The simplicity and wholeness of a circle serve as both metaphor and a container for a micro-agora in which local stories are entangled and integrated. Working with the theme of Entangled in Emergence, this workshop flows insights from two previously delivered circle processes into a collective lake of wisdom. The initial circle dialogues are rooted in two local sub-watersheds and delivered to audiences unfamiliar with complexity science. Yet, by considering the ecosystem and reflecting on their embodied knowledge of it, non-practitioners are invited to be part of the system seeing itself through uncertainty into a desired future. Researchers and designers are called in to build upon this collective experience of civic sense-making as they move through a process that they can adapt within their own communities.
New practices of commoning cities and civic spaces are emerging globally to guide design from the collective imagination of diverse members of the community. This workshop seeks to offer a direct response to the question, “What actions can futurists and designers take to ensure that their decisions and innovations contribute to flourishing human and ecological futures—humanity-centred design—even when the long-term consequences are uncertain?” A place-based, watershed-informed, circle dialogue process is explored as a social technology for civic sense-making.
KEYWORDS: watershed-based governance, dialogue circles, citizen assemblies