Flower Model Review: November 2012

If you’re a SPEAK veteran, you’ll hardly be surprised by the network’s ongoing desire to be a grass-roots led movement; it’s for this reason that the network’s bi-annual, inclusive, participatory forum –aka ‘Flower Model’ – continues to be a vital element of the network’s make-up. Last weekend, a mix of SPEAK-ers from across the UK gathered at Desmond Tutu House, Bradford, to continue SPEAK’s exciting tradition of dreaming big dreams and planning for the future ahead.

The venue, it seemed, summed up SPEAK’s values perfectly; a sense of community, inclusiveness and a passion for justice (with a slight tinge of disorder) which set the tone beautifully. The agenda for Saturday was primarily two-fold, firstly, we began envisioning what a campaign focused on food would look like in 2013, and secondly, we put our collective thoughts to SPEAK’s annual network gathering – Soundcheck – which takes place on the last weekend of February (check out http://www.speak.org.uk/gatherings/soundcheck/soundcheck-2013 and get along, it’s going to be great).

The dreaming, planning and creative thinking began with discussions on how to frame a food sovereignty campaign for next year. These discussions perfectly painted a picture of how SPEAK operates, since this campaign is in response to ideas being drawn from Flower Model in 2010. Petals and sub-groups then broke off to discuss the intricacies of the campaign; ranging from the biblical foundations to creative campaigns action. The day then flowed seamlessly into planning for Soundcheck13, with plans drawn up ranging from workshop sessions to installing a totem pole art installation!

After a well-earned curry and giant naan bread on Saturday night, it was then back to the drawing board on Sunday to break into petals to pray and discuss all sorts of issues (see http://www.speak.org.uk/network/flower-model for more info on different petals). It’s very exciting as an Network Support Team member to be given fuel from the network itself; I get a sense from all the thought showers I left with, that we will be going forward with lots of exciting ideas into the future.

Hopefully this account of what was planned demonstrates just how incredible it is that anyone can be involved in Flower Model; It truly is remarkable that the very essence of campaigns are dreamed up by the people who will be getting involved. Hopefully it has inspired you to be a more integral part of what SPEAK are doing? If so, you only have to wait until April to be part of the next forum. In fact, register to attend Soundcheck and join your local SPEAK group and be part of what is happening now!