After planning it for almost a year, after innumerable Web Crossing and phone bridge discussions, a group of about 25 people from 9 countries met in Setúbal, a small port just south of Lisbon, in a beautiful place named Quinta dos Moinhos de São Filipe. Most of us had only met through an online workshop on communities of practice and we met to talk about our projects, our experiences, our thinking — our emerging practice. 1
2
Lunch of day one: who’s here? why? now what?
We talked about communities of practice from morning, through lunch, and into the night. Mostly we ignored our computers and talked with each other.
3

Demo night: see what I mean?

4 5

We met in small and large groups to discuss cases ranging from the local (i.e., land use in the Netherlands, the health care system in South London) to the global (i.e., online norms and conflicts, the design of CPsquare).
We talked about theory, community cultivation, and relevance. Almost everyone took at turn leading a discussion, presenting a case, and asking the important question. We all listened and all helped with washing the dishes.

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We were together for four and a half days.

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We presented some of the material we’d discussed in the Dialog at a one-day Round Table at Escola Superior de Ciências Empresariais (ESCE).

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We took a field trip one afternoon and saw many places such as this former convent which we thought would make good locations for future dialogs in Portugal.

We met to develop our own thinking and practice, so did not make plans in advance to share the results of our learning together. There is no doubt we’ll do it again.
Photos 3 and 8 by Nancy White. Photo 6 by Barbara Irving. Others by John Smith