Guiding question: How can we be together in diversity and go beyond ‘toleration of the others’
Context: In 2018 and 2019, we worked with four different communities and organizations to support ´newcomers´ (migrants and refugees) and existing residents in a given area to go through a community training program to learn effectively and experience that we “win rather than loose with diversity”.
The starting point was that the innate quality and power of diversity can be brought to the surface in many places where people meet, but that investing in process facilitation is an essential addition to developed more mutual understanding, cooperative initiatives and policy-impact.
What happened: We entered into a partnership with a number of organizations that are actively working at local level to connect refugees and neighborhoods. The local partners were VMGH – the Maroccan association of Haarlem, Schiedams’ Chance-factory, Municipality of Amsterdam – Zeeburgereiland community and Leidse Stijl Foundation.
Mixed group of participants got together and used the process of the game to go through processes of 4 to 7 days where they mobilized other groups and people and involved them in choosing hot topics, dive deep into the dynamics and create community events to positively shift the field. In the four games played we the most chosen topic was togetherness and diversity. The participants worked together to create participative results such as a community parade and intercultural celebration, a collaborative street art project and various connections built between people of different backgrounds.
What shifted: The most profound transformation was the Go Deep run in Haarlem where the Moroccan association was looking for opening up their infrastructure, an old school building, to the wider community. Over the course of the process the association building was renamed the ‘world-house-community-space’, incorporating a more diverse range of initiatives of refugees, womengroups, youth groups, reclaiming its central role in community life.
Parallel to this local impact created, in the course of the process participants were trained in aspects of the Go Deep Game and use exercises, principles and practices to continue the local work. Some of the local participants were trained in international trainings to become part of the Go Deep facilitator circle.