Notes & Keeping in Touch
Just like I said I'm including some links regarding presentation materials and some contact information for folks looking to stay updated about a couple of things.
>From the (un)sustainable practices workshop, a link to the dropbox folder containing the presentation & all reference materials: https://tinyurl.com/h9gvgdl. You can also email hnugen at gmail.com if you are interested in following up regarding the information or presentation.
If you are interested in the development of a co-op on the lands of the standing rock Sioux, please email drewblydotcom at gmail.com. <drewblydotcom at gmail.com>
Finally, if you are not already in the know, you can find lots of resources and keep in touch via http://www.bikecollectives.org/ and the think tank-- which has a searchable archive!
Thank you again for your presence at this years Bike!Bike!
Hope to see you next year in Winnipeg!
Problems can be broken down into 3 categories
Type 1 - Technical - You know the problem and you know how to fix it. You fix it.
Type 2 - Technical & Adaptive - You know the problem, the solution requires learning.
Type 3 - Adaptive - Requires learning what the problem is, and the solution requires learning.
To learn more about this, I recommend reading Leadership Without Easy Answers by Ronald Heifetz
Here is a way to address Type 2 & 3 Challenges.
I. Reword the problem as "challenge". Create a challenge statement that is not too broad and not too narrow in it's scope. Try starting with "How might we...". Pick the best one. Brainstorm a bunch of statements.
II. Use that statement as your basis to conduct research. Interview people affected by the challenge. Interview people on the extreme ends of the challenge. Immerse yourself in their life to gain a better understanding of what they think, feel, say, and do. Explore parallel industries to see how they are successful in dealing with similar challenges. Consult experts.
III. Filter insights from the research. Tell peoples' stories to each other to help pull out insights. Group the insights by finding patterns or relationships. Eliminate unneeded insights. Get it down to 4 - 6 categories.
IV. Find opportunities. Pick 1 or 2 insights from each of the 4 - 6 sections. Vote on which ones you will use. Brainstorm new "How might we..." statements for each chosen insight.
V. Find possible solutions. Pick 1 - 2 opportunities for each section. Brainstorm out possible solutions. There is no wrong or silly answer. In fact, the silly answer sometimes will lead to a really good idea.
VI. Pick the solution that is the most Viable, Desirable, and Reliable. Pick the one your team is most excited about.
VII. Make your solutions real. Rough your solution out quick and dirty. Test it. Modify it as need be. Don't be married to it. If it doesn't work, try one of your other solutions. The idea is to get it going without spending a lot of time, energy, or money; to create a thing into the world rather than just talking about it.
VIII. Develop your solution. Iterate. Keep evolving your solution as need be.
Well folks, that's the rough and dirty version. You've gone from a shotgun blast to a laser focus for addressing the challenge. Hope this helps.
Acumen+ and IDEO.org have put together a free 7 week course explaining it even more. You can check that out at http://plusacumen.org/courses/ Check out their other courses, too!
It was a pleasure and an honor to share this with you all. Now go try it and let me know how it went and contact me with any questions.
All the best,
All community bicycle workshops offer services to people. These are just some tools that can help your organization dial in what it does, or better learn what it wants to do.
Journey-Mapping - If you're creating a service, sometimes it helps to break it down into its main parts. An example could be if your shop were providing a mobile bicycle repair station:
- Assemble kit - Ride out to those in need of repairs - Provide repairs - Receive compensation - Ride back to shop - Record keeping - Unpack - Let people know about service
Instead of one big step, we've now broken it into 8 smaller steps that can be focused on individually. Smaller steps are not as overwhelming as big steps. Each of these small steps can then be broken down into smaller steps. It's all about small victories because they add up.
Prototyping Once you've broken your service down into smaller chunks, you can play with those chunks. That's right, I said play with it. Have fun. Act out how things might go down. Build what it might look like with legos, or bike parts. Rough it out. A hub might represent a counter and bolts could represent members. See how the interactions would happen. Use whatever you have at hand. Build it with paper and spokes. Whatever. There are no rules. This sort of exercise will bring up new questions that you may not have expected. Use it as a quick and dirty guide to learn how to better develop your service before spending lots of time, energy, and money, only to hit major roadblocks that could have been discovered much earlier when you were having fun.
Acumen+ offers a free 4 week long online course on prototyping http://plusacumen.org/courses/prototyping/
There are tons of materials on how to prototype out there. Look it up and have get to making!
Remember, it's about testing your ideas early and going from talking about it to actually DOING it.
Business Model Canvas A BMC is a worksheet to fill out that can help you take a closer look at just what is involved with your services. If you have a board to report to, or are asking for money from another organization, this can help show how what you are doing works - the front end, the backend, the customers, the people involved, costs, revenue, etc. It's not as filled out, expansive, or intimidating to do as a full Business Plan. And because it is just a worksheet, it's easy to make changes to.
Here are a few different versions. Work with the one that seems like it bests suits your needs. [https://www.template.net/business/word-templates/business-model-canvas-template/ https://www.template.net/business/word-templates/business-model-canvas-template/] Again, if you do a quick google image search you'll find a ton to choose from.
I hope this helps your shops out to continue to service your communities. Write to me with any questions or to let me know how this helped.
Disengaging from the White Savior Complex -- Synopsis
This was an open, facilitated discussion in a challenge-response format. My experience was that we managed to self-moderate fairly well: the only voices that were heard more than others were those of the (relatively few) PoC in attendance.
Defining the White Savior Complex
- Eurocentric / neocolonialist
- Messianic, related to the idea of "white Jesus"
- White people people coming into a community, trying to help with needs they identify, but which the local community doesn't actually have.
- Intertwined with gentrification -- white people moving into a previously black neighbourhood and taking it over.
- Related to manifest destiny -- the idea that white people will always take over
- But ignoring that structural racism is a driving force in gentrification: white people have access to loans and other resources not available to the black people already in a neighbourhood.
In Comunity Bike Shops
Problem: Many of our shops are set up in low-income neighbourhoods
- But cycling is dominated by white people
- Consequently our staff and volunteers are often much more white than the surrounding neighbourhoods.
- PoC from the community are often not included.
- There may be a language barrier in neighbourhoods with many people who don't speak English.
- Try to recruit volunteers from the local community.
- Especially try to recruit volunteers with language skills to overcome those barriers.
- Think about accessibility -- what are the barriers to using the shop and services?
Problem: how to start conversations about representation/inclusion
- The burden often falls upon people who aren't cis/het white men.
- But these are often already underrepresented.
- Find some allies within the organisation, and work with them to bring forward a proposal.
Problem: applying for funding may involve playing on the WSC
- A lot of potential donors are rich white people.
- Playing on their WSC can net more money, but at the same time reinforces structural racism.
- Rather than framing donations as charity, frame them as an investment
- For example, investing in youth to produce future leaders
Structural Racism in General
Problem: structures are intrinsically racist
- White people, even the best-intentioned, often don't listen to the needs of PoC
- There hasn't been a real conversation about race in the USA (other countries?)
- Minute taker's note: I'm from South Africa, and no, this hasn't happened there yet, either, despite it being a majority-black country.
- Recruit ambassadors or anchors for the marginalised group.
- (To the broader problem of structural racism): for those doing youth programming, actively educate youth about racism and discrimination.
- Implement and enforce safer space policies!
- One option is to make members sign the policy when they sign up.
- Enforce where necessary, but focus on education and conflict resolution first.
- Minute taker's note: but be careful of tone policing.
- Be good allies
- Recognise your own privilege.
- Call out problematic behavior -- don't let that burden fall on the subjects of the discrimination.
- Respect the emotional labour involved in this, e.g. of calling out problematic behavior of loved ones.
- But more imporatntly, respect the emotional labour of marginalised folk when having to call out or educate the people discriminating against them.
- Bring up difficult topics, again don't let that burden fall on PoC
- Address discrimination during orientation sessions of new staff/volunteers
- Have PoC and/or womxn run these sessions to make them more inviting and inclusive
- Explain micro-aggression clearly and simply
- Use fun on a bike as a unifying activity
- Hold group rides, try to ensure they are inclusive (see all other advice).
- What proportion of people at the workshop are from shops in low-income or majority-immigrant neighborhoods?
- About half
- Of those, which have people from that community working or volunteering in the shop?
- Nearly all
- How many people are living in that neighbourhood?
- Most (3/4?)
Observation: Racism is often subtle/covert, but sexism is often more overt
Problem: Bike shops tend to attract middle-class white people into a neighborhood
- It's easy to become a force for gentrification.
- Support existing businesses over gentrifying ones.
- e.g. get beer for parties from the local liquor store over the hip new microbrewery.
- Get local caterers who are established in the neighborhood over the hip new organic pizza place.
- Hold a gentrification ride
- Portland, Oregon did this: guided tour through neighbourhoods experiencing gentrification, with history
- Ended in a dance party
- Was found to be a good way to start conversations about gentrification.