At first, some participants were reluctant, including one who wanted to leave at the beginning, but Eve, the trainer, persuaded him to stick it out until lunchtime. By the end of the day his perception had been completely changed, Eve explained:
“He said, ‘I saw the word organising and I thought of the word organisation. and I thought of all these institutions.’ And he was like, ‘It’s the complete opposite.’ It was really interesting [to hear] what he expected just from the title of it.”
The listening section of the training brought out some interesting points around how differently people can see things based on their experiences, reflected Eve:
“I remember one guy picked a picture of someone standing on top of a mountain, and my sister had been on one of my training courses, and she had picked that photo and said, ‘I just feel so free, this is me at the top of a mountain.’ You know, all those really positive things that it stands for. And this guy picked up the same photo and said, ‘This is me sitting up there all on my own, not knowing how to get down.’ And that really brought it home to me, how differently two people can take the same thing.”
Throughout the day, the group began to uncover some issues they could act on straight away. They discussed that, although Spider Project is a membership organisation, the members didn’t feel they really have a say in what goes on, or the ability to influence the organisation in a meaningful way.
Spider Project was fully on board with the process from the beginning, explained Eve:
“There have been some organisations I’ve done training with who don’t really want their members to take any power, they just want to offer them some kind of training. Whereas Spider really wanted them to do this, but they didn’t quite know how to go about it.”
At the end of the training, the group agreed to digest everything and meet up with Eve the following week.