On July 16, Sprout partnered with Amizade Global Service-Learning to host a convening of global service organizations to generate new ideas and discuss opportunities to support the launch of The Global Switchboard. Located in Lawrenceville, The Global Switchboard is an organizational collective that is dedicated to global betterment that begins here in Pittsburgh. Sprout & Amizade staff shared a recap on Amizade.org this week:

More than 50 people attended The Global Switchboard Community Convening on July 16, 2014, an event designed to explore how Pittsburgh can become a more global city. The event took place at the Kaufmann Center at the Hill House in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood and was sponsored by Amizade Global Service-Learning and The Sprout Fund. (Thanks to the Kaufmann Center for use of their awesome space!)

Small group discussions were the primary element of the Global Switchboard Community Convening. The dialogue was facilitated by Sprout-trained moderators who led participants through a variety of design thinking exercises about global engagement. (Thanks to Leah Silverman of Design by Leah for graphically capturing the conversation!)

The facilitation process was comprised of a series of activities that began by asking each group to identify the fundamental elements of global engagement. Words like empathyequality, andparticipatory are indicative of how attendees interpret the term global engagement.

Once the group gained a common understanding of the topic at hand, the facilitators invited each participant to consider global engagement in the Pittsburgh context. Using a technique called Rose, Thorn, Bud (popularized by the Luma Institute), participants identified roses (strengths), thorns (challenges), and buds, (opportunities) about the current state of global engagement in Pittsburgh.

With a strong command of Pittsburgh’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, the groups then brainstormed strategies to enhance global engagement in Pittsburgh. Dozens of strategies were devised to make Pittsburgh a more global city. After the ideas were hatched, facilitators clustered the strategies into categories and group members prioritized them against one another.

Check out the rest of the recap (and a lot more pictures) here on Amizade.org.