In this episode of Eval Cafe (one of only two places where evaluators really get crunk, according to guest Andy Johnson, with the other being the Diversity TiG social at the annual AEA conference), come hang out with our super panel of returning guests—Andy Johnson (Inspire to Change, A. Rafael Johnson) and Nora Murphy Johnson (Inspire to Change), and Chris Corrigan (Harvest Moon Consulting, Chris Corrigan) as we expand chronos and play infinite games in kairos. We start by jumping into the question, “What does evaluation offer and what does evaluation need in times of great uncertainty and injustice?”, and follow that thread through a conversation about how evaluation delivers uncertainty instead of certainty, why arts-based evaluation exists (aside from being the coolest evaluation), evaluators as accompanists and ‘friends of the process’, Nora’s outline of her theory of transformation (plus one addition from Chris), exoskeletons, endoskeletons, why evaluation needs imagination to be rigorous, spaciousness, how to play in complexity, and how interesting it is how many problems can be solved in exactly the three years of a granting cycle.
Cool things our guests want you to know about:
Nora and Andy are working on the updated Creative Evaluation book from the MQP original, and keep an eye on the Inspire to Change website for more resources as well as news about a convening they’ll be hosting locally in Minneapolis, MN, to talk about equity and how people can work together for change. You can also find them on the Inspire to Change twitter account, as well as under Nora and Andy’s own twitter handles.
Chris will be offering a complexity workshop with his partner Caitlin Frost, Complexity Inside and Out, on Bowen Island (Nex̱wlélex̱wem) in BC, Canada, in June (registration open now). Chris also promoted the Sen̓áḵw real estate development project of the Squamish Nation as a “game-changing moment in Canadian-Indigenous relationships”. You can also find Chris on Twitter.
- Andy’s first episode
- Nora’s first episode
- Chris’s first episode
- Carolyn’s tweet about evaluation and uncertainty
- Dave Snowden on working with “the evolutionary potential of the present”
- Mal Waldron, jazz pianist, composer, and arranger
- Blue Marble Evaluation principles
- Cynefin framework
- Human Systems Dynamics Institute
- Adaptive Action: Leveraging Uncertainty in Your Organization, by Glenda H. Eoyang and Royce J. Holladay
- Finite and Infinite Games, from the HSD website
- Finite and Infinite Games, by James P. Carse
- Bernie De Koven and the Deep Fun website
- Sandy Agustin and Wendy Morris on the Inspire to Change team page
- What’s the Story: Essays about Art, Theater and Storytelling, by Anne Bogart
- Ways Chris has taught Cynefin with physical games, example one and example two