Suggestions for KB8
In reference to @saintsal’s,:
Propose only the parts of the program you are committing to design and run yourself. The main thrust of this form of communication is not to design a program that others will run, but rather to take responsibility for the part you will run and how it fits with other parts.
Proactively seek “deference” to other concepts. What aspects of what you’re exploring don’t fit well with others, and which do? If so, how? Look at other concepts to anticipate these issues, and ask specifically about them. (Ideally, keep a section in your proposal called Deference Questions updated to invite this kind of feedback.)
My suggestions function more as puzzle pieces rather anything upending our current design. I will share a leaner timeline, emphasizing a few elements I believe are paramount to have in a healthier block, rather than trying to offer a comprehensive blueprint from start to finish.
I am also realizing that my mind is stuck OR I really simply like the 8 week program that goes hand in hand with the syllabus modules that has been developed. I’m not saying it’s perfect or that I’d argue to keep it precisely the same, but whenever I go to the drawing board to think of new ideas, I have trouble deviating from the core skeleton that has come to underpin and guide a Kernel block. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe it’s lack of creative juices on one side, and on the other side, the sense that the current program works, although we know it can work a lot better – we just have to tinker with finer details such as size, setup of office hours, mentor engagement, guide outreach. Here are the elements:
- Carving out more space and time for fellows to breathe.
- Time for pause and reflection. A break to feel less overwhelmed. Kernel is not the only activity in fellows’ lives. I’m quite flabbergasted by the fellows who engage deeply - how do they do it? I have a lot of respect for them. Excluding the financially privileged ones, when do they sleep? When do they work? I think there is responsibility on our side to plan more calmness than we currently have into the block. This could be a start to test it.
- I imagine more space and time in the form of two one week breaks, after each set of four weeks. These are also breaks for us - to pause and reassess. Ask where are we headed and should we about face? Or just turn a few degrees?
- In the break we will provide a wall or resource in which we ask fellows to share their experience so far, work on adventures/artifacts, and any other thoughts they have, feedback.
- I’m curious what could surface and emerge in these breaks. Being open to surprise. Who sticks around too, and continues playing, continues co-hosting convo events? What are discussions about?
- On the last day of the second break, we’d have the Kernel Celebration on a Friday, coming full circle with kickoff.
- Limiting the block to absolutely no more than 200 fellows, maybe even 150.
- What does the block look like when we prioritize that every fellow meets with a guide and/or steward at least once and hopefully twice? With 440+ fellows it’s as if we set ourselves up for failure. I’ve spoken to at least five guides who have told me ~2-3 of their fellows never responded to their email after Sid’s introduction. I think that guides’ experience is more common than we know. How is it that people who RSVP never accept our Slack invite?
- how might engagement change? how might the flow of a week change?
- Can having fewer fellows make Slack a more welcoming space? Less noise?
- Set the goal that all fellows create an artifact.
- Whether participating in build track or not, we can cultivate an understanding of the importance of artifacts - instantiations of learnings or reflections from a particular time. I think it holds capaciousness. While it could be an adventure, it may also be a poem, an interpretation of a syllabus module, a performance, a collaboration, a learning from a guild session, thought from a junto. We can frame it as a representation of any element of fellows’ time in kernel, an exploration of one’s self in their kernel journey.
- We unintentionally tend to limit the idea of the adventure to build track and building. In KB7 we became more expansive and inclusive, but that was as the block went on. What if in orientation we presented it differently, clearer?
- This would feed into our new style of expo in which we encourage all types of artifacts and reflections to be shared.
- Approaching the block while thinking of creating an artifact may change the nature of engagement and participation.
- I don’t want to confound labels though - artifact and adventure might be too many. What if we went back to the basics and adventure simply became project? Build track project? And artifact would be a term less defined, open to interpretation.
- Now I have an idea of artifacts for learn track, adventures for build track. Hmmmmm.
saintsal last edited by saintsal
@aliyajypsy A lot of good points here.
The challenge in this process to step away from leaving them as intentions, and getting to thought-through designs. It is hard, yes, which is why the rules of engagement require skin in the game – you can’t just say what outcome you’d like without thinking through how, and having the commitment to see it through yourself.
This is to get out of the loop we’re in right now, where we keep suggesting changes, but pushing the tricky parts onto other people, or getting into a tug-of-war when it comes to the how.
we just have to tinker with finer details such as size, setup of office hours, mentor engagement, guide outreach.
So in this case, these things aren’t details, they’re the central part to figure out.
some starting points for you
You’ve started though – you described a hazy idea of what expo or a build track could look like. I suggest you pick out specific ideas, and do a ritual design and an explorer sketch for them,. (The templates are in the figma.)
For example, you could describe what an Expo looks like that you want to run, then illustrate how it fits into other parts of the program and ask questions to see how it might fit with other parts. You could also suggest how you think Reviews should work (provided you’re willing to take responsibility for running Reviews if it’s agreed to do your way) and sketch that out with specific processes, events, timelines, and share those.
one idea per forum thread
When you have sometime to share, post each idea as its own thread, to allow for clearer, distinct feedback on each concept.
1:1 calls to sketch out ideas
If you’d like we can also jump on a call and sketch your ideas together. That might get your creative momentum flowing. I can also show you some concepts that will help you expand beyond the 7-week scope. For example, I’m almost done a 1-month version of Kernel that addresses most of your concerns, allows for breaks (and has healthy pacing). I’ve also done the “how” work, by going through the key content in learn track and various guilds, to make sure what’s delivered is just as coherent and valuable (arguably more so given the current engagement rates).
I agree on our labels - they’re deeply problematic because their definitions are always ambiguous and in flux. Even towards the end of your post, “build track” crept back in. I was told that since kb5, “build track” was no longer to be used, which is why we came up with “adventure time” – to be inclusive to non-build forms of adventures. So we can either piece apart the kernel definitions of adventures, projects, build track, adventure track, etc.
Or we can explain things using definitions from the Oxford dictionary. I think that’d be easier for everyone. At a push, if we have to describe our ideas using only the term “fellow” then everything else has to be explicit - so less prone to misinterpretation.