Faster Than 20

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Colearning Strategy Retreat 2

April 24, 2017 – July 5, 2017
At Cholita Linda in Oakland.

How might we...

  • How might we work more strategically?


A two-day, self-organized retreat will give all of us enough time to do our own individual strategic work while also benefitting from each other’s feedback.


Pick a date (June 29-30) and location (Bay Area), and invite the other colearners to:

  1. Declare their individual goals and requests of others
  2. Co-design the retreat

Do the retreat!

Debrief at the end of the retreat.


Everybody will pre-declare what they want to be held accountable to. At the end of the retreat, check in to see how everyone did.

Also have a more qualitative debrief.


  • 8 participants (up from 4 the last time), with two out-of-town participants (L.A. and Portland) and three repeat participants. The only person who didn’t repeat from last time was from out-of-town (St. Louis).
  • Two days worked! Again, it helped to do it at Anya’s house.
  • People once again felt like it was a valuable space. New people felt embraced. Good way to on-board folks into the community.
  • January and June feels like a good rhythm
  • More well-defined recommended designations of solo vs peer time is helpful.


Do it again in January 2018. More well-defined recommended designations of solo vs peer time. See if we can drum up interest in doing a real retreat (i.e. not at someone’s house).



  1. Reflections / Next Steps for Colearning:

    • Brooking:
      • Was so tired. Now energized again, partially because of brownie bits, partially because of conversation with Eugene. Didn’t know what I wanted to do, made up goals, appreciated that every conversation I had with all of you I learned. Open Space seemed like right approach.
    • Anya:
      • What a gift to have all of you in this house, time together. Brought love and light to this place that will continue after you leave.
      • Appreciated everyone’s support
      • Didn’t check off fully anything. Half checks. Feedback: You already did it, so freakin’ finish it. The stuff that I defined for myself is done, just have to complete it.
      • Next time, want to be more clear with self and what I want to do. Just being a part of conversations I learn so much. Got a lot, and really appreciated that. Hard for me to ask for stuff. Still want to know what everyone else is working on.
        Realizing how amazing it is to ask for help, have someone else ask to jam on things. Now feeling like might reach out and ask if anyone wants to talk, know that people will be honest with me. Feel like wasn’t there for me on Slack.
    • Shirley
      • Hesitant to come. “I’m not ready for this. I need to spend time in my own cave and be ready with questions.” Eugene: “This is our cave.” Perfectionist in me, not prepared to interact with people. Internal struggle.
      • Worked on personal vision statement yesterday. Appreciated and accomplished some of the other things
      • Great opportunity to be present with you all
    • Renee
      • Like that we set out Solo time and Peer time on second day. Appreciated that little bit of structure. Knew that could have quiet time during Solo time.
      • Haven’t done full Open Space before, so neat to see that take shape.
      • Loved the peer exchanges. In beginning, checkins were rich and wanted to have conceptual conversations. That idea wasn’t as interesting as real peer support. Glad switched gears in my head.
      • Hard to ask for peer support unless it’s reciprocal. Maybe there’s a way to frame it to encourage it?
    • Odin
      • Really appreciated this space
      • Practice of taking the space. How do you structure it? Really good at it in some ways, bad at others. Get leaky and lazy.
      • Liked the Open Space. Jump in and say, “Here’s how it could look.” Liked serendipitous solidarity. Like anchors of group checkin time as well.
      • Checked all boxes. Not complete, but enough work for set of nested maps guiding me moving forward.
    • Kate
      • Second Renee’s comment about getting estimates in advance for private vs peer work. Coming in for second day felt a bit out of sync. Have to own that, but if knew that this group really needed solo time would have helped.
      • January was much smaller group. Doing peer stuff easier. As we add a few people, having more knowledge helps. Doing short WYDWYD videos in advance, and committing to watch.

    Next time:

    • More breaks
    • More clarity on timing. A lot of things that were planned didn’t happen because flowy. Time, but more clarity helps.
    • In advance: What percentage do we want for Solo vs Peer support?
    • More of a push to have it structured in advance.
    • Do another in January. January and June works well.
    • Experiment: Monthly call to check in on each other’s work. Virtual brown bag? Peer assist? Turn it into video blog? Record on Zoom. Anya will organize. Odin can offer Zoom account. Lunch time? Odin will help. Design week of? Can nudge each other.
    • Experiment: Odin hosting lessons learned summit. Possible quarterly complement. Anya, Brooking.
    • Process for on-boarding, off-boarding. Kate and Eugene and Brooking.

    Thank Yous and Checkouts

    • Eugene for fiat
    • Anya for hosting
    • Snacks
    • Talking about my feelings
    • Helped my dog feel comfortable and heal
    • Context in which I feel like I can help. Pleasure of feeling support and mutuality of it
    • Appreciating Kate for going with flow. Didn’t fully give her space to get into the schedule
    • Learned something from every one of you
    • Beginning of colearning, wanted more than online watercooler, but wasn’t able to swing with the checkin. Becoming more of what I wanted it to be initially. Interesting reflection.
    • “If you meet a man of great intellect, you should ask him what books he reads.” This group has expertise in rare space. Couldn’t take on current and potential work if didn’t have something like this behind me. If there’s something I don’t know, know that I can ask you all. Huge. Amazing to think of all of us doing that.
    • Eugene printing out stuff. Enjoyed being off duty in that way.
    • Welcoming me into this. Generosity with which you shared your own experiences. Reading Radical Hope. Kind of feeling this is a group that inspires.
    • Amazing to be in community that recognizes each other’s strengths and sees power in that. Mutual recognition that everyone has knowledge, power.
    • Practice of setting day aside
    • Not coming at collaboration directly. Group that believes and practices and sees power in individual work and collaboration. How do we make space for those collaborations to build? Learn so much by being in conversation about it.
    • Never experienced a group so expert and so easy to be a part of it. Everyone approaches it as, “We’re all learning.”
    • Collective leadership! It’s awesome!


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Accountable Eugene
Team Eugene, Brooking, Odin, Anya, Renee, Kate, Travis, Shirley
Documents Design + LogExperiment Folder
Modified February 19, 2019


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