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What is a "Crisis Talk"?

As we are travelling around, we aim to foster dialogue. We want to listen and learn, as much as we want to talk and teach.

Crisis Talk (Noun) - a cross-community event exposing the impact of current crises on a group and asking what actions they can take to improve their resilience.

I believe that the answers to our problems are in all of us, because the answers are very human and can be found in our lived experience. We wish to avoid polarisation and division.

The Crisis Talk helps us to bring people to the table, asking them to share which of the intersecting crises is impinging on them and what it would mean for them to be able to make headway into challenging their crisis.

What Happens?

Here is a rough outline of the steps we try to go through… but it is quite an organic, unique thing each time a Crisis Talk happens.

Before the event, we put in the groundwork:

  • Researching the local circumstances and active local organisations, plus finding a suitable event location.

  • Inviting groups that are also engaged in a struggle to the event.

  • (Most importantly) Conversing with strangers on the street, hearing their take on The World, and inviting them to the Crisis Talk.

  • Admin: sending reminder texts and emails, creating online event pages, filling out paperwork, e.g. risk assessments.

How a Crisis Talk runs:

  • We rock up in our beautiful blue van at the planned time and start cooking some delicious free food and create a fun atmosphere… think music and warm smiles and the slight electric-tingly-feeling that tells you something special is about to happen.

  • Share the delicious, nutritious food.

  • People are invited into the space to testify about what brought them here today and compelled them to speak to the group. (Maximum 2 mins for any testimony)

  • Then the group is broken up into smaller circles and introduced to the questions that will be the basis of the smaller group dialogue. Every small group will need:

    • a facilitator to keep the group to the topic, help the group meet its purpose of creating some conclusions/outputs, and ensure the time spent speaking and listening is shared within the circle.

    • a note-taker to capture the gist of the dialogue and main conclusions/outputs.

  • After 30 mins, the groups conclude and each group nominates someone from their group to feedback their group’s conclusions/outputs to the whole Crisis Talk assembly. All the outputs from all the groups are collated on a large piece of paper for everyone to see.

  • After a break, some campaigns or individuals are invited to tell their stories of what can be done to face a crisis. Everyone who attended can set themselves some next steps or homework of how they can get the World to something closer to that they wish to see.

  • We finish with some fun social time and relaxing into being with one another. We also invite people to write/draw on our van!

What does the Freedom Tour get out of it?

Apart from a social buzz, warm sense of community, and the lingering feeling that something has been set in motion?

That’s it really: we get to be around people in a space created to help each of us be open, connected, supported, empowered, and human. We learn a lot from those we share the space with and we believe some amazing work may happen down the road due to the connections, introductions, and ideas brewed here.

I hope it is as much of a gift to those who take part, as to those who host it.

So when are YOU going to host a Crisis Talk?

??You, the reader, can also do this where you are. It can be daunting, but it is also natural and you have it in you to host a Crisis Talk. We can’t be the only ones doing this when the stakes are so high and the process is so fun.

If you need advice and guidance, please get in touch!

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