© Bruxelles Environnement
Better collaboration internally and externally thanks to collective intelligence (CI), creativity and facilitation methods, inspired from sociocracy, Creative Problem Solving and a diversity of CI approaches.
Stephen Boucher has been teaching Brussels Environment staff in Collective Intelligence and Collective Creativity principles and techniques since early 2020. He has now worked with over 150 staff. Over some 20+ days of training, some online, some offline, the experts at Brussels Environment, at all levels of the organization, have been learning and practising skills to tackle dozens of topics, such as for instance:
- How could the level of noise produced by emergency vehicle sirens be reduced in the city?
- How to launch a new strategy for the renovation of buildings so that it gets the support of the community of people delivering renovation certificates?
- How to foster greater collaboration and mutual support in the context of Covid and teleworking among the agency’s staff?
- How to foster collaboration and more efficient sharing of information across departments?
By the end of the training period, at the end of 2021, some 200 staff had followed the programme.
Fostering collective intelligence is no easy task. It relies on the belief that solutions built by a group of people can be superior, under the right conditions, to those developed by individuals acting and thinking separately. However, such collective construction of ideas and solutions requires guidance. The importance of skilled facilitators cannot be underestimated. That is why Dreamocracy regularly trains civil servants in facilitation. The task of a facilitator is to allow collective intelligence to emerge by fostering true collaboration, which requires inclusion, diversity and qualitative deliberation. So the facilitator operates on two levels: individually, by getting people to move safely from their comfort to their growth zone, and collectively by stimulating a constructive and inclusive group dynamic.
Also, Dreamocracy provides a half day workshop to train civil servants, covering the basic principles of facilitation and providing a safe space to practice new skills, all the while highlighting the importance of creativity in the process. After this training, a group of civil servants from the Brussels environment agency went on to facilitate three days of citizen deliberation on how to improve Brussels’ resilience to climate change.
Subcontracted by Particitiz, Dreamocracy was also previously responsible in 2018-2019 for designing and leading an internal collaborative forecasting approach to produce a low carbon strategy by 2050 for Brussels’ environment agency. Involving the agency’s core leadership and the 800 staff members, this involved designing the overall process over several months; designing individual ideation sessions taking into account the administration’s numerous political and logistical constraints; and running small and large meetings to collect thoughts, as well as foster hope.
Brussels Environment (Public administration)