CIRAL Group Project

From civicintelligence
Revision as of 00:04, 27 October 2011 by Cogdev07 (Talk | contribs) (Minutes)


Is it to early to think about possible logos?

Project Description (purpose, etc.)

The goal of the CIRAL is to create a sustaining enterprise at Evergreen (whether it be program, class, organization, or something else) that engage in research and action through a focus on Civic Intelligence. Due to the nature of this focus students will necessarily become active leaders. The program will encourage and teach social action for the betterment of not just our community, but those around the world. The work will not be restricted to working with local organizations, but — at least at the onset — there will probably be a focus on the local community. The hope is that this class will persist over time, perhaps somewhere between 2-10 years, although the ideal is an indefinite end.

Among the goals of this project are:

  • Creating a culture of lifelong education
  • Building the skills necessary to be effective citizens
  • Integrating community with academia, starting locally but expanding in later years
  • Integrating social theories with social practice
  • Exploring, encouraging, and cultivating social innovation, social imagination, and civic intelligence

Course Description

The Civic Intelligence Research and Action Lab is a program for students that want to learn about studying, planning, and enacting meaningful change in the public sphere through ongoing study and work. The core of the CIRAL curriculum will build a knowledge of group dynamics and organizational principles, and equip students with the tools to engage in ongoing research and action projects that address important civic issues. In addition to the action-oriented perspective, there will be ongoing research and theoretical work to help understand the context of the work, historically, currently, and for the future. The unique structure of CIRAL allows projects to span multiple academic quarters and students to participate according to their academic goals.

CIRAL gives students the opportunity to work collaboratively in the classroom and beyond the academic walls. Projects are student originated and partner with organizations in the community of Olympia and beyond. Most projects are interdisciplinary, opening opportunity for any student to pursue their chosen field of study while learning lifelong skills of collaboration and teamwork. Many graduate programs conduct similar projects. But, the CIRAL curriculum is designed to make participation possible at what ever level you are at in your academic career.

For a listing of current projects and more information about the Civic Intelligence Research and Action Lab, please visit our website. (Should we put together a web site — or is there one?!?)

Why is CIRAL Needed?

Why Evergreen?

In this section we discuss why Evergreen is a natural home for such an enterprise. Part of this should describe some past as well as projects that are going on now. Ultimately this should include ways in which Evergreen might need to change institutionally to better support this work.

We could (should?) also discuss somewhere why this is such an important endeavor right now (educating students for 21st Century realities) and other relevant current factors (endemic budget crises; employment; globalization?)


As we flesh out the Implementation Model we'll be able to get a better idea of who we need involved in what capacity. This may become more than just a description of who will be involved in what capacity. Part of our consideration should be how to get these people involved and excited about CIRAL.

Should there be a description or some discussion about each of these groups?

  • Students in Patterns of Intelligence program
  • Prospective CIRAL students at Evergreen
  • Olympia and other local community members
  • Center for Community-Based Learning and Action (CCBLA)
  • Evergreen Faculty
  • Evergreen Administration
  • Evergreen Alumni, especially members of the Evergreen Alumni Entrepreneur's Association
  • Students and Faculty of other community action based programs
  • Donors (N.B. if allowed. See 'Barriers and Constraints' on this page)
  • Others??

Implementation Models

This section will need some introductory discussion. It would be very useful to include a table of options.

We also should include (probably at the end of this section) how this could be carried forward via contracts only or, even, as a non-Evergreen entity.

What do we need to find out to flesh these models out?
(Tasks For Questioners) (Tasks For Researchers)

Barriers and Constraints

(Tasks For Questioners) (Tasks For Researchers)

We can find out more through the faculty handbook.

We can ask an academic dean. (Task For Brandon)

Requirements for CIRAL Program to be Offered

  • Does the faculty's status with the school play a part?
  • Does there have to be enough student demand/enrollment to be considered? (e.g. Is a Competitive Product Analysis performed to see if it should be offered?)
    • Articles 7.2 and 7.3 of the CBA are relevent 7.2 basically says that if enrollment is below what is expected the faculty can make up for it in other ways. 7.3 says that enrollment levels can be reduced for experimental program initiaves.
  • Can students specify a demand for class content prior to the course being offered?
  • Do various course models change the number of students that can be involved?
    • Independent Learning Contract (ILC)
      • What can we do to get faculty approval for contracts before students sign on for it?
    • Group Contracts
      • Is it okay if students sign on to a group contract without having involvement in writing it?
    • Inter-class cooperation
  • Does the content have to follow any guidelines (e.g. a need to cover certain academic skills?)
    • The content of a program is required to be interdisciplinary, the content of a course is not.
  • What are the requirements for the class as a whole, and for individual students?

Measures of Success and Continuation

Program Products
  • Are time and work measured when calculating the amount of credit earned?
  • Does student performance impact the program's ability to be re-offered?
    • Does handing out a high level of incompletes jeopardize the program's or the students' viability to continue? (N.B. Imagining a scenario where project work was not able to finish on time.)

Program Offering Formulations

  1. Coordinated Studies
  2. Group Contract
  3. Individual Contract
  • Requirements for students to be able to take the program (Day vs Evening Weekend Studies)
  • Ability to work across programs (i.e. between them)
  • Ability to have a core class with a credit extension (+4 for community involvement)

Transformative Space Issues

  • Helping struggling students to succeed in class, through supportive and transformative means.
  • How to tackle potential complaints of plagiarism when supporting your classmates?
  • Group agreement as a constraining factor for how credit is earned (Holding each other interpersonally accountable to the class/space).
  • Ability to set up a physical place on or off campus.
  • Is funding by public grants or private interests allowed?
    • If allowed, then how does the money have to be used?
Q: Do we need to talk with an academic dean?
A: Yes, and Doug. Brandon is on-board for follow-through.

Credit Models

4 Credit Core Model

4 Credit Main Class
  • Bi-weekly meetings.
  • Collaborate and learn the skills for starting or enhancing civic intelligence programs.
N.B. 4 credit classes are expected to be 10 hours of week each week,
including the time spent in class, which is about 5 hours in itself, making
5 hours of out-of-class work.
Check Quarter Hour Credit Award
Student Contracts

4-8 credit individual and/or group contracts added onto the class.

  • These contracts will either work with local organizations already in place, or help create new ones.
  • Contracts will be predetermined for first quarter, with intent of letting students decide in later quarters.
  • Contracts should cover a variety of interests.

Alternative Credit Models

16 Credit Full Year Model
  • Includes core curriculum as defined above.
  • Community work defined during the first quarter and carried on throughout the year.
16 Credit Quarterly Model
  • Includes core curriculum as defined above.
  • Community work either predefined or loosely defined at the beginning of each quarter.
SOS Model
Need to find out more about student originated studies. Who can we talk to?
(Tasks For Researchers)

Non-Program/Course Models

  1. Models of CIRAL (or aspects of it) as a supplement to current programs and groups within Evergreen that deal with Civic Intelligence. One possibly relevant example is the "Sustainability and Justice" (pseudo?) faculty planning unit at Evergreen.
  2. Any model of CIRAL as something other than a program or course. (E.g. a student club, social enterprise, or business)

Course Components

Learning Objectives

The following learning objectives are from the Patterns of Intelligence program (Fall 2011). They may or may not be relevant. And — probably — they'd need to be augmented when strongly coupled with community work.

The program has 12 learning objectives. Obviously, not all of these objectives will receive the same emphasis in the program. Equally important, each student will find some objectives more important and interesting than others. For these reasons I encourage every student to consider these objectives in relation to their own goals, interests, learning styles, etc. As you consider the objectives, remember that the most important or interesting objectives may not be the easiest to achieve for you or for the class overall. Finally, a thorough understanding of program objectives will help both students and faculty in the evaluation process. The student's self-evaluation of progress and the faculty evaluation of student progress should both be based on the learning objectives to a large degree.

1. Program Themes. To gain a better understanding of major program themes including intelligence, collective intelligence, and civic intelligence — and their relation to various sectors and components of society

2. Understanding of Context. To gain a better understanding of underlying social, technological, and other circumstances that affect the spectrum of possibilities for understanding and addressing challenges

3. Processes of Social Change. To gain increased knowledge of how social change takes place

4. Understanding of Challenges. To gain an increased understanding of the particular challenges of our era and the mechanisms that are now governing it

5. Risks and Responsibilities. To gain a better understanding of the risks and responsibilities of civic engagement and civic intelligence

6. Speak the Language. To gain a better understanding of pertinent lexicon, theories, issues, ideas, and data

7. Skills, Tools, and Processes. To gain a better awareness, appreciation, and proficiency with communication approaches and other skills, tools, and processes available to the public that can influence social directions as well as learning about the barriers to participation

8. Tools and Frameworks. To gain increased knowledge of useful analytic tools and frameworks

9. Foundation for Future Work. To build a foundation for future paid or unpaid professional, avocational, community, or activist work

10. Foundation for Future Inquiry. To build a foundation for pursuing the questions we didn't answer after the program ends

11. Active Role in Personal and Community Education. To improve your own approach to learning, to do what you can to ensure that your educational needs are met, and to help improve the educational environment around you, for you and for others.

12. Personal Power and Social Imagination. To gain a better sense of one's own power and social imagination for the future. To learn how to catalyze change; to speak the truth even if your voice shakes

Core Class Contents

  • Teaches basics of understanding ideas in a group context
  • Enables people on different contracts/projects to communicate, share ideas, compare and enhance their own projects
  • Has a manual designed to help students ask the right questions, especially in terms of coordinating group planning. (Tasks For Planners)
  • Provides space for ideas to have pollenate, or at least resembles Steven Johnson's idea of a coffee house, where students will "identify environments that stimulate networks of ideas/insight," and where this "liquid network of ideas and experiences lead to innovation" and hopefully the "slow hunch." ("Where Good Ideas Come From (Ted Talk)).
  • Creates an environment where ideas can spread as potent memes to pragmatically deal with and confront real world issues.
What do we do summer quarter??

Course Topics

Brainstorm topics that should (or could) be covered in the core class.
(Tasks For Everyone)
Please add to this list (Tasks For Everyone)
  • Budgeting
  • Cybernetics
  • Epistemology
  • Ethnography
  • Facilitation skills
  • Grant Writing
  • Information Science
  • Intelligence -- Individual, Collective and Civic
  • Models of Non-profit Organizations
  • Motivational Speaking
  • Ontology
  • Planning and Management
  • Social Change -- Theory and Practice
  • Sociology
  • Trust (in ones' self and community)
  • Writing Evergreen Learning Contracts
  • Visual Presentation Abilities

Course Projects

Project Explorations

This section should evolve into at least five projects that students could engage in through the lab. In the four credit core model, these projects could be proposed as individual/group learning contracts that students could sign on to during the first week of class.

Local Economy
Social Action: Presence and Voice
Producing a good or a service


  1. Growing food
  2. Cleaning water
  3. Building machines
  4. Creating a space for community to come learn and teach
Community Building/Life Enriching Event

Hosting an event that will either strengthen the community or enrich peoples' lives.


  1. Secret Cafe
  2. Non-zero sum game nights
  3. Workshops
Crowdsourcing information for civic ends

Scientific research through smart phones, imagery analysis during natural disasters.

Organizational Accountability

Researching an organization through publically available information, as well as investigating private details.

Public Mental Health Care

Creating a (radical) local mental health solution that connects people with neural diversity/mad gifts with resources that they need. Depathologize mental illness, as well as mental health symptoms that we all face as everyday life issues, by providing alternative literature/audio for self-care.

Non-zero sum game workshop

Simulation of how life is a non-zero sum game, and making the connection through activities that use a proxy as the platform of discussion.

Mycorestoration action team with Education and Spawn Bank
Public Space Clean Up
Free School Project
Interactive Wiki Training Game (Galen, ?, ?)
Revamping Shelters

Working with several communities and companies to pull resources, especially in this time of hardship, to help youth, minorities, battered men and women the displaced. Provide better opportunities to learn trades/skills and the resources for education.

Projects from Workshop

We were addressing a foundation for how a class could start out and progress long term, and what types of actions and research they would be doing along the way.

Pattern Card Workshop

Please correct project themes if this is inaccurate. (Tasks For Everyone)
  1. Multicultural Community Space
  2. Free School Project
  3. Wiki Training
Here's our summary from Saturday's workshop.  
Can other folks in the research group add to this?  
It doesn't seem to be a very complete recollection of our insights.
(Tasks For Everyone)
The first step for our research component is to build a framework for exploration. As we begin data gathering we will need to develop tools for parsing that information. Specific research projects will develop out of interest of participants and better understanding of the group's capability. The scope of research will broaden from local inquiry to international as the project develops.
Can someone post a summary from Saturday?
(Task for Nur, Brandon, Erika, Gary, Jerrimiah)

The following photos probably don't belong here!

Cluster 1
Cluster 2
Cluster 3
Cluster 4

Think Tank / Ongoing Research and Other Work in "Home Office"

"Home Office" / "Think Tank"

In addition to preparing people to go into the field (which includes cultural competency, skill-building, etc.), the following research and related activities could be undertaken as part of the research work in what we might call the "home office" or "think-tank". Although these activities are specifically listed in relation to Evergreen's Gateways project, that supports education for incarcerated youth at Green Hill, they are generally applicable to other projects as well.

  • Policy research and development work
  • PSA & other public awareness work
  • Research on economic impacts of incarceration (now about 60 - 70 billion dollars direct expenses yearly in US)
  • Institutional memory of the project
  • Curricular development or other training and educational programs for Gateway and Evergreen community members
  • Educational philosophy of the project and Evergreen's support
  • Institutionalization of the project, in general and at Evergreen
  • Exporting model (to other schools and other regions)
  • Researching other relevant approaches (in other regions, countries, departments, etc.)
  • Placement in jobs, education
  • Surveys and other approaches to understanding the problem and evaluation
  • Technical support to project, e.g. logistics, computer, administration, planning, facilitating design
  • Mapping and community studies (e.g. of places students come from)
  • Understanding problem domain, history, economic and political contexts,
  • Maintain relevant reference (etc.) library or other resource
  • Identifying resources and securing them
  • Facilitating conversations, conferences, working sessions, etc. about the problem and possible solutions

Administering CIRAL

What are the processes that we need to consider? E.g. How might we develop, maintain, and, possibly, disengage from a community partnership? I.e. is a "partnership" different from just sending an intern or two out?

How would we describe various "life-cycles?" (And where might we go to find out more about this?)

What documents might we sign? Is there a covenant, for example?

References and Resources

books, websites, organizations, etc.

CIRAL Group Project Metacognition



Brainstorming - add as much as you can to lists and descriptions

Questioning Role - do descriptions make sense? Are lists nearing completion or missing something? Question as much as possible!

Researcher Role - dig up critical information that is unknown to the group

  • Erika, Michael, Nur

Editor Role - Reformat, clean up, sort, and clarify what is written

  • Brian, Gary


  • Galen, Gary, Jeremiah

Class Asset Map


  • Planning
    • Opposed Course Descriptions

Tasks For Researchers

Tasks For Questioners

Tasks For Planners

Tasks For Editors

Requirements, Acceptable design, Contacting Academic Dean

Class models

A model needs to be fleshed out from our beginning sketches to a full road map for the lab.

What sort of information do we need to accomplish this?
(Tasks For Questioners) (Tasks For Researchers)


Brainstorm and add ideas to existing projects, create new projects, speculate on feasibility.

Approaches to integrating projects with the core class


Finding and gauging interest in CIRAL from the Evergreen community. Also looking into getting organizations interested in being involved. (And what about a poster? logo?)

  • Brian

Develop timeline for this quarter

How much can we feasibly accomplish this quarter, as well as in the span of any given quarter? What are some good deadlines for when pieces might be done?

Timeline Contributors, Galen
Italics means a personal thought on the matter
Regular text means something the group deemed important and that has been incorporated by an individual
A Bold Title means a step in the process has been confirmed by the group in importance
A Bold and Underlined Title means a step in the process has been put into its proper place in sequence, its subcategories are finished, the group has approved it, and it is unlikely to change.

1. Establish foundational philosophy, values, and code of conduct
As an organization forms it begins to have a life and personality of its own. The synthesis of spirit and philosophical beliefs that its founding members weave into an organization during its infancy will continue to be an influential dynamic for future incarnations of the organization and its members. This also applies when the original founders are no longer involved. This is why it is especially important that ample time is reserved for the creation of these foundations, not only for the reasons above, but also so we will be able to collaborate in the present.
Some topics for thought might be;

  • a. how to deal with the incorporation of diverse views and approaches
  • b. how to define the combined vision, mission, and values of the organization
  • c. what actions are appropriate to an individual’s discretion vs. actions needing approval of the group mind
  • d. how to create enough structure for future members, that will free their hands from unnecessary constructional work, while not hindering their ability to create and make progress
  • e. how to create a culture that achieves desired results (i.e dedication, creativity, etc)
  • f. how conflict will be resolved

2. Coordinate support group times
It has been mentioned that it would be beneficial to have extra time to share our progress in person.
Good times might be.

  • a. Before Class
  • b. Email List
  • c. Forum

3. Create a timeline by organizing stages in an organization development process.
A timeline is important because;

  • a. it creates the very basic framework of steps for a team to coordinate around
  • b. gives members a quick glance into the possibilities and goals of the future which can be used as a source of relativity for decision making in the present
  • c. placing stages in the most effective order through consensus will give coordination to group efforts
  • d. the mutual understanding of organizational strategy that can result fosters group cohesion
  • e. in the instance of innovative but not currently appropriate ideas, there is a place to preserve them as a possibility in the future as to encourage and respect that creativity while not losing focus on the task at hand

4. Research what goals are possible and what they require.

  • a. Student Club
  • b. Non Profit
  • c. 4 Credit Model
  • d. Independent Contracts
  • e. Student Originated Studies
  • f. Preserving Versatility for future (not independent)

5. Brainstorm skills that probably lead to success as a civic participant
In preparation
it is important to

  • a. dedication
  • b. communication
  • c. asset map!!!

6. Presentation Preparation

  • (Gary please post here)

7. Infrastructure

Create introductory training programs and content for future CIRAL members

(communication, wiki games)

Giving the organizational medium and a means of existing during transitional phases.

8. Community Outreach

9. Creating a larger organization


Operational Procedures

Possible ways to hold and facilitate space

  • Robert's Rules of Order
  • Roberta's Rules of Order [Site)]
  • Discernment Approach
  • Group Agreements

(Tasks For Researchers)

Appendix of Community Organizations

Community Groups that would be good partners (Tasks For Researchers)

Documenting What Worked and What Didn't

It is very important to future classes that they can learn from our mistakes and attempt to blaze new paths for themselves without having to re-invent the wheel.

Passing on Class Culture

Maybe a wiki page or stored video that can bring new members into the fold, or guide a new group entirely without a physical presence. They may possibly have to start again from nothing but the tools, and use a portion of time to learn and build the culture.


Project in infancy


October 26 2011

Issues, Complaints, and Suggestions