In March I did a similar session with The People’s College in Nottingham. It was NOT however, a whole systems summit – there were respresentatives from each of the stakeholders (including the students). One works with what one has – and this was quite a stretch for them. Because time was so short, I had to force the pace quite frequently. (What we call ‘hot-housing’). I also did things myself that I would not do if I had more time, I would let the group summarise, for instance. We met up the night before and had a few questions for people to interview each other over dinner with. The feedback I had on that was that people really enjoyed it. The next day, we began immediately with consolidating the interviews in larger groups – they had to come up with a ‘report’ to present to the whole group. I took notes of ‘The best of’ and hung them on a window (we were lucky enough to be in a room with windows on BOTH sides (daylight surely helps people with energy). From this, they then did their dreams. They split into groups – a bit messy, since I let them choose themselves – then assembled around a flip-chart paper on the floor and drew their dreams (they were not allowed to use letters or write yet), each taking a turn. This included, by the way, members of the board and quite senior people. After an initial unease, they really got into it. The groups then presented their dreams. They refined them until we got a provocative possibility statement and then all the groups began ‘horse-trading’ until we got a reasonable number of statements that everyone could agree with. During this time, I was not just facilitating, but also clock watching and pushing them when it seemed that we would run out of time. Finally we had three statements and people grouped under the statements to work further on the design with the statements that they each had energy for. If no one had gone to work with one of the statements, we would have known there was no energy there. Again, we had to push people, but by the end of the day, they had priorities, action plans and ideas to work on. At the end those who were willing stood up to commit to doing what they each had energy for. Some really wonderful things came out of this and I think we were true to the spirit of Ai, while having to drop some of the things that I would normally do in a Summit (for instance, we did NOT do a proper reality check as there was no time). I also had to do a lot of pushing for time otherwise we wouldn’t have had something concrete at the end. People did appreciate it, but found it frustrating. It is really hard work for the facilitator!