both of which can be found on the TRCC website’s Dojo home page.
See the DOJO Home Page HERE for the calendar and additional info