Global idea workshop underway at BCC

BCC is a constantly growing and changing organization. This fall, around 85 local churches have been involved in a comprehensive idea workshop with the goal of producing new suggestions for BCC´s conferences in the future. We spoke with the woman whose job is to ensure order in the creative chaos.

Text: Johanne Reiersrud – Photo: BCC

In a little office in Ski sits a 46 year old Dane whose job is to lead the global brainstorming project which started this fall. She will safeguard all the valuable input in such a systematic way that not a single innovative idea is lost. Her blue eyes sparkle behind her black-rimmed glasses, and her Jutland dialect flows swiftly and evenly from a firm yet smiling mouth.

Lise Larsen

«Picture what happens when we gather our innovative power on a global level and give 8,000 people creative license for 2 months. When I follow that thought to completion, I am totally convinced that we will get fantastic results above and beyond our expectations,» smiles Lise Larsen, newly employed project leader for strategic development of future BCC events.

Didn´t plan on switching jobs

She explains that it actually wasn´t in their family´s plan for her to start a new job and move to Oslo in the fall. «But when I received an unexpected phone call in the middle of August, it didn´t take long before I realized that this was one of the most interesting projects on Earth,» she laughs. She left her leadership role in politics and organization for a Danish municipality and brought her management skills here.

«I´m actually the type who can live anywhere under the sun,» she claims convincingly, «I have lived in the USA for 2 years and in Greenland for 2 years, so why not test the waters in our sister nation of Norway?»

Systematic process will result in new event plans

Lise is in full swing, coordinating and aligning the means to activate all BCC members who are interested in the topic, in a worldwide idea development process which will last for two months. This global idea workshop is actually the first step in an evolution which will lead to a new event strategy, she explains. First, every event participant worldwide was asked what they would like to see at future events.

Turkey: the local church in Instanbul has registered for The Global Idea Project—here seen working together at their first session. Photo: BCC

The Idea Workshop was initiated by BCC´s leadership, who wanted representation from any and all members who wished to be a part. In the course of the Idea Workshop, every aspect of church events was to be evaluated and considered from different angles, with the intention that future events be as optimal as possible for participants.

84 groups registered from 6 continents

Lise Larsen reports that all BCC members worldwide were invited to participate in the idea development process, and that 81 groups with an average size of 100 people registered. Every group has a local project leader. The recommended work flow for participant churches is comprised of five phases—one of them brainstorming and one where ideas qualify for delivery to project leadership. «I think it`s wonderful that participation represents all the continents on earth, because what increases quality of life and what´s important varies from individual to individual,» she says enthusiastically. “One of the goals we wish to meet is that events are an all-around positive experience for every participant, whether they come from Cameroon in Africa, Leon, Mexico, Paris, France, Vancouver, Canada, or Copenhagen, Denmark.

Canada: several North American local churches held idea development sessions, represented here by Ottawa. Photo: BCC 

South Africa: in Pretoria some of the groups took advantage of the summer weather to work outside. Photo: BCC

Special data processing compentence brought in

With so many responses pouring in, a good reporting system is a must for project leadership. «We´re talking about a large data volume which we have to systemize in order to have a manageable database for further computing and strategy planning,» reports Lise Østermark. «We have therefore hired a European firm to help us design the electronic data collection as a survey.”

Norway: as more and more ideas are generated, there is more and more material to handle. Therefore solutions are being used which will gather all of the data into a straightforward, useful tool. Photo: BCC

“Our team for this consists of three people, but it isn´t just about the Global Idea Workshop, and therefor involves many more professionals, members and non-members alike. The results from the Idea Workshop will be incorporated into BCC ´s new event strategy, which will be ready by summer 2018. We want to be forward thinking — the needs of our event participants are an entirely central parameter. The Idea Workshop is not just something we send invitations for so that they feel they have been heard. BCC as an event planner is dependent on user input from its members,» she underlines.

Norway: youth from Bergen involved in group work during their local Idea Workshop. Photo: BCC

High expectations for feedback from the local churches

To questions about what the project group expects when the deadline is met in December, Lise Larsen has high hopes. «I think that we will receive ingenious ideas which can raise the level of and renew our events and give them the value and intercultural touch we wish they had to make them attractive for participants from all nations and continents,» she smiles.

“I imagine ideas for how Norway´s stunning nature can be integrated with events at Oslofjord in Vestfold as well. And last but not least, I expect a whole lot of good suggestions for activities for children and youth, who are after all BCC´s most highly prioritized target group. Because children and young people´s wellbeing has a central focus in BCC today, I picture extraordinarily exciting activities for them on the agenda in the future. I believe that these events will have such a high standard and tempo that I—at 40 plus—lose my breath at the thought,” she laughs, and hurries on to the next project meeting. will follow the project and update our readers as the process continues further.

Click on the picture below to see a film with pictures of the Idea Workshop worldwide!


Great Britain: children are naturally a part of the idea development process in many places, like here in Didcot. Photo: BCC

South Africa: one of several African churches along is Pretoria. Photo: BCC