Community Conversations: Bootcamp Reflection – Barger Leadership Institute Student Voices

Community Conversations: Bootcamp Reflection


‘Community Conversations’ is an extension of my teammate Bre’s previous project, the Dinner Table Conversations. We want to bring together UofM students who would otherwise not have the chance to interact with each other through collaborative art-making and acts of playfulness. We hope that these participatory art activities will spark creativity, bring a sense of connection, and allow community members to learn about each other beyond name and major.

During the Capstone Bootcamp, we looked at our project idea from a problem-focused lens. We found ourselves struggling with the Lean process as we anticipate our work involving a great deal of creative exploration and iterations. Nonetheless, I still appreciated the exposure as a reinforcement of the ‘Start Small’ BLI habit. In the A3 exercise, the analysis of the current situation pushed us to lay out what theoretical and empirical evidence we need to support our ‘countermeasure’. It was a helpful way to scope down to solutions that are most likely to be effective and that are not currently available on campus.

One of the interesting ideas we got from Bootcamp is to pilot our project with existing networks rather than strangers. We plan to reach out to Michigan Learning Communities, especially Living Arts, to seek opportunities to run our workshops.


Before the CAPSTONE Bootcamp, my team’s project idea was to perform a series of workshops and interactive art installations around campus to create a broader sense of community for Michigan undergrads. Although the project idea remained the same throughout the Bootcamp, I was exposed to new ways of thinking. When planning a project that’s end goal isn’t to build a company or organization, it can get muddy trying to explain a project on a more professional level.

One thing that I would like to say about the Bootcamp is that it doesn’t seem to be as much of a benefit to teams that are project and creative based. There are some really cool teams in this year’s CAPSTONE cohort, but it feels like my group is the free-flowing spirit amongst a group of business-people. That isn’t a bad thing, it just makes it more difficult to fit the scope of our project into some of the Bootcamp assignments and deliverables. 

Regardless, the BLI team did a great job providing us an insightful and thorough Bootcamp experience, despite the current situation going on with COVID-19!  

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