Fertilizing the soil
These are the Macro-Themes that will form what we call the Narrative Thread or the Conducting Thread. The facilitators should think about where they will start from and where they want to go, always keeping in mind the main objective of the Gincana.
It is important to take into consideration the expertise, skills, and knowledge of the facilitators involved, as well as the demands, needs, and desires of the participants and their collectives, so that the Gincana is inserted in a larger strategy of support for activists and strengthening of the field of HRDs and digital care.
Think about how the Macro-Themes and themes will be approached and can collaborate with each other, providing a path of learning and exchanges, which in the end will give meaning to the whole. These themes do not need to be dependent on each other, but can have connections, be complementary, or even deepen the themes presented.
Example of a Narrative Thread
Week 1 - "Star Monsters Against Capital"
Macro-theme: Recognition of the group, creation of bonds, creation of a common language, and of the values that will guide the group.
Weeks 2 and 3 - "Infrastructure of Affection”
Macro-theme: Contextualizing the group about discussions around what makes up technological infrastructures, where we are, and where we want to be in these infrastructures.
Weeks 4 and 5 - "Messengers of a new world"
Macro-theme: How communication tools, from messengers to websites, work and how we can strategically use them.
Weeks 6 and 7 - "Opening Codes: Sustainability and the next generations”
Macrotheme: Developing expertise in project writing and facilitating learning processes.
Week 8 - "Celebration”
Macro-theme: Partying and celebrating is also very important for us! Creation and strengthening of feminist solidarity networks for existence and permanence of life and struggles.
We suggest that the facilitators work each Macrotheme following the following Structure:
- Main Sessions + Deepening or Practical Sessions + Workshops + Aláfias.
By clicking here you can see an example of how the complete structure of a Monster Gincana with 8 weeks duration and 4 Macrothemes plus Microthemes could look like:
Following a modular logic, the facilitators can add more sessions to this structure as needed. Thus, they can have, for example, 2 or 3 sessions, 2 or more extra activities, depending on the complexity of the subject explored. In this way, each macro-theme, or time cycle, repeats this structure.
The duration of each cycle or macro-theme can take as long as is interesting and necessary for the group. It can happen in a single day, it can be divided into a week, with days in between activities, or it can be even longer, with weeks in between activities. This choice is made by the facilitators and according to the intention of the Gincana.
It is important to remember that the longer the space of time between the activities, the greater the need for the facilitators to keep the participants engaged. For this, they can use the groups on messengers, email lists, and other tools that make sense for the group. These spaces can also function as places to exchange experiences, clarify doubts, send activities, etc.
Among the participants, these tools can be used to promote greater engagement and collaboration with the organizers, who can send music, references, games, new articles about interesting subjects, photos, to keep the group's mood curious and participatory.
For facilitators who are interested in a specific activity, it is possible to use only the script of the activity/session of interest. Combine some of the activities/sessions or use the suggested structure in full Main Sessions + In-Depth or Practical Sessions + Workshops + Aláfias.
In addition, it is possible within the extra sessions to approach other subjects such as activities dedicated to self-care or collective care, for example. One suggestion is the mediated conversation rounds, in which it is possible to talk about how the participants, and also the facilitators, are feeling with the Gincana experience when faced with a high volume of new information and experiences.
Another possibility are the sessions of stress reduction and relief technique for women, so that they can have contact and experience a technique that helps to release pains and tensions that we accumulate in the body. It is also possible to include sessions of other technologies that bring pleasure and/or good reflections about wisdom, self-esteem, frustration, and other feelings that we may encounter when we venture into new learning, especially technological learning. In other words, the possibilities are endless and it's worth exploring the skills that facilitators have beyond knowledge in digital care :)
At the next page there is a script with suggestions for activities to facilitate the choice and construction of the Macro and Micro Themes to be explored during a Gincana. This script was developed in a face-to-face meeting, but can easily be adapted to an online format. The ideal is that all the people who are building and who will facilitate the content of the Gincana should participate.
Macro and micro themes script
This script seeks to present a possibility to facilitate the construction and organization of macro and micro themes for the Gincana. In order to meet the demands and needs of the group, but also taking into account the expertises, experiences and desires of the facilitators. Having a context analysis and a strategic goal for the digital care field previously built, are very helpful resources for this activity.
Who is this activity for?
All people involved in content creation or process facilitation of Gincana.
5h15min + breaks
Session 1: Wake-up activity [15 minutes]
- To move the body and create a sense of group;
- Realize limits of one's own body and other bodies in physical space.
- Sound box
- Colorful balloons
- Exciting music
- Small colored papers cut up
Each person receives an empty balloon and a little paper. Everyone is invited to write on the piece of paper what makes you happy in the Gincana? Then we roll up the paper and place it inside the balloon, fill it with air, and close it with a knot. The facilitators put on some nice, lively music, and everyone is invited not to let their balloon fall on the ground first, using only their feet.
After a while, you can now use your knees, and soon after you can also use your buttocks, belly, shoulders, nose, head... Now all the balloons are the responsibility of the group. We all have to take care that no balloon falls on the ground. When everyone is tired, we stop the game. Each person takes a balloon, pops it, and the messages are read to the whole group.
Note: Have someone prepared to take pictures, it's a beautiful image!
Session 2: Thinking strategy and themes [2 hours 30 minutes]
To get the group to think about strategies for Gincana.
- Craft or Flipchart paper for groups to write on;
- Collect from the registration form in advance the ideas sent by the participants for macro and micro themes (on colored card stocks).
Step 1 [5 minutes]
Individually, write on card stocks possible answers to the following uplifting question: "how can the Gincana be strategic for the field of feminist digital care?
Step 2 [20 minutes]
In trio, discuss what we wrote on the card stocks and add whatever else comes up.
Step 3 [35 minutes]
Back in the larger group, trios present their card stocks by neighborhood, and we will group the cards on the wall by proximity.
Interval [15 minutes]
Step 4 [15 minutes]
Individually, write on cards stocks (one idea per card), possibilities for the following uplifting question: "What micro and macro themes would you like to see in the Gincana? Considering desires and strategy".
Step 5 [20 minutes]
In trios, discuss what we wrote on the cards, add whatever else comes up, rewriting the ideas on the colored cards X for when it is a Macro idea and colored cards Y when it is something else within Micro themes. At this point, the facilitator presents previously prepared macro and micro themes, gathered from the demands, needs, and desires presented by the activists and groups when filling out the registration form.
Step 6 [40 minutes]
Back in the group, the groups present their cards. First, all the groups present their Macro Themes, and then, in rounds, all the groups present their Micro Themes. If another group has similar cards, when it is presented, they stand up, present what is written, and glue it next to or on top of them. In this way everyone presents their cards, and these are stuck to the wall, organized by proximity of the themes. On one side of the wall we organize the Macrothemes, and on the other side of the wall the Microthemes. When one group finishes, the other begins, until all the cards or sheets have been glued and organized on the wall.
After this exhaustive process, we take a break, and then return to the theme.
Session 3: Self-care activity [30 minutes]
To learn how to use clay for relaxation and self-care! And provide a fun, playful time to unwind the brain from so many serious issues.
- White clay
- Filtered water
- Rose dried herb
- Hot water
We will talk about clay masks for beauty and health! And do a hands-on application of clay mask with rose tea, where we will stay with the clay for 15min to 20min.
Session 4: Organizing ideas [2 hours]
Through collective wisdom, we will find themes to prioritize, and discuss together the logic of content presentation.
- Colored Post its
- Colored round sticks
- Card stocks
1. Prioritizing Macros and Micro themes [10 minutes]
Each person receives X round sticks of 2 different colors. To decide this number, you should take into account the number of participants and the number of Macro and Micro Themes raised, as well as the number of activities that the Gincana intends to offer and the duration of the Gincana. We invite each person to read all the Macro-Themes, and distribute the small stickers of color x in the Macro-Themes that within their evaluation should be prioritized. Then they are invited to do the same with the Micro Themes.
2 . Organizing the macro [15 minutes]
In an anarchic way, we invite the whole group to start assembling a chart on the wall, at first organizing the Macrothemes with more stickers in a horizontal line. Preferably already creating a logic between these themes, at this point you can talk to each other, discuss ideas, change places, add or remove cards from the wall... It is even possible for the group to rescue a Macrotheme that was not voted on, but at the time of the discussion, if they feel it is necessary. It is interesting for the group to establish a maximum limit of macro themes, which must be compatible with the time of dedication and duration established. Do an exercise of detaching from the Macro Themes until you reach the established limit.
3. Organizing the Micro Themes [25 minutes]
Now the group is again invited anarchically to organize the Microthemes, giving preference to those with more sticky dots. They will organize them under the umbrella of some Macrotheme already organized on the wall. Everyone can go on bringing and fitting, discussing, moving, rewriting (if necessary) the cards, turning Macro into Micro, and vice versa. Also organizing and talking about a logical organization of the content. *If the group is very conflicted in conversation and feels it is stalling, we suggest doing rounds of consideration where each person is invited to make a consideration, propose some change, or present an idea. Everyone makes their own considerations about what has been said, and then the next person is invited to make their own considerations, until they come back to the first person, who, if they have any other considerations, brings them back to the round, until all the considerations (or time) have been exhausted. This way we will have a landscape of Macro-Themes and Micro-Themes, which can be refined over the next few weeks if the group is unable to arrive at a model that pleases everyone.
4. Brainstorming activities [15 minutes]
Individually, each person will write on post it (of another color), activities that they consider interesting and important for the Gincana (only one per card). Then we can paste them next to the micro-theme that would be the umbrella of the activity.
5. Prioritizing activities [10 minutes]
Each person receives X round stickers (evaluate according to the size of the Gincana and the quantity of activities to be offered), and everyone reads the proposed activities, sticking the dots on the ideas/post-its that they believe are most appropriate for the Gincana to reach its objective. You can recall the objective again at this point.
6. Debating activities [45 minutes]
The activity ideas without stickers (least voted) are removed from the wall. Now the group will discuss each of the activity ideas in quick rounds, 3 minutes per idea. The idea here is to brainstorm and quickly try to formulate a goal for each of the activities. It is important to have a report to record good ideas and insights for each of the sessions. This will support the later work of developing the content of each of the sessions, maintaining dialogue and coherence.
Finishing going through all the activities, the participants are invited to share a sentence about how they are feeling after these hours spent building the Gincana.
With the activities thought out and organized, it is now time to build the team. We analyze what knowledge, skills, and experiences already exist in the group, and what will need to be reinforced by inviting other people. The execution of a Gincana is also a fantastic opportunity for learning and exchange among the facilitators.
Note: It is important to have a person to report all the discussion from this session to be organized and made available later. Also a person to mark the discussion time for each of the activities. You can use a little chime to signal that it is time to move on to the next one.
Resources are everything that will enable the facilitators to carry out the Gincana.
It is not just a matter of financial or material resources. First of all, we consider presence, availability, engagement, curiosity, respect, trust, tranquility, flexibility, solidarity, listening, respect, and joy as necessary and indispensable resources for the realization of the journey.
Even if immaterial, these resources always need to be nurtured and valued. In cases in which the facilitators have financial resources for the realization of the Gincana, they can invest them in important points such as
- The construction of a secure infrastructure;
- The hiring of secure servers;
- Availability of prepaid mobile internet for participants who need it.
These are some of the examples, among other things that will vary according to the reality of the participants.
In addition, these resources can also be invested in hiring services that allow, for example, the inclusion of hearing-impaired participants, through sign language translators or language translators, in the case of participants from different countries.
Other services we recommend are:
- Hiring graphic facilitation: this allows for a more creative record that can be shared, used and taken up again whenever needed.
- Besides graphic facilitation, think also about other languages that allow the registration of the sessions, such as poetic facilitation. The written language can be more creative than just the formal record, and it can also rely on orality. Poetic facilitation or radio production and podcasts can be allied tools in this journey.
- Video production, such as tutorials or any other type of content. Think of videos as important languages in the learning process, especially if you are dealing with groups that use orality more than writing. Videos or recordings can also be records of sessions that will allow participants to follow the journey asynchronously.
- Create or use games as a learning methodology. Games can be fun ways to work with more dense or technical content, or even more fun ways to provide moments of discussion about the themes worked on in the sessions.
- Graphic design: this is a resource that can greatly assist in the communication of the Gincana, helping to create a visual identity. Graphic design can also be used in the organization of materials to be shared or published.
- Speakers and specialists who can make presentations or provide training, depending on the demands of the group of participants.
- Holistic therapists and psychologists can help in moments of mediation of conversations, moments of conflict that may occur, or in cases of participants who are experiencing stress or burn out. It is worth remembering that this resource can also be used by the facilitators and collaborators themselves. This is a strategy to care for the group that is performing the Gincana.
- Compensation for working hours! Consider, if possible, the remuneration for the working hours of both the services hired and the people invited to participate as collaborators, whether they are speakers, therapists, technicians, etc.