Working on Principles

This week we started with a new structure for our global hangout: 1 hour for topic of the week and the
rest of the hour to catch up with the rest of the circles.

This week our main topic was PRINCIPLES!

Below we are sharing the minute that Rita (@pitvvitter) prepared:

Domenico presented an introduction to the new structure of the Hangouts.

Ana told us about the first meeting of the Barcelona’s circle.


General topics discussed: 

  1. Need for projects being developed as practical exercises that will probably give important input for the discussions happening online. For taking a step forward, the circle decided to come with examples of projects that they consider to be achievable in Barcelona´s context. And present this to the others on next meetup to happen in the next couple of weeks.
  2. Concern about the fact that at the very beginning we don’t yet have projects from different entities or citizens, as the platform (and method) are still under construction.
    In that sense taking the different backgrounds, interests and knowledge of the local communities, what type of projects could be proposed that would actually be developed in the short term? Specially when thinking about including students, it would mean that they would have to be developed until Summer.
  3. Another issue was about availability to engage with the CivicWise project.
    How many time per week would everyone be able to offer to CivicWise?
    It was agreed that for now each person will offer 3 hours per week.
    And further on, when a specific project is to happen, this kind of maths will be done taking into account responsibilities, timings and special need.


Time accounting associated with each specific task it´s something of general concern in the discussion happening in the #governance channel in Slack.

Domenico suggested to have a look at the ¿Implicometro?, a Spanish project developed by the Meetcommons community. 


Fausto shared his work and ideas about an Engagement Protocol.

The protocol serves the purpose of enabling clear and respectful communication.

For example creating a direct contact with one or two people that are leading a specific project and – research. Research directly through them, offering a safe space for them to feel comfortable and share expectations, purpose and how they want to see their future.

To find out if everything comes into place with Civicwise values, goals and also expectations.

So that the social contract (meaning the protocol) is clear and fair to all parties.

Other events can be:

  • Community opendays (announced and to be done in particular places)
  • Interviewing Key people
  • Organizing focus group (one of participatory action research tools)

Fausto expressed his belief that we need to develop the Inner before working onto the Outer.

In short: We need to develop interpersonal skills. As an individual but and also as a circle. So that after we are ready to approach all the initiatives.

Underlying the importance of the act of listening and also that of breathing for developing the interpersonal skills.

‘One should speak with intention.’ (with meaning and adding something to the conversation)

To create connection and understanding when the ‘I’ opens itself to the ‘We’.

Offering deep personal availability for growth experiencing and practicing interpersonal skills within the common external space arena of discussion.

When a group of people is discussing ideas, feelings and dreams matters to perceive the rhythm, timings and moments of silence sutelly express by the other.
Learning when to speak and when to listen. (#bodylanguage #NOrush)

[Domenico] asked: Is there some kind of training involved?

How to deliver/share a training on this protocol engagement to benefit from this view

Fausto will research and check.

Though added that an opportunity where we can learn and develop these kind of skills could be by exercising the following:

Listening by practicing silence.

(Two people that ideally don’t have a close relationship – One listens the Other speaks)

The listener might use body language (mumbling) to communicate but can’t speak.

During 3 min elapse time. The listener has to contain it´s words, allowing some space&time for reframing, reflection and anticipation to digest all thoughts and feelings that are coming live.

NOTE. This is the “engagement protocol”, not to be confused with general CW protocol.

 Fausto is working on the Protocol and might be able to share something in the coming week. Domenico said that it can be a proposal but also a compilation of live items.

 Possible reading reference: peer-coaching-learning-manual – manual from Nesta.

 ‘Rather than giving advice or providing solutions, a peer coach’s role is to actively listen, provide a sounding board, and most importantly, help the other person find insight and solutions for themselves. – See more at:


Regarding the #Principles topic:

Andrea created an exel file that offers a very clear and simple way for civicwisers to participate and input their perspectives on principles. 

Should both represent the essence of the rule as well as be easy to remember. Avoid ambiguous words in the Name and in the Statement.
Should succinctly and unambiguously communicate the fundamental rule. It is vital that the principles statement be unambiguous.
Should highlight the benefits of adhering to the principle. Also describe the relationship to other principles, and the intentions regarding a balanced interpretation. Describe situations where one principle would be given precedence or carry more weight than another for making a decision.
Should highlight the requirements (think for all domains of CivicWise*) for carrying out the principle – in terms of resources, costs, and activities/tasks. The reader should readily discern the answer to: “How does this affect me?” It is important not to oversimplify, trivialise, or judge the merit of the impact.


Rita shared the need for developing practical projects as a way of exploring the platform´s goal.

Domenico said that there is an opportunity for future collaboration with an University in Bógota. And that Civicwise might be paid by the University for providing a service. And that hopefully will bring practical projects to the platform.


Discussion on fundings/entity; consolidation of accounts.

Domenico proposed: Next agenda topic can be formal structure (ana agreed)

Pablo/Domenico clarification on transitional phase/structure ; directed to discourse for next meeting.


Action list:

  • Fausto will review and propose training for “engagement protocol”;
  • Principles will be continued on excel (levm as carer; can be contacted for support on;
  • Domenico will make a call for work (on governance and more);
  • Funding is required as well as consolidation of accounts;
  • Next week agenda will be on formal structure.
  • Rita will do the minute

Next Global Hangout | 22nd April

The next Hangout Meeting will take place on the 22nd of April at 19h (GMT London Time).

In this Hangout we will be discussing our principles. We would very much appreciate if you could register in Discourse (a forum aimed at improving our CoDesign process) prior to the Hangout, access the #Principles channel and contribute to the discussion by suggesting principles for Civicwise, along with associated behaviours and implications. You can find a more detailed explanation of these concepts in the previous posts in #Principles and in this scheme created by @rita.

Here you can find the Agenda for the next Hangout and some basic instructions to join the meeting. Feel free to edit the document and add any topics you would like us to discuss to the Agenda.

If you want to take part on this Hangout please follow us on Google+. You can watch the streaming directly from YouTube. On the right of the YouTube page you can find a chat box. We will use it to debate with all of you.

Help us spread the word promoting the event via Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #CWhangout  We will use this same hashtag to tweet live during our hangout meeting.

We are looking forward to seeing you all on Wednesday!


Update on CivicWise development and governance

This week we had a special global hangout dedicated to update on CivicWise development and governance.

Following the minute of the session:

What is the civic design method?

is the starting point of the CivicWise adventure.
We have started to apply it to develop Civicwise itself, but haven’t yet used it in action in public spaces.

The current status of the method is applying it to the Planning stage.
The initial plan was to apply the method to develop the Civicwise platform to implement it by September. Now it seems that we should start applying it to a practical project

Rita asked:
Is technology the only way to solve engagement in the community?
Should we wait for the digital structure before implementing the civic design method?

Suggestion by Noel to use a practical project to test the civic design method by carrying out the engagement protocol for Civicwisers in their cities to use it to listen to local communities, document the insights of the issues, assets & motivations of the communities as well as how well the method was used

Fausto is working on the engagement protocol and planning a training session to learn it
Fausto and Line are identifying a neighbourhood where Civicwise London circle can apply the protocol.

People find it better to start with identity than governance.
Developing the methods and principles can help shape the identity.

Suggestion by Domenico for local circles to identify neighbourhoods where they can listen to the community, share the insights and how well the methods work


We decided to start fostering the Circles work.
(this part about Circles is added by Domenico Di Siena editing the minute to give more details, even if we haven’t talked about them during the hangout)
We have so far three different kind of circles: Local Circle, Topic Circle and Project Circle. Each circle is independent and autonomous.
Local Circles are not exclusive and representative of a specific territory, we have to understand them more as another important local stakeholder. As a result we can have more local circles in the same city or territory. Local Circles work independently and autonomously but they must not work in competition.
Topic Circles and Project Circles are representative y exclusive which means that we couldn’t have more circles for the same topic or the same project.

Is really important that the topic circles start to work autonomously and we will use the weekly session to update the rest of community about them. Each circle can use the Discourse platform, but should feel free to organise their own Hangouts.
Topic Circles can include governance, civic engagement method, principles, technology. etc…

we are using different platform with different aims: Google Drive, Slack, Discourse, Blog, Newsletter.

We are using Google Drive folder to share documents and using the same taxonomy to describe the different elements of the CivicWise process, irrespective of the platform we use.

We are using Slack for executive and real time communication. Slack is exclusively for CivicWisers that filled this form.

We are using Discourse as our main Debate and Discussion platform. Discourse is public and everyone even if is not CivicWIser can use it.

We are using the newsletter to update by mail our community about our development and project.

We are using the blog to update publicly our community about our development and project.

Structure for weekly session
1 hour for topic of the week
Rest of the hour to catch up with the rest of the circles
Get people to feedback what their group has done, what they’re going to do next and what’s blocking them
Use peer coaching method

Next week’s focus: PRINCIPLES

We need to unite the principles with their implications
Suggestion for people to put forward principles they think CivicWise should adopt, but ensure they describe not just the principles, but associated behaviours this would involve, the implications it would have on people and on the support that CivicWise could provide to help people adopt principles.

Suggestion to use Andrea’s catalogue/spreadsheet
Get people to propose
Tools/strategies that CivicWise should have/represent/do to support/guarantee that the principles are met.



Need advice on how to process money transfers and how to enable mediation between Civicwise and projects regarding financeNeed to articulate the question and then look for advice

Next Global Hangout | 15th April

We started our CoDesign process with the aim to define a Civic Design Method and how CivicWise, both Community and Platform will work.

Next week we will have a special session to catch up together where we are with the CivicWise development and governance. So if you want to be updated and help building a stronger community don’t lose this important session.

The Hangout Meeting will be the 15th of April at 19h (GMT London Time)

You can found more detail about the meeting agenda here, feel free to add anything you think we should discuss:

You can watch the streaming directly from youtube >

On the right of the youtube page you can found a chat box. We will use it to debate with all of you.

If you want to take part on it follow us on Google+

We have just launching a new tool that will improve our discussion and our CoDesign process. That tool is called Discourse. It’s a forum. Please have a look at it, and register.

Help us spreading the word using the hashtag:
– use #CWhangout to tweet live during our hangout meeting

Discussing our Civic Design Method > The OPENING step

With our previous session we started our CoDesign process with the aim to define a Civic Design Method and how CivicWise, both Community and Platform will work.

Next week we will continue with our CoDesign process with a session dedicated to define the first step of the Civic Design Method, which is the OPENING step.

The Hangout Meeting will be the 8th of april at 19h (GMT London Time)

You can found more detail about the meeting agenda here >

You can watch the streaming directly from youtube >
On the right of the youtube page you can found a chat box. We will use it to debate with all of you.

If you want to take part on it follow us on Google+

We have just launching a new tool that will improve our discussion and our CoDesign process. That tool is called Discourse. It’s a forum. Please have a look at it, and register.

This week we will concentrate on this two questions:

#PRINCIPLES | Definition, debate, selection

#OPENING | How we should start a Civic Design Process?

Help us spreading the word using the hashtag:
– use #CWhangout to tweet live during our hangout meeting

Global Hangout | 25th March

Next Wednesday 25th of march at 19h (London Time) we will have our weekly Global Hangout Session. 

We will start with our CoDesign process with the aim to define how CivicWise, both Community and Platform will work.

This session will be specially dedicated to define our Values and Core Principles. You can add your suggestion for the meeting agenda here > 

The meeting would be online and you can watch the streaming directly from our Blog >

If you want to take part on it follow us on Google+

Help us spreading the word using the hashtag:
– use #civicwiseis to suggest values and core principles
– use #civicwisehangout to tweet live during our hangout meeting

Following some initial talks about our values and core principles.

Commitment to a vision of how things might be different, always trying to figure out the best way to make our vision come about. If we are dedicating a significant space in our lives to making change, it is important to have an idea of what we are trying to change society into.
Always be open to new lessons. Challenge ourselves and leave our comfort zone
Promote Critical self-awareness by examining our work self-critically and asks others for criticism on how it could be better
Be accountable by offering continuous feedback, creating reports and a culture of listening and self-reflection. Thinking constantly how we can be more efficient
Promote interconnectivity with other people, groups, initiatives that has the potential to change the world.
Leadership oriented toward empowering others and making everybody into a “leader”
Patient, persistent
Speaks in a language that the people we are trying to reach can understand. Try to stop using jargon
Learn about cooperation and working in a collective manner; we are here to help each other, not to compete with each other
Find a healthy, sustainable balance between the personal, social and political sides of civicwisers life
We assume our personal responsibility to act in order to transform society into a better place to live
Create an initiative that help people to improve their life balance by enjoying the process of co-creation


If you have lost our Global Presentation here you have a brief summary >

Remember: Become a CivicWiser > fill this form  >