On February 13, 2021, the Commission on the Promotion of Systemic Change provided a one day zoom workshop for the Daughters of Charity of the Province of St. Louise, USA. One reason for this target audience is that the workshop would provide a formative preparation for the second part of their Provincial Assembly to be held beginning March 11, 2021. Another reason is to test the efficacy of providing these trainings by zoom, and to expand our reach into the North American Continent, adding to our presentations on the Continents of Asia, Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe.
The workshop goals were as follows. Participants will be able to describe: 1.) how systemic change promotes the sustainable development of those who are poor; 2.) the importance of collaboration and collective impact; and 3.) what it means to promote those who are poor as a protagonist of change.
There were four major presentations: Basic Notions of Systemic Change presented by Mr. Jim Claffey; Collaboration and Collective Impact presented by Ana Maria Escano; Five Strategies to Fight Poverty presented by Sr. Ellen LaCapria, DC and a post talk reflection by Fr. Giuseppe Turati, CM; and Mission & Ministry Impact Projects Demonstrating the Practice of System Change Throughout the Province presented by Sr. Elizabeth Greim, DC. Throughout the day there were small and large break-out groups addressing discussion questions as well as components of prayer and reflection.
Upon signing-up for the Systemic Change Workshop 5 questions were posted to the Formstack registration. At the end of the workshop these same questions were asked a second time to see if there was a measurable difference in the understanding of the concepts of Systemic Change following the event.
Upon analysis, those who completed both forms, during the registration and then again at the close of the workshop, almost doubled their understanding. Then a Survey Monkey was sent to the participants during a 24-hour window and about half responded during that short time period which was satisfactory to get an overall feel of the success of the workshop. The highest number of responses fell in the category of ‘Extremely clear and informative’ followed by ‘Somewhat clear and informative.’ There were a few immediate take-aways for the commission for future planning:
- A zoom workshop is possible.
- Having concrete examples of projects is necessary.
- The topic of ‘How to be a Systems Thinker’ will need to be unpacked more fully.