At Knowmads Hanoi we always pursue a balance between Love and Rock’n’Roll. That means we care a lot about each other and the world, but we value equally getting stuff done and making good noise!
After hosting some beautiful events in the last months where participants experienced a lot of the Love side of Knowmads while reflecting on their dreams, passions and stories, we realised it was time for more Rock’n’Roll! With that in mind, we made an open invitation for the first event in Vietnam using Pro-Action Café, a participatory methodology from the Art of Hosting for moving projects forward.
We were happily surprised to see how many people were interested on our invitation! After the first participant opened the door at HATCH (the great co-working space that welcomed us), it didn’t take much time until the room was filled with more than 80 people from different countries, backgrounds and ages.
The evening started by welcoming all participants in a big circle and doing an “active check-in”. Each person had a paper where he/she could write in big letters: “Name; Where is home for you; An idea, project or organization that inspired you lately.” After walking around the room in silence and looking at what each other wrote on the paper, they shared to different people what they wrote and why.
Once we were able to connect and know more about each other’s backgrounds and ideas, it was time to begin the Pro-Action Café. The process started by opening the space for 20 projects or ideas to be written down and announced in front of the whole group by their respective callers. The invitation was for projects that could be big or small, concrete or on its beginning phase, but with the intention of creating something positive in the world.
Fortunately the ideas were very interesting. There were projects about education, traveling, soft skills, public speaking, games, tutoring, Yoga, disabilities, health, prevention of sexual harassment, and much more. For a complete list of the projects and connecting with the callers, check the Facebook event!
Once the ideas were shared, the participants could look at them again and choose which 3 they would like to help moving forward.
Afterwards, those 20 who presented their projects went for a table where they would stay for 3 rounds of conversation, while the participants met them there and worked as a team for the next 20 minutes. The guiding question for the first round of conversation (“What is the quest behind the question/project/idea?”) was used for understanding what are the needs, purpose and story behind the call, and help broadening and opening up for new possibilities.
When the first round was over, the participants moved to another project that they would like to work together with, and explored the question of “what is missing?”. After another 20 minutes of good conversations, the participants took a break, while the callers had some time to reflect on their learnings so far. The 3rd round of conversations was a reflection around learnings (both individual and about the project), as well as defining the next steps and support needed to move the idea forward.
The evening was coming to an end, and the space was opened for any learnings and insights to be shared by the project callers as well as the participants. On the callers side, some of the sharings were: “Never experienced nothing like that, where strangers come to help, inspire and give insights”, “Learned to take a step back, listen to others views, opinions and inputs”, “understood the exact WHY of the project”, and “got new ideas and set easy next steps, with specific date and time, which will help me moving forward”. On the participants side, they shared about “many ideas and inspiration”, “learned that making other people happy could create the space for me to also be happy”, or “learned to step in and share my idea”.
We were all amazed by how much energy and inspiration there was in the room, and many stayed until late talking about their experience and future collaborations. Some of those have already started to become a reality, and the stories will keep unfolding with time.
During the evening, there was also a team of VTV6 filming a part of the process and interviewing our alumni Huong and Son and Trang, from the Knowmads Team! You can watch it here!
If you would like to know more about the Pro-Action Café, you can check out here or contact us! You can also join our next event on Thursday (25th of February) to share your ideas and meet other cool change-makers!
We invite you to join Team 5 and work for 7 weekends on your project while getting the support by an incredible team of participants, facilitators and trainers. Apply now!