We sweat the small stuff, because it’s not small. We work with care and intention, using “small,” thoughtful details to create meaningful, inclusive experiences that people look back on for years to come. With a decade of experience designing inclusive events, processes, and programs, we can help change your notion of what's possible — for yourself, for your event, and for your attendees.
What we offer
We work with our clients and partners in many different ways: You can hire us as consultants to design and execute an entire project on your behalf. You could also bring us on as coaches, to work collaboratively with you to solve challenging problems. We could also join forces as partners, and equally invest in, envision, and execute a project together. We could do a combination of all of the above, all based on what makes sense for a project, and what interests all of us.
For every type of coaching, consulting, and facilitation work we offer, our approach is always rooted in doing work that values equity, anti-racism, and belonging.
If you’re interested in working with us in 2022, send us a note.
1-on-1 Executive Coaching and Community Design Coaching
We coach newsroom leaders as they navigate challenges, transitions, and periods of evolution. Together, we talk through your challenges on a bi-weekly basis and help you think through communications, strategy, and planning. For us, the most successful type of coaching is collaborative, meaning we will never act as if we have the “right” answer, but rather work with you side-by-side to address your challenges, merging your experience with ours to find the best possible strategies and solutions.
“Sisi and Erika worked with me on leadership development, with a focus on leading through transition and changing organizational culture. They are empathic, strategic and supportive, and brought tremendous expertise on newsroom dynamics to our work together. They helped me refine organizational goals and work through challenges with an equity lens in mind. They also encouraged me to be mindful about burnout and helped me reprioritize and delegate to more effectively lead.” - CEO, news organization
We also coach and serve as thought partners to journalism or journalism-serving organizations as they design community-oriented events, communities, or cohorts. If you’re trying to build a sense of community or foster a stronger bond with your community, we can help you identify the community’s needs and help you figure out how you can best meet those needs, from creating or honing programs, to hosting events, to creating community spaces.
“I found that OpenNews added tremendous value to our design process. Their team was able to skillfully and purposefully listen during our design sessions and extract nuances from our conversations that allowed us to deepen our reflection process and build out thoughtful next steps. I found their team to be extremely knowledgeable, flexible, and engaging collaborators.” - Shawn Mooring, Program Director, Lenfest Institute for Journalism
Event Experience Design
We at OpenNews have very strong feelings about the art of event design. We believe there’s a huge difference between putting on an event, and designing the event experience. Events always have a goal. It could be making sure attendees get the training they need, or that people connect and share with each other. We design events so that all people need to focus on is the event goal — learning or connecting or sharing — and are pleasantly charmed by everything else. Interested? You can hire us to do a part of your event, or to design and execute all of it.
“What I love about SRCCON is how much it changes my notions of what's possible. I feel like I can dream and aspire to making journalism better - more inclusive and more equitable - because I see a community of people working to make that change” - SRCCON 2020 participant
“We loved working with OpenNews on the News Product Alliance Summit and are enthusiastic about working with them again. From the early planning stages to the day of the event, Erika and the OpenNews team ensured everything ran smoothly. With their help, we built an inclusive, diverse and welcoming virtual event space for our community to connect, share knowledge and learn from each other.” - Becca Aaronson, interim executive director, News Product Alliance
We believe that good facilitation can often be the difference between a productive, satisfying conversation, and a chaotic, confusing one. You can hire us to come facilitate your meeting — company meeting, grantee gathering, cohort meeting, etc — or you can hire us to coach you through it. We’ll talk to you about your goals for the meeting, such as building trust between a new cohort of people, or needing to come out of a multi-part meeting with a clear, new strategy document, and then we’ll help you design a facilitation approach, script, and agenda that will help you accomplish those goals.
“The OpenNews team are very good facilitators that helped our team think through strategic priorities, answer our own questions where we could, and make the path more clear when the answer was ambiguous. They also were great at documenting the takeaways from each conversation and distilling it into a final document that could be shared with stakeholders. I'd highly recommend them for helping with strategic planning for projects.” - Cheryl Thompson-Morton
Newsroom Culture Transformation
For newsrooms that are genuinely interested in improving their culture to be more anti-racist and equitable, we can help. We offer equity audits on your hiring, recruitment, staff evaluation, and communications processes, and provide you with direct recommendations on where you can create immediate change, as well as an explanation of why existing issues are problematic. You can also hire us to implement our recommended changes and train your staff.
“[OpenNews’s annual conference, SRCCON] was crucial to the equity, diversity, and inclusion work ahead for me in my organization, and really the only space for me to go and understand how these issues intersect with journalistic thinking. It energized, excited, and inspired me.” - SRCCON 2020 participant
Referrals to Training and Education by Our Community
Our community members have built up decades of experience tackling tough challenges in journalism. They provide training and education on topics such as leadership coaching, anti-racism education, newsroom audits, communication coaching through difficult conversations, webscraping, and FOIA 101.
If you’re interested in hiring someone to help you tackle these topics, let us know and we’ll ask people in our community if they have capacity to help.
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