I recently found myself facilitating a two day meeting for a large campaigning organisation where the group were discussing strategies for a potential new campaign. Most of the participants were in the room, but three joined us by video from two different locations. I was a little apprehensive about this as I have never facilitated […]
Dwight Towers has been envisioning more participatory formats for events s/he’s attended. The latest reads well and suggests some easily achievable tweaks to the usual ‘sage on the stage’/ ‘chalk and talk’ events we still attend and invite others to attend. We’d love to hear your forays into formats new. What worked? What obstacles (internal […]
When you don’t leave room for answers to percolate to the surface or you don’t persist with the question if the response isn’t immediate When you signal in all kinds of subtle ways that you’d rather just provide the answer yourself When you abandon the questioning process because the first couple of questions don’t open […]
Having limited time to deliver a workshop focuses the mind wonderfully. What can actually be achieved, in terms of getting people thinking differently and then doing differently, if you only have 60 minutes? This was the situation for a short capacity building workshop for LeedsTidal at their Crisis Opportunity event in late October. If it […]
A couple of times this year I’ve been asked to sit on a panel as a speaker advocating nonviolent direct action or radical social change. Flattering to be asked. But my take on these topics is that they are fundamentally participatory – empowered social action making change from the grassroots up. And yet we revert […]
In our previous posts we’ve talked about what consensus is and is not and why groups might choose to use it. But we haven’t (yet) got down to the detail about how it works. So to remedy that this post aims to lay out the flow of an effective consensus decision and highlight key moments […]
I’m going to send you over to Dwight Towers blog (again!) – not for his usual righteous anger about the lack of participation in activist meetings, events and movements, but for some bona fide participation-building inspiration. In his post Gay marriage rally and movement building he gives us the speech he would have made had […]
Monday saw me on an early train to Wellington, Shropshire to facilitate Bridge’s staff and trustee ‘Visioning’ away day. It was a fairly short notice piece of work for me, but made much more possible by the clear brief and draft agenda Bridges’ co-ordinator provided. The real pleasure about this job was that using participatory […]
I have to admit to regularly using the word ‘guys’ to refer to my fellow human beings whether male or female. To me it has always seemed gender-neutral and I’ve used it with no conscious gender connotations. But no more. Two events happened in quick succession on Monday. At the end of my ‘advanced facilitation’ […]
The problem seemed to be that as facilitators we’d taken on all of the explicit facilitation roles ourselves. Potentially we’d disempowered others, leaving them feeling “I’ll never be able to facilitate like that, so why bother trying”.
For any facilitator committed to participation, it’s a real challenge. I didn’t enjoy the interaction at the time but it’s proved very thought-provoking.