Lanesboro, Minnesota | August 1-3, 2016
This three-day gathering at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center near Lanesboro, Minnesota was the first Watershed Leaders Network workshop. Six farmer-driven watershed groups from five states came together to learn from each other and strengthen their local work.
Together we identified barriers that keep neighbors from working together to resolve water issues. Watershed group leaders who had experienced some success told their stories simply, without slides, in small groups. Each participant listened for specific conditions that created success—things like catalysts, creativity, collaboration, courageous steps, communication and synchronicity.
After stories were told, listeners shared what they'd heard with storytellers, who saw their work in a new light. People who followed the same listening thread compared and summarized what they’d heard and reported to the large group. Then the group talked about how what they'd heard applied to their work at home.
Throughout the workshop we reflected on the question: How does what I’m hearing and learning apply to my situation? On day three each local group identified next wise steps for their work at home, then received input from peers, reflected and revised. In the closing circle, every person shared their commitments and what they need to succeed.
Within two weeks, all participants reported they’d acted on the commitments they had made.