Technology of Participation (ToP) Facilitator Research

ToP Research Invitation

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Note from the Convenors
ToP Trainer and Facilitator Colleagues:
There are a growing number of ToP facilitators worldwide, and similarly of ToP trainers.  
Networks exist in many nations and in recent times we've witnessed an explosion of creativity and innovation both in the training programs we offer client groups and in the processes we use to enable participants learn ToP methods. We can only hazard a guess at the quantum of individual reflection and learning this has initiated and the thinking this may have provoked as to the edges of ToP.
It is time for a research and development gathering to engage in some extensive and deep sharing of what we're doing in our various regions; to push the breadth of our collective direct experience to reveal the edges of both the ToP methods and the most effective processes for learning them; and how we might leverage our regional ToP trainer networks into an informal yet potent global force.
Please join us in a gathering in Taipei to begin this process, which we intend to continue in other forums on other continents throughout the fall.
Bill Staples, Larry Philbrook, Kevin Balm

Emerging Agenda for Top Research Dialogue in Taiwan.

Global ToP Marketing
• Develop branding for different domains
• Connect marketing efforts globally
• Continue Logo dialogue
ToP Innovations
• Research innovations in facilitation and training
• Support methods innovation
• Catalogue effective facilitation
Global Standards
• Ensure standards
• Continue ToP Facilitator/Trainer count
• ToP Certification
ToP Curriculum
• Support curriculum development
• Support capacity development in ICA and in networks
• Collect current curriculum designs/manuals
Global ToP Finances
• Analyze existing network finance mechanisms

1. Present, clarify and write up some of our OWN examples of ToP "innovations", perhaps ten each. We could promote these examples and generate a couple of hundred more to be published on various websites. Examples could include Training, Facilitation, Cross Method Integration.
2. Describe the type of impact that ToP is having globally and discuss opportunities for expansion or deepening the impact.

3. Present and consider various ToP training modules that are available around the world today and suggest core ones to be made available to all, and discuss which are not available for one reason for another. For example, Larry's Bangladesh training module (part of Larry & ICA Taiwan's value screen of openness and self organization). Another example is ICA Canada's Community Development Intensive, which is like a compressed, condensed Human Development Training Institute.

4. Get a grasp of who is empowered to teach ToP, by gathering data empirically from the various metanetworks. Protocols and rules can easily be found in ICA USA,  and the US TTN, in ICA Canada and ICA Associates Inc., and in ICAUK. Such rules and protocols must exist in other ICAs and  ToP Networks.

5. Consider how ToP operates financially, both training and facilitation, and see if we can draw any conclusions from it that would be helpful to the long term sustainability of the metanetworks.

6. Virtual facilitation and net programming are also going to raise further questions of ownership.

7. Respond to and support self organization of research efforts in the globe. What would this look like?

8. We may have to think through deeply how to approach the "ownership" question of curriculum. There are real blocks to global use, promotion and branding of ToP training globally. We have all bumped into them. Some traditional ICA methods,values and training materials might be rebranded as ToP (in some places it might be dual ToP and ICA) and promoted globally. Some people in ToP metanetworks may see some special training approaches as their personal intellectual property, and want to retain credit or ownership. People need to be acknowledged. A problem arises generally when another person takes the key insight and improves on it, claiming it as their own. Ego's can then clash and ToP becomes embroiled in the clash. The same type of situation exists when a traditional ICA Method is improved by someone who then claims the improvement, and then it is found that the improved method was already being used by many in ICA or ToP networks all along in different geographical areas. The way we solved this in Canada was saying simply that all training material gets vested back as the intellectual property of the charity ICA Canada. This type of approach may not work everywhere within the ToP metanetworks.

Bill, Larry, Kevin 

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