Free facilitation webinars

Are you interested to learn more about facilitation, and ICA’s Technology of Participation (ToP) methodology in particular – in a free, one-hour, interactive online session that offers an experience of virtual facilitation as well?

Register soon on Eventbrite for the next session and register your interest on Surveymonkey for future topics to be scheduled. To review past session recordings and other outputs, and for suggested topics, scroll down.


What do facilitators do, really?

Thursday 21 September, 15.00 UK time 

In this session we explored the various dimensions of the role of the facilitator.

As our starting point we referred to the 4-minute video “What do facilitators do, really?“, which describes three dimensions of the role in terms of the metaphors of architect, pilot and guide.  We referred also to the Core Facilitator Competencies of the International Association of Facilitators, the foundation of the IAF Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) accreditation, and to the IAF Statement of Values & Code of Ethics.  See also my own blog post What is facilitation, and how it can add value?

I was joined for this session by Beatrice Briggs CPF of the International Institute of Facilitation and Change (IIFAC) in Mexico, creator of the video; and again by Sunny Walker CPF of the Virtual Facilitation Collaborative in the USA.

We invited participants to share some of their own experience and insights on the facilitator role, and to respond with us to questions that were raised. We applied the 4-level ‘ORID’ model of ICA’s ToP Focused Conversation method to structure the session.

Session materials & additional resources shared include:


Four hands on the steering wheel? Co-facilitation in action

Wednesday 19 July 2017, 7.00-8.30pm IST 

Martin Farrell wrote: “As we see some world leaders promoting division and hatred, facilitators’ skills of collaboration are ever more essential. Yes we practice listening deeply to our client’s needs, and engaging participants. To challenge ourselves, let’s also take our skills to the next level by practicing co-facilitation. There are great benefits and also great dangers.”

This highly interactive 90-minute session for IAF India was hosted in Adobe Connect to offer an experience of co-facilitation in a virtual environment. We offered a framework and some tips and tools for co-facilitation, illustrated by a case study.

Thank you to the IAF India team for their invitation and to my co-hosts Martin Farrell of get2thepoint and Sunny Walker of the Virtual Facilitation Collaborative. Thanks also to those who live tweeted on the #FacInd hashtag.

Session materials & additional resources shared include:


2 300x600What does it take for people to align behind change?

Monday 17 October 2016, 13.00 BST 

In this session we explored what it takes for people to align behind change. This is the question that brought together 69 facilitation, communications and change management professionals over two one-hour twitter chats last October during International Facilitation Week 2015.

I was joined for this session by Michael Ambjorn, immediate past Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and one of my London-based co-hosts for the twitter chats; and again by Sunny Walker of the Virtual Facilitation Collaborative.

We invited you to share some of your own experience and insights on what can be done to help people to align together to make change happen. We shared six top tips and tools that were shared during the twitter chats, and how the 4-level ‘ORID’ model of ICA’s ToP Focused Conversation method was applied to structure the process. We shared examples of practical application including how over 1,000 IABC leaders were engaged, aligned and activated to extend the organisation’s reach and deepen its impact.

A particular aim for the session, as for the twitter chats, was to bring together facilitation, communications and change professionals, and all those with an interest in these fields, to connect with and learn from each other and to make connections and foster broader collaboration between our associations and between our professions.

Session materials & additional resources shared include:

See also this second webinar with Michael Ambjorn on the same topic, hosted 8 May 2017 by MILE Madinah:


Martin Gilbraith workshop-2532 Banner pic 3600x1800Transformational Strategy: from trepidation to ‘unlocked’

Monday 20 June 2016, 13.00 BST

In this session I introduced the ToP Participatory Strategic Planning process, with examples of practical application including a case study with an international humanitarian agency in Geneva Transformational Strategy: from trepidation to ‘unlocked’ and another Facilitating change in complexity – the Oxfam Lebanon ‘One Country Strategy’ process.

I was joined for this session by Sunny Walker of the Virtual Facilitation Collaborative and Bill Staples of ICA Associates, author of Transformational Strategy: facilitation of ToP participatory planning.

The Participatory Strategic Planning process of ICA’s Technology of Participation (ToP) is a structured long-range planning process which incorporates the ToP Consensus Workshop method for building consensus, the ToP Focused Conversation method for effective group communication, and an implementation process for turning ideas into productive action and concrete accomplishments.

Session materials & additional resources shared include:


blog-image 500x250How engaging can a large facilitated online session be?

Monday 18 April 2016, 13.00 BST

In this session I shared some learnings from the design and facilitation of an online conference of the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), that involved more than 900 participants over six 2-hour sessions. I was joined for the session by my clients for the conference, Illias Animon and Ruth Mallett of the FAO Forestry Economics department, and by Sunny Walker of the Virtual Facilitation Collaborative.

Session materials & additional resources shared include:


ORID as a universal principle of facilitation 950x475

Is there a single, universal principle of facilitation?

Monday 15 February 2016, 13.00 GMT

This session introduced a simple but powerful and versatile model, that can be applied as a tool and even as a guiding principle. It can help facilitators to engage and empower their groups with greater confidence and versatility, to better enable them to make the change that they are seeking in the world.  The session was equally suitable for newcomers to facilitation and for experienced facilitators who are new to ToP, and those who would like to deepen their understanding of the ORID model as a design tool. This session was adapted from a face-to-face session delivered at the October 2015 IAF Europe MENA conference in Stockholm, Making Waves.

Session materials & additional resources shared include:


Future sessions

Sessions are  normally scheduled a month or two in advance, early afternoon (UK time) on weekdays for convenience of multiple time zones.

I invite clients and colleagues where possible to join me to share their own perspective on topics drawn from my experience, and I invite IAF and ICA colleagues to join me as guest presenters on additional topics drawn from their experience.

Please share your feedback and suggestions for additional topics and guest presenters via Surveymonkey, in response to these suggested topics drawn from posts to my blog:


Each session in this series of free facilitation webinars is hosted in Adobe Connect for a highly interactive learning experience.

Each topic is addressed by a short case study or other presentation, supplemented by links to further online material for later reference. Sessions apply tools and techniques of virtual facilitation to help participants to engage with the material and the presenter, and with their own and each other’s experience on the topic. A short technical orientation directly before the session introduces the features of the virtual meeting room and the tools to be used. A brief closing reflection at the end of the session invites reflection and learning on the facilitation process and virtual tools as well as on the content of the session.

For full voice participation in the session for a more conversational experience, microphone rights are available to up to 15 participants who are first to login and set up their audio. Others are able to listen and interact via their keyboard alone.


Register soon on Eventbrite for the next session on September 21, and register your interests now for future sessions on Surveymonkey.

For more on my work, and what others have to say about it, please see how I workwho I work with and recommendations & case studies – or view my profile and connect with me on LinkedIn.

You can connect with me also by joining IAF England & Wales’ free facilitation meetups in London and elsewhere.