The shared action “Building a Bigger We” was launched at the Virtual Toronto Summer Institute in July 2021 hosted and produced by Inclusion Press. It is designed as a post Virtual Toronto Summer Institute action is part of the CitizenFest network of festivals where actions continue with new audiences. The idea of Citizen Network is to bring people together through CitizenFest events and to bring forward themes that connect people around the world.
Before the No Labels No Walls Festival 2021 participants were invited to interview 3-4 people that they did not know well, whose background, culture, or experience is very different. At the Building A Bigger We action at the festival participants explored what new connections were made and how the answers connected to one another. This shared action idea was facilitated by filmmaker Arielle Nobile and theater artist, LaSheena Jenkins. They introduced a method called revolutionary listening and collective processing. The Toronto Summer Institute is building conversations that matter on Citizenship, Diversity, and Inclusion for the past decades and has been rooted with the idea of “Building a Bigger We”.
This No Labels No Walls session on 25th August carried that theme forward. Participants agreed that revolutionary listening is a useful platform for building solidarity. Everybody has a story that matters, but it is important to note the different understandings of the words in different languages. Where does creativity come from? How to find the listening connection to myself? There are different ways to do this, for example meditation or reading. Could you develop into a better listener if you give more space for yourself? Why is it so difficult to meet another human being? Why are we alienated from each other?
Michael Bierman made a pledge to a documentation process to collect effects using revolutionary listening and post to the No Labels No Walls Facebook group page. He encouraged others to do the same in different countries and see how small actions will increase impact. Is this a new concept of Building a Bigger We – equity and inclusion doing individual actions? The Strindberg Laboratory created after the event a new social action: “Getting to know you!” -game. This game allows people to meet people they do not know yet and also allows people to reflect on why it is so difficult to encounter new people and collaborate. Join the movement and make it happen! The process will be reviewed on a quarterly basis during the No Labels No Walls Action Monday sessions. How to link different citizen festivals together, build continuity and vertical and horizontal dimensions by communicating, cooperating and co-creating? More people, more fun, more impact, better world!