Join me for ToP facilitation training in Milan, 6-7 April!

I am excited to announce another new addition to my regular schedule of open ToP facilitation training, again in partnership with IAF Italy – this time introducing all 5 of the foundational methods of ICA’s Technology of Participation through a pair of back-to-back one-day courses.

Register now on Eventbrite, by next Monday 17 February to enjoy early-bird rates! Many of the limited places are pre-booked by members of IAF Italy, so do not delay to book the few places remaining.  Please ask for the promotional code to enter in order to enjoy a special discounted rate for IAF members, and please share with others who may be interested.

Also coming up on the schedule are Participatory Strategic Planning in London on March 17-18, Group Facilitation Methods in Lisbon on April 20-21, Meetings That Work and Group Facilitation Methods in Brussels on May 12-13 & May 14-15 and Facilitating Client Collaboration in London on June 2-3.


Introducing ICA’s Technology of Participation (ToP)

Reviewing the past to prepare for the future – ToP tools for dialogue, learning, consensus & change – April 6 in Milan

Fabulous new tools shared by @martingilbraith. Love that #stickywall Thank you!”

Nadene Canning, Learning by design #edtech #leadership #digital learning agility @EDACYHQ ~ #Negotiation Lecturer @EPFLCDM ~ Certified Dare to Lead™️ Facilitator

Who this course is for

This one-day tailored master-class will be suitable for all those who want to be able to involve people more effectively in dialogue, learning, consensus & change, including team leaders and managers within organisations, those working with Boards, management teams, partnerships and external stakeholders, youth and community workers and independent facilitators.

Questions this course answers

“How can I enable more purposeful & productive conversations, bring out the wisdom of a group and reach shared awareness and new insight in meetings? How can I help a group take a comprehensive and long-term strategic view – to learn from the past, appreciate the present and anticipate the future? How can I enable a group to come to a common vision, a deeper understanding of its current reality and a real sense of ownership and commitment to a shared way forward – so that for once their plans actually deliver the change that they are seeking?”

What you will gain

This course will introduce two foundational methods of ICA’s ‘Technology of Participation’ (ToP) methodology, and two that adapt and apply these foundations to strategic review, planning and change:

  • ToP Focused Conversation provides a structured, four-level process for effective communication which ensures that everyone in a group has the opportunity to participate
  • ToP Consensus Workshop is a five stage process that enables a facilitator to draw out and weave together everybody’s wisdom into a clear and practical consensus
  • ToP Historical Scan (or ‘Wall of Wonder) is a powerful tool to enable a group to share and learn from their varied perspectives of a journey through history, and in context, to review the past in order to prepare for the future
  • ToP Participatory Strategic Planning is a structured long-range planning process which incorporates ToP Consensus Workshop for building consensus, ToP Focused Conversation for effective group communication, and an implementation process for turning ideas into productive action and concrete accomplishments.

More experienced facilitators may be ready to apply at least the first three tools effectively in their own situations, and at least key principles of the fourth. For others the course will serve as a powerful, experiential introduction to ICA’s ToP methodology.

Learning style

The methods will be presented in a practical and participatory way. Three methods will be demonstrated in turn in practice, each followed by an explanation of the method and an exploration of how it may be applied in participants’ own situations. Participatory Strategic Planning will be introduced by means of a case study with an international humanitarian NGO in Geneva, in which it and the other three methods all are applied.

This tailored masterclass, first delivered with IAF Geneva in 2016, is adapted from elements of ICA:UK’s 2-day Group Facilitation MethodsParticipatory Strategic Planning and Organisational Transformation courses, and IAF conference sessions first presented in Moscow in 2014 and more recently in Barcelona in 2019. Excerpts from ICA:UK course workbooks will be provided as a resource, and links to further online resources.


Action Planning


Participatory planning for short-term projects and events – April 7 in Milan

“Martin is a very inspiring trainer, he is very skilled and knows how to facilitate facilitators in a structured and insightful way. I have been able to succesfully use his personal advice and facilitation techniques straight away!”

Miriam Elst, Facilitator Design Thinking and LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, Lead UX researcher & strategist, Service designer

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for all those who want to be able to involve people more effectively in planning and implementing short to medium term projects together, including team leaders and project managers within organisations, those working collaboratively with partners and external stakeholders, youth and community workers and independent facilitators.

The course has no pre-requisite, but Group Facilitation Methods or some prior experience of facilitation or participatory planning is recommended.

Questions this course answers

“How can I get all members of a group to participate in planning a project or event together, and build their commitment and responsibility so that they can successfully implement their plan?”

This course introduces a structured, participatory process to enable the successful implementation of a group project or event.  The ToP Action Planning method uses the ToP Focused Conversation and Consensus Workshop covered in Group Facilitation Methods to engage all members of a group effectively, and so it builds commitment and ownership at all stages. The method is suitable for planning short to medium-term projects, or completing projects that have stalled.

What you will gain

By the end of the course you will have

  • understood the 8 stages of the Action Planning method, the role of each, and their flow
  • understood where to use the method, and gained confidence in your ability to use it in your own situation
  • consolidated and developed your understanding of the basic Focused Conversation and Consensus Workshop methods
  • built links with others to promote future collaboration and support in the use of the methods

The Action Planning method is an 8-stage process:

  1. Context – reviewing the background and outlining the process
  2. Victory – focusing the group by visualising the successfully completed task
  3. Current Reality – analysing the situation to align the group’s resources with its task
  4. Commitment – defining and articulating exactly what the group aims to accomplish
  5. Key actions – identifying key implementation steps and forming teams or task forces
  6. Calendar – building an action timeline
  7. Assignments – agreeing leadership, co-ordination and follow-through roles
  8. Resolve – affirming and celebrating the group’s plan

Learning style

The course presents the method in a practical and participatory way. The method is first demonstrated, using a scenario with which participants can identify without having to role-play. It is then analysed and discussed, and then elements of the method are practiced individually or in small groups. Finally, participants plan how they will apply the method in their own situations.

Register now on Eventbrite, by next Monday 17 February to enjoy early-bird rates!


See also about mehow I workwho I work with and recommendations & case studies, and please contact me about how we might work together. Please do not delay before contacting me – the earlier I hear from you, the more chance that I will be able to help and the more helpful I may be able to be.

Register now on Eventbrite for my free facilitation webinars, and for my regularly scheduled ToP facilitation training courses in London and Brussels.

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