Following the call of the XXII General Chapter of the Marist Institute to “journey together as a global family”, through the creation of an international networks that strengthens the Mission and the Marist charism, on May 27 and 28, 2021, the first online workshop on the Marist Global Network of Schools was held. Divided in two interregional groups, it was the first attempt to involve the Coordinators of the Marist schools of the different Provinces and Districts in the knowledge and building of the entire project of the global network.
Brother Carlos Alberto Rojas, director of the Secretariat for Education and Evangelization, welcomed the participants and then traced the historical background of the journey to the building of the Marist Global Network of Schools. “From the beginning, we want to design a network that arises from interaction and mutual understanding, hence, an option for a collaborative development that involves all stakeholders”, he said.
To foster this spirit of co-design, we resorted to the methodology of appreciative inquiry that encourages dialogue and encounter in the design of the proposals. Miriam Subirana, founder of the Institute for dialogues and appreciative inquiry and Pep Buetas, expert trainers in the methodology, facilitated the experience of the workshop, whose main objective was to fall in love and spread the dream.
Appreciative Inquiry as a methodology involves the disciplines of appreciating, inquiring, dialoguing, designing, and planning. In the different stages towards the official launch of the network (workshops, pre-summits, and summits) the team and the participants will share the aspirations and hopes to turn them into affirmative proposals that lead to a vision of the guidelines of action in the practical development of the Marist Global Network.
The workshop, held with the education leaders of the various Marist provinces, has been of great help in opening new horizons and visualizing new opportunities. The online environment was fraternal, as each participant joyfully brought their experiences and dreams to the network.
The official launch of the Global Network will take place at the end of October, but before that time, the space between July and September 2021, interregional workshops very similar to the one recently experienced will take place, in which, in addition to the educational leaders: directors, educators, students and families, from each of the countries with a Marist presence will meet to continue collaborating in the building of the project of the Marist Global Network of Schools.