DAF 2020 User Survey Report
This report aims to address the following research questions:
- In what ways are Deep Adaptation Forum (DAF) platforms useful to their participants, and how are they lacking?
- To what extent do users perceive their DAF platform of choice as a factor in their own personal or professional learning?
- How could DAF platforms be improved in order to become better learning spaces?
In order to explore these topics, several active DAF participants formed a research team. Dorian
Cavé and Jem Bendell – with input from Kat Soares and Nenad Maljkovic – created the “DAF 2020
User Survey,” and shared it using a Google Form through the following channels:
- the Winter 2020 DA Quarterly Newsletter;
- the February-March 2020 Professions’ Network (PN) Events Newsletter;
- a link shared several times on the Positive Deep Adaptation (PDA) Facebook group;
- a link shared several times on the PN.
The survey was open from January 2 to February 25, 2020. A preliminary summary of results (presenting largely unprocessed data) was shared in DAF on February 29, 2020. Partial results
were also shared on the blog of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS), on June 8,
2020. The present report aims to provide a more in-depth analysis of the survey results.
Some key findings:
- Respondents considered DAF platforms to be most useful for people to learn from one another, exchange information and understand each other’s respective context; connect with like-minded others, to foster a sense of community, connection and belonging; find spaces for discussion and free expression; process one’s difficult emotions around the topic of our predicament; and find purpose, inspiration and guidance.
- Participation in DAF platforms appears to have had a positive emotional impact on respondents. A large majority of respondents said they were feeling “less isolated” and “more curious” as a result of their participation in DAF platforms. Many others also reported feeling “more self-accepting”, “less despairing”, “less confused”, “less apathetic”, and “less fearful”.
- Seven in ten respondents said they had become better informed as a result of their participation in DAF groups, four in ten said they had gained confidence in their ability to deal with the future, and nearly the same proportion said that their perspective on the world had changed. These changes were more present for PDA users than for those favouring the PN.
- Nearly six in ten respondents said they had gained access to people from whom they could learn. About four in ten had met other participants they could turn to for help if need be, three in ten had done so for professional purposes, and two in ten had enlisted another member to pursue a particular cause or project. These changes were more likely to happen on the PN than on PDA.
- Three in ten respondents took part in a learning-oriented group or space as a result of their participation, for example by hosting workshops and presentations, taking a course, starting a study group or joining an existing one. PN users were twice more likely than PDA users to have done so. Nearly four in ten respondents said they had discovered new tools, methods or processes thanks to their participation.
- Overall, for respondents, PDA has been a greater source of personal value for its members than the PN (75% vs 62.5%), while the PN has generated more professional value (36.8% vs 50%). Both platforms have been equally useful to respondents’ activism (40.8% vs 41.7%).
- While respondents were globally satisfied with the usefulness of DAF platforms as tools of learning and discussion, and with the quality of conversations and interactions, members using PDA as their main platform were more satisfied than those mainly using the PN. In particular, respondents voiced dissatisfaction with several technical features of the PN.
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