Learning How to Learn With Kitchen-Table Committees

10 lessons to empower self-organizing committees
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  • Lectures 18
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 11/2013 English

Course Description

Have you ever wondered about the purpose of public involvement in planning? Have you have ever thought "there must be a better way to get public knowledge in community and regional planning". If so, then this course is for you. There have been considerable improvements made in understanding public involvement process over the past 30 years, if we only implement them. The course examines different planning approaches and the 5 disciplines of team learning taught by Peter Senge. The course also clearly outlines a 7 step process for team learning that ensures meaningful public involvement in the advisory committee process.There are 10 lessons and three quizzes to ensure that the knowledge of each lesson is understood and can be applied by the student.

What are the requirements?

  • no prerequisites; but some previous experience with committee work is recommended.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By the end of the course the student will have developed a good understanding of why and how the contribution of public knowledge is often marginalized in community and regional planning processes. The student will learn strategies, techniques and disciplines for asking the critical questions and empowering their kitchen table committees to persist and work to participate collaboratively with professional planners and behind-the-scenes developers and politicians.

Who is the target audience?

  • Concerned citizens, social activists, interested retirees and students, and professional planners will benefit from working through the exercises and information in this course.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Being - What is a Kitchen-table Committee?

This lecture empowers with the knowledge that self-organization is nature's way. Colonization and other 'command and control' methods of organizing people is a recent invention by science and technology. These 'command and control' methods have been destructive of nature and culture.

Company Time (words and music by Garth East)

This lesson empowers with a little more knowledge about the history of who started the story of Western society and why this story could have made sense to some people at one time and place. We try to understand how we have 'inherited' these institutions or have had them imposed on us. We imagine that with patience and persistence we could work within the existing rules to begin to create change that could become sustainable. We also look at better stories to tell than the old stories. These better stories are more consistent with the sciences of ecology, anthropology and indigenous knowledge.

The First Planning Day (words and music by Garth East)

This lesson empowers with knowledge of how a committee can imagine themselves as a committee. What are people committing to (and why where, when) and how do they make this commitment?

Formative Self-Evaluation

This lesson empowers with the knowledge that commitment and respect for the new committee doesn't happen overnight. The self-organizing process is difficult for each member and it requires a heartfelt and agreed understanding of a shared vision and a continuous practice of disciplines of respect.

What is a Kitchen Table Committee?
36 questions
Section 2: Seeing - How does a Kitchen-table Committee work?

This lesson empowers us with the knowledge that knowledge itself is powerful. If there is respect that there are valid and different ways of knowing, and conducting research, then more and more useful knowledge will be discovered.

Researching Out Liars (words and music by Garth East)

This lesson empowers us with the knowledge that different mental models cannot fully be expressed unless they are completely heard, widely understood and given full consideration for their own merit. We don't want to be asked to endorse a plan if we don't see how our interests and concerns are addressed in it. When several agencies and committees get together to create a plan they should look at up to 5 separate planning scenarios so that different types of knowledge and different mental models are respected in the overall process.

It's Best Before Harvest Time (words and music by Garth East)

This lesson empowers us with the knowledge that the real planning begins after scenario selection. The learning about implementation and monitoring of plans should occur in the affected communities. This can be coordinated by the Kitchen Table Committee most knowledgeable of the area, in collaboration with colleges, universities, government agencies, and industry consultants.

Way How You Choose It (words and music by Garth East)
How does a Kitchen-table Committee work?
41 questions
Section 3: Changing - How does a Kitchen-table Committee change the world?
Adaptive Management
Learning Organizations
Same Mistake (words and music by Garth East)

This lesson empowers us with the knowledge that within the current crises that we are facing in our environment and society (they are related), there are as many opportunities for positive change as there are Kitchen Table Committees to implement the changes.

How does a Kitchen-table Committee change the world?
27 questions
Section 4: Next Steps
Our journey together

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Instructor Biography

Dr. Garth East Greskiw, Doctor of Natural Resource Management and Community Development at Udemy

For the past 20 years I have been conducting research and teaching in the area of sustainable development. I completed a PhD in Forest Resource Management at the University of British Columbia in 2006, a Masters of Resource Management at Simon Fraser University in 1993 and a Bachelor of Communication at Simon Fraser in 1979. In 2001 I completed a provincial instructors certification and diploma in Adult Education from Vancouver Community College. In 2011 I developed and taught courses in Integrated Land Management and Integrated Tourism Management at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

From my experience as a sustainable forestry and community development consultant in British Columbia I have learned to teach and to help organize communities in transition. The 1990s saw significant downsizing of the forest industry in British Columbia and I learned to assist communities to organize and plan for new economic growth opportunities. My extensive work and PhD research with Secwepemc First Nations communities in central British Columbia has enhanced my sensitivity to negative impacts of colonization and cross cultural planning issues from the grassroots level up to the global level.

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