Guidelines for Facilitators

Thank you for participating in the Atlas of the Civic Imagination. An initiative of the Civic Imagination Project, the Atlas invites individuals, groups, communities, and organizations to imagine, create and share their visions of an inspiring future by posting their own work and/or engaging with the prompts and workshops developed by the Civic Imagination Project.

How to Sign Up as a Coordinator/Facilitator

At the website, click on Register in the upper right hand corner and read the instructions. From there you will be asked to:

  1. Click on Sign Up Your Site.
  2. Fill out the form. You will need to include a geographical location for us to plot your contribution on the map. You decide what you list here, it could be public institution in your area. Your email address will be your username for logging into the website.
  3. Check the “I’m Over 18 Years Old” checkbox and click “Sign Up Now”.
  4. Our support staff will review your request and approve it as soon as possible. You will receive an email once your Site has been approved. Please allow 24 hours for this process.

Once your Site has been approved by Atlas of the Civic Imagination staff, you can Log In to the website and manage your Site. You can create a Group at your Site by clicking on the “New Group” button in the blue toolbar just below the search button.  You NEED to create a Group to upload content to the site. The Group can be used for a single entry. It can also be used to support contexts with multiple participants.

To invite storytellers to join a Group, you will see instructions and a code in the right column after you log in. You can share this code in the right column with any storyteller you want to register to this Group. Each Group has a unique code. We encourage Storytellers to register themselves so they become familiar with logging in and are responsible for their own username and password; they don’t need an email address and can just create and use a username.

You can also add other coordinators/facilitators to your Site so they can add their own Groups. In the right column, enter the email address of anyone else (18+) you want to invite to be a Group Administrator and click “Send”.

How the Atlas Works

At the Civic Imagination Project, we believe there is nothing like the opportunity to collectively imagine share and publish for real audiences as a way to encourage dialogue and exchange among diverse communities. Social media and personal blogging have dramatically expanded the opportunities that people have to share their perspectives, but these often come with challenges and concerns. The Atlas of the Civic Imagination was created to provide individuals, groups, and communities with a pathway for sharing their perspectives, reflections and creativity. Our collaboration with the National Writing Project ensures that our work is also educator friendly and COPPA compliant and therefore ready for educational settings.

We welcome you to share your experiences with imagining, imagination, civics, politics, and/or popular culture. We are eager to share, engage and spread your experiences and observations. 

We also welcome creative (constructive) uses of the Atlas, and also suggest that you might consider making one or more of the following three contributions:

OPTION 1: Respond To Our 2060: Reflections from the Future Prompt

We invite you to add your response to our 2060: Reflections from the Future prompt. This could be your individual efforts in a particular area. This could also include efforts you made with your community. Accounts of projects, experiences, workshops, networks, organizations and even networks are welcome.

To do this, you will need to register as a Facilitator (see below), generate a Group Code and then ALSO register as a Storytelling account. You can also share the code you generate with others who can use it to contribute directly (without creating a Coordinator/Facilitator Account.

OPTION 2: Add Your Own Work

We invite you to add an account of your own work to the Atlas. This could be your individual efforts in a particular area. This could also include efforts you made with your community. Accounts of projects, experiences, workshops, networks, organizations and even networks are welcome. 

To do this, you will need to register as a Facilitator (see below), generate a Group Code and then ALSO register as a Storytelling account.

OPTION 3: Run a Civic Imagination Workshop

The Atlas of the Civic Imagination uses our "Infinite Hope" workshop as a spark conversation through imagining, creating and expressing through writing, media such as video, audio, and images.

Facilitators sign up to provide publishing accounts for the communities they work with and then run our 2 hour "Infinite Hope" workshop to collaboratively create and share their stories. Community storytellers create their piece, and when satisfied, they submit it to the facilitator for a publication, giving you a place to converse and support storytellers throughout the process.

Facilitators who participate in the Atlas of the Civic Imagination are free to design and adapt the workshop instructions around the themes or prompt/s in whatever way makes the most sense for their community and larger goals. Every facilitator can also sign up to receive the Civic Imagination Project Newsletter so they can connect with us and others engaged in the project. All facilitator resources are open for your use and adaptation.

The Atlas of the Civic Imagination is built around the workshop series developed by the Civic Imagination Project based at the University of Southern California. You can find our Infinite Hope workshop instructions here.

At every workshop session where participants are contributing stories, one facilitator will start the process by setting as Site Administrator. Site Administrators can invite other adults into the Site to serve as Group Administrators and can also manage their own Groups.

Using the Atlas of the Civic Imagination

We encourage you to adapt your use of the Atlas of the Civic Imagination to your interests. 

For coordinators/facilitators interested in what others have done, we encourage you to spend time with the Atlas and visit the Civic Imagination Project site.  

Planning for Your Role as a Coordinator/Facilitator

As the facilitator, it is you who sets up the account to be used by you or your storytellers, allowing you to manage who is on the website, and it is you who finally publishes the storytellers work. In other words, storytellers can draft and revise privately as much as they wish on the website, but you are the ‘editor’ that finally approves the piece for publication. This role gives you the opportunity to review the piece and, if necessary, return it to the storyteller for revision.

In reviewing a response for final publication, we recommend paying special attention to the following elements:

  1. Relevance and appropriateness of response in terms of the purposes of this project and its diverse audience.
  2. Tags that support the response in being found within a growing set of responses with tags.
  3. Appropriate use of all media elements and citation of resources.
  4. Display name as per privacy concerns and permissions within your particular school district for student publishing (default is first name, last initial; this can be edited).

Please see the Guidelines for Storytellers for details provided to them. 

Sharing Stories

We encourage you to share your writing beyond the Atlas of the Civic Imagination and social media share links are included on the website to make it easy for you to do so. As you prepare to publish and share, give some thought to the privacy considerations of peers and others in your community. See our Privacy Policy.

Finally, workshop facilitators should review our Terms of Use. In order to provide writers with a positive and inclusive platform, violations such as hate speech will not be tolerated and will be removed by administrators. Community members and readers should report problems or concerns to administrators by flagging content on the site using the Report a Problem feature or emailing us through the Civic Imagination Project query page.

Go to the Atlas of the Civic Imagination Participate page to get started.

The Atlas of the Civic Imagination is part of a partnership between the National Writing Project and the Civic Imagination Project.

We are committed to supporting people’s creative civic participation by providing a safe and supportive environment for imagination, writing, media creation, sharing, and publishing. Through its affiliation with the National Writing Project, the Atlas is COPPA compliant and facilitator-managed.