Reviewing the past to prepare for the future

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Introducing ICA’s Technology of Participation (ToP) – tools for dialogue, learning, consensus & change – 1 day

“As a trainer Martin created good atmosphere in an international group. His presentations were crispy clear, illustrated by carefully chosen, practical examples from his rich facilitator experience.”

Marzena Dębska-Matuszak, Experienced Trainer, Facilitator and Coach

Who this course is for

This one-day master-class is 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. The course has no pre-requisite.

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 the first three tools effectively in their own situations, and key principles of the fourth. For others the course will serve as a powerful, experiential introduction to ICA’s ToP methodology.

These methods have been featured in publications including:

See also my own blog posts on the four methods:

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 course is adapted from elements of ICA:UK ‘ToP’ courses including Group Facilitation Methods and Participatory Strategic Planning. Excerpts from ICA:UK course workbooks will be provided as a resource, and links to further online resources.

See also about mehow I work and recommendations & case studies, and please contact me about how we might work together.