Notable Projects: Seb Paquet’s Project Kitchen

Even if Changemaker Bootcamp became successful beyond my imagination, in order to change the mindsets and behaviors of people doing change work around the importance of practice, we will need a lot more services and structures supporting that practice. We need the social change equivalent of the millions of gyms, bootcamps, fitness DVDs, etc. That means many more people need to be doing things like this.

I haven’t seen very many instances of services that are offered in the same spirit of bootcamp, but if they’re out there, I want to hear about them. And when I hear about them, I want to share them with others. One that I do know about is an experiment from my friend, Seb Paquet, a culture hacker based in Montreal. Seb recently did a pilot he called Project Kitchen that I thought was very much in the same spirit as Changemaker Bootcamp.

Every week for four weeks, six social entrepreneurs from all over the world (from Australia to Belgium) connected online spent 90 minutes together discussing their projects. The format, as described in the video above, was straightforward and clever. Each week, three people would present, and the others would listen and provide feedback. Presentations were 30 minutes and consisted of three parts:

  1. 10 minutes of presentation
  2. 10 minutes of feedback, where the presenter could only listen, not respond
  3. 10 minutes of synthesis from the presenter

I really liked the format, because every week, participants were getting real practice in the following skills:

  • Deep, active listening
  • Real-time synthesis
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Difficult conversations

More importantly, they were doing all of this in the context of a goal that was directly relevant to all of their work, namely getting their projects off the ground.

Watch the video above to hear what Seb learned from this experiment as well as what’s coming next.