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

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