Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Not just a conference...

Grow Boys! will be hosting our first conference for fifth grade boys in Red Deer, AB, Canada this May, but Grow Boys! is more than just a conference.

The idea to initiate an effort to support the happy, healthy growth and development of boys was conceived a little over a year ago. All along Grow Boys! has been framed as the creation of a broad support network that includes efforts like hosting our conference. With emphasis on the word network, it has always been about identifying the particular developmental needs of boys, and then accessing local resources to provide services to boys within our community. Our network has grown significantly since then, and we continue to connect with new supporters every week. What we know through our experiences working with boys as teachers, health care providers, counselors, coaches, mentors etc. is that boys need our support in a world that's throwing a lot at them lately.

We have framed our effort in the context of the Hope Wheel. We believe hope is an action word... we can wish for anything we want, but to truly make good things happen, we have to take some form of action. We need to teach our boys this important perspective. The four directions around the Hope Wheel symbolize the journey we all go through as we learn and grow. This journey becomes our story; our cultural tail... the element that defines us as individuals and parts of groups. 

Our conference is our starting point. Our local group of excellent collaborators has been working on Grow Boys! for over a year, and the conference set for May 9, 2012 will be our launch. This is the day we will officially introduce our bigger mission to the community. As the boys are actively participating in the conference activities, we'll be networking with the teachers, supervisors, parents, volunteers and guests projecting our larger mission to provide 360 degrees of support for all boys within our community, from birth to fatherhood. By nurturing the development of good boys we believe we are also helping develop the good young men and good men our community needs in the future. 

Through local research to support our mission and vision, and the evolution of sustainable support networks for boys of all ages, we aim to create a model that can be easily replicated in any community. We know that context is key, and that Grow Boys! won't look exactly the same in every case, but we will support any local effort to collaborate and learn from our experiences in the event that folks want to create a Grow Boys! initiative somewhere else. If you are interested in initiating a local effort in your community to support the healthy, happy growth and development of your boys, please get in touch. We're glad to help!


  1. Sean,

    Thanks for helping us folks out on the twittersphere get a window on Red Dear. I have a feeling that you may really be onto something important. It's pretty clear around the world that for reasons we still haven't figured out the edu system doesn't do a great job for boys coming from risky environments.

    You know I've said many times from what I can see Alberta is at the leading edge of education practice in North America. Seems to me a perfect place for understanding how to find the modifications to help our boys grow into Caring, Loving and Powerful Men.

    You need to know my hunch is there are lots of folks around the world who will be checking in to learn from what you are doing.

  2. Hi Michael. We have been working hard to creat a platform that is easily replicable in other local contexts. We're seeking organizations that have established visibilty (service groups, socially responsible corporations, individuals...) to align with to extend Grow Boys! reach. We intend to share everything we do with anybody who wants to make a go of their own Grow Boys! project... we feel very strongly that our perspective has legs, and we want our influence to "grow."

    By the way Michael, check out the "Knights in Training" stuff on the Circles (aka a learning circle;o) of Support page at this blog. This is one of our action research elements striving toward evidence-based practise, and we starting next week with HS mentors and fifth grade boys participating in the program. Stay tuned!

  3. You have my attention! In the dead center of my radar. I would like to lapse into a little nemetics talk in the service of precision. I have a feeling it might sound like jargon to folks who may stop by. But what I see is Nemifying the entangled nemiStrings will help grow the network.

    Specifically if there is a place that nemistrings are visible on Twitter, it will be easier for us in the twittersphere to get some nemex going. And as we know, NemiTubes that fire together, tend to wire together. < smile >

  4. Cheers to that! Thanks again... and let's continue working on nemifying things;o)

  5. I just stumbled on a notation scheme that might help nemify the situation.

    Tweets below:

    these 140 chrs are a NemiString @graingered + @rotkapchen + @TheDesignKata + @ddrrnt + @jordiguell + @HumanAtom @Counterpane + @proteuskor


    Intentional nemification might be (me @graingered (( @ddrnt ) @proteuskor )) ( me @rotkapchen (( @TheDesignKata ) @HumanAtom ))

    It might be interesting to use a similar notation to make visible the patterns of trust in Alberta.

    It's fair to say the disruptive nemisphere first occurred with myself , Sean, and Daniel. Through a serendipitous connection, we all had the capacity to speak silly sounding language because it was fun. All of us have been actively looking at ways to say words to capture complexity.

    Each of us move in other circles, although we intersect on twitter for neme exchange in asynch time. The lightness and natural language we can use with each other facilitated the exchange and made if fun.

    As time passed other nemiStrings were entangled. From a development point of view, the inflection point in my opinion, was the addition of Dibyendu in Kalkuta.

    The process was (Me and @Rotkapchen ) + ( @Rotkapchen and @TheDesignKata ) . When those nemispheres collided = ( me and @Rotkapchen and @TheDesignKata)
    Turns out that me + @TheDesignKata have a resonating nemiStrings in that we both seem to have a tradition of looking at the things from a Dialectal Materialism viewpoint.

    The inflection point occurred as Dibyendu brings a long nemiTube of experience in India and he writes beautifully in the service of explicating complex processes in English words.

    The first post he did was a Neme that could be exchanged.

    The point in this context is that notation of (x ((y) z)) might help map the personal relationships of Trust that are at the basis of a Trusted Network.

    Might be interesting to identify the trusted networks that live in the "organizational" to local the nemistrings that will resonate to nurture a resilient network of support.

    Please let me know 1. if this makes sense 2. If it helps move things forward.

  6. Makes perfect sense, and helps with respect to the nemetic analysis of our organization (aka nemisphere, learning circle.) Many nemistrings are resonating through the expertise of our growing group of collaborators who bring unique POV's and experiences. Nemistrings are entangling in really good ways;o)

  7. Makes perfect sense. Moving forward from a nemetics POV, many unique nemistrings are resonating and entangling as the diverse perspectives and expertise of our collaborators enter the learning circle/ nemisphere. Right now, the program nemitube is our focus... strings are entangling in there as we speak and new people are noticing what's going on, and then entering the circle themselves;o) Awesome!

  8. Very exciting and innovative! A conference about boys for boys. This is definitely something that can and should be replicated in communities all over. The Hope Wheel model addresses so much of what's lacking.