CIRAL Group Project

From civicintelligence

Project Description (purpose, etc.)

The goal of the CIRAL is to create a sustaining enterprise at Evergreen (whether it be program, class, organization, or some combination) that engages 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

Why is CIRAL Needed?

Evergreen is home to an immense number of community-academia partnerships, ranging from longer-term projects (such Gateways project for incarcerated youth) to relatively brief sessions lasting one quarter or even less. A high percentage of Evergreen students participate in community work as part of their academic work and a large number of Evergreen programs support this work as well.

So why is CIRAL needed? Simply stated we envision CIRAL as a way to help Evergreen do this work better and more easily basically by building on what we're already doing.

  • Build longer relationships. This would benefit the community and the student experience.
  • Continue year-round. Communities don't take the summers off.
  • Be permanent. For one thing, students with more experience on a project can help inform others with less
  • Incorporate the community work into academic / research work in a more regular and coherent way
  • Maintain several relationships at a time. At any given point, some relationships may be young, some maturing, and some in the process of stopping.

The rest of this verbiage is rough...

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?)

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?!?)

Is it too early to think about possible logos?

CIRAL Implementation

This section talks about how to make the Lab materialize, and possible models.

Follow the link above
Onemic18 01:23, 27 October 2011 (PDT)

CIRAL Components

This section is where we are developing all of the pieces we would like to see in the final Lab.

See the above link
Onemic18 01:30, 27 October 2011 (PDT)

CIRAL Competencies ~~ A Pattern Language

The following scheme may be adequate for categorizing the broad range of CIRAL work -- and for, just possibly, organizing a pattern language to guide its implementation and employment.

  • Philosophy and Perspective
  • Community (within)
  • Capacity (skills; techniques; knowledge; resources (online and otherwise); researching; research, activist, professional networks)
  • Processes and Procedures (and other administrative) (It could be called “Institutionalization”)
  • Projects (the particular focus that we determine to apply ourselves towards)
  • Relationships (with “outside” groups, the CCBLA, the administration, various non-profits)


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 or other relevant Evergreen programs
  • Prospective CIRAL students at Evergreen
  • Non-profit organizations in Thurston County, Washington State, and around the world
  • Community members from Olympia and around the region
  • Schools from Olympia and around the region
  • Center for Community-Based Learning and Action (CCBLA) and other Evergreen Centers and Institutes
  • Evergreen Faculty
  • Evergreen Administration
  • Evergreen student organizations
  • Evergreen Alumni, especially members of the Evergreen Alumni Entrepreneur's Association
  • Students and Faculty of other community action based programs at colleges and universities around the world
  • Donors (N.B. if allowed. See 'Barriers and Constraints' on this page)
  • News media
  • Policy-makers
  • Others??

What needs to be said about these various groups?

CIRAL References and Resources

books, websites, organizations, etc.

CIRAL Group Project Metacognition

This space is for our group communication and task management.

I've moved everything into the link above.
Onemic18 01:01, 27 October 2011 (PDT)

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