In the last session of this year’s distance learning class on organizing, Kristen Dore, formerly with NOI and serving as one of our teaching fellows, came up with this graphic illustration of our organizing framework, based on out pedagogical metaphor of needed to get on the bike, fall, pick yourself up, and keep riding until you learn to keep your balance as how to learn organizing, or any practice for that matter.
As you can see the “bike” creates the structure that integrates the other key practices. Relationships (the pedals) are what makes the whole thing go, the back wheel, narrative, which provides the push, the energy, the motivation and the front wheel, strategy, that provides the direction. The spokes, holding both narrative and strategy together, are commitments. And action is what results. There was a supplement in the class, provided by Mike McGuire, of someone racing along on the bike, the place occupied by the organizer, the leader, the leadership team, the volunteer, the participants. It’s all about creating the conditions for the purposeful exercise of agency.