Section 2.E: Suggested Agendas



Below are suggested agendas for each of the eight kinds of sessions. Each agenda item is preceded by the time (in minutes) we suggest be devoted to it. The individual agenda items and exercises are described in more detail in the next three sections (2.F, 2.G, and 2.H). Remember, these are only suggestions. Please use your own judgment about what is most appropriate for your START group.

Session 1: Introduction

The standard 24-week START course begins with two introductory sessions. The experience of previous groups has been that this time at the beginning builds a foundation for a smoothly functioning process throughout the course. The purposes of these two sessions include:

Because of the many important things to cover in the first two sessions, we suggest making these sessions slightly longer (3 hours) than the rest of the sessions (2 1/2 hours).


Time

Item

10

Presentation / DecisionAgenda Review, sign up for special roles (facilitator, etc.) for this session

10

Break

15

Discussion / DecisionBusiness and Logistics (assignment for next time: read the START study guide)

10

Decision — sign up for special roles for the next session

35

Exercise — from the Personal Reflection set of exercises (see Section 2.H)

5

Decision — plan next meeting


3 hrs

Session 2: Getting Started


Time

Item

25

Discussion / DecisionBusiness and Logistics (choose roles and reading sets for next time; also, choose the topics and order for your START course)

50

Exercise — from the Personal Reflection set of exercises

10

Break

50

Exercise — from the Understanding Change set

5

Decision — plan next meeting


3 hrs

Session 3: Another World is Possible — A Few Positive Examples


Time

Item

60

Presentations and Discussion — reports on readings + discussion of readings and discussion questions (5 reports x 5-minute report + 5-minute discussion following each report + 10-minute discussion at end)

10

Break

40

Exercise — from the Visions of a Good Society set

5

Decision — plan next meeting


2 hrs 30 minutes

Sessions 4–15: Understanding Problems and Identifying Solutions


Time

Item

60

Presentations and Discussion — reports on readings + discussion of readings and discussion questions (5 x 5+5 minutes each + 10-minute discussion at end)

10

Break

5

Decision — plan next meeting

5

Brainstorm — questions about the next topic


2 hrs 30 minutes

Session 16: Exercises AND/OR Planning a Change Activity

We suggest the last session in this segment be devoted to exercises and/or planning a change activity (or if your group has moved along in a leisurely fashion, to catching up on readings).

You should choose exercises based on the needs and desires of the group (see Section 2.H for suggested exercises). You may, for example, want to undertake a longer and more extensive version of one of the exercises in the Connecting Problems to Social Change Solutions set. Or, now that you have explored many of the problems of the world, you might want to try another exercise from the Visions of a Good Society set. If group morale needs boosting, you might want to choose an exercise from the Empowerment set. Or, if your group is eager to explore change strategies, you might choose an exercise from the Strategy Analysis set.

By planning and carrying out a simple change activity, you may immediately be able to use some of the ideas your group has just learned in this segment of the course and stimulate questions about strategy that can be explored in the next segment.


Time

Item

10

Break

5

Decision — plan next meeting

5

Brainstorm — questions about the next topic


2 hrs 30 minutes

Sessions 17–22: Strategies for Positive Change


Time

Item

60

Presentations and Discussion — reports on readings + discussion of readings and discussion questions (5 x 5+5 minutes each + 10-minute discussion at end)

10

Break

35

Exercise — from the Empowerment set OR the Strategy Analysis set

5

Decision — plan next meeting

5

Brainstorm — questions about the next topic


2 hrs 30 minutes

Session 23: Exercises AND/OR Planning a Change Activity

We suggest Session 23 be devoted to exercises and/or planning a change activity.


Time

Item

50

Exercise — from the Empowerment set OR the Strategy Analysis set

10

Break

50

Exercise — from the Empowerment set OR the Strategy Analysis set

5

Decision — plan next meeting


2 hrs 30 minutes

Session 24: Next Steps


Time

Item

40

Exercise — from the Next Steps set

20

Presentations — reports on Proposals for Action (3 x 5 minutes each)

10

Break

45

General Discussion — what to do next

5

Decision — plan next meeting (if there will be one)


2 hrs 30 minutes

Next Section: 2.F. Descriptions of Agenda Items Common to Most Sessions