Gatherings of stakeholders for a shared purpose who represent different perspectives on a topic.
Art of Convening by Claire Buré
A convening is a gathering of a range of stakeholders who represent different – often opposing – perspectives on a topic for a shared purpose. And they depend on the diversity of these people and perspectives to accomplish a clear purpose; including moving towards achieving specific outcomes. In a convening, what is collectively achieved is always greater than the sum of its parts.
Before convening stakeholders, identify the outcomes and following actions you expect to establish after the convening. The outcomes and outputs of convening need to clearly show alignment to the specific outcomes and actions you expect to achieve after the convening. The agenda and activities for the convening should also align with the intended outcomes and outputs
What does success look like.pdf
Template - What does success look like?
It is often helpful if not critical to set ‘ground rules for engagement’ together with the participants you are convening. Because these individuals are often holding varying perspectives (eg. different levels of government, citizens, corporate sector, academic/ theoretical etc.) it’s important to create a respectful and conducive environment for everyone’s full participation.
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Engage with intent & purpose
- Aim for maximum transparency & clear communication
- Work to establish trust & mutual respect between participants
- Two heads are better than one, but limit numbers (or it will reduce creativity)
- Embrace diverse perspectives in your convening
- Balance representation with people who can help bring about change