Living Soil Forum 2013

0 0 25/03/2014

In 2013 I was invited to join a hosting team of James Ede, Kajsa Balkfor and Anne Madsen to support the Summer of Soil’s Living Soil Forum in Sweden.  The Summer of Soil created opportunities for people to attend courses, training, lectures and exhibitions on the importance of soils, the problems our soils are facing and the creation of innovative solutions to halt and reverse soil degradation.  The Living Soil Forum was a week long conference focusing on the later and bringing together people from around the world who are making a difference to soil health.  Participants also had the opportunity to come up with their own projects and a number of groups formed that pledged to take ideas forward post-conference.

The core hosting team was given a brief by the Summer of Soil organisers and we used Art of Hosting and graphic recording approaches to ensure full participation by everyone attending.  You can read more about the approaches on the Living Soil Forum website.  We were joined by a group of apprentices and volunteers who added much to the team by focusing on recording, filming and photographing the event.  The process of harvesting was key to the week – a principle of our work is that if conversations aren’t recorded and harvested properly, so that they can be shared and built on, then we lose the richness of the conversation that took place.

Hosting a week long event was tiring, yet having a team of 4 core facilitators meant that we took it in turns to lead each day, leaving the other pair free to plan and prepare for the following day.  We also worked alongside two artists, Miche and Flora from Touchstone Collaborations,  who brought an additional dimension to participation by creating a focal point that evolved as the week went on.

Kajsa with two of the participants

Kajsa with two of the participants

An example of a harvesting sheet that supports participants to record their conversations

An example of a harvesting sheet that supports participants to record their conversations

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