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Beyond PDFs

Beyond PDFs

Earlier this year, a World Bank study on the use of its own knowledge products raised the question: What if having good ideas and writing them down is not enough to have an impact?

31% of #WorldBank policy reports never downloaded. 87% never cited. More relevant reports or better dissemination? http://t.co/iz8pUjM5x4

— David Evans (@tukopamoja) May 6, 2014

Think about it. 

Some thoughts on systems change

Some thoughts on systems change

“The system is broken.”
“The system fails to meet people’s needs.”
“We need to change the system.”

Does this sound familiar? I bet it does. Every self-respecting activist and change maker knows this narrative; partially, because it has a lot of truth in it. Problems appear when the conversation on systems change stops here: Some will throw their hands in despair because the system’s just too big and too powerful – […]

Practice Notes: The Workshop Book

Practice Notes: The Workshop Book

When I facilitate, I take notes. Lots of notes. I come with a set of notes, including the workshop design and process plans. I have checklists for the preparation of the venue. During the meeting, I jot down notes, names, observations. At the end of each day, I review the process, adjust the original design and rephrase questions. Over the years, quite a stack of these notes had assembled in […]

The art of marketing facilitation

The art of marketing facilitation

“Wow, this was the most effective meeting I’ve been to since I joined this organization!” My client enthused. “We should work with facilitation more often if we want to get things done.”

The benefits of working with a facilitator are obvious to those who have just experienced a well-facilitated session. But why is it that facilitators often struggle making the case to new and potential clients?

Safety and the Theatre

Safety and the Theatre

“Safety does not come first: Goodness, truth and beauty come first.”
– Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

I’ve used this quote for years to express my approach to life. Yet, spending time at the Applied Improvisation Network World Conference 2013, I find myself reflecting on my need for safety. I’m not alone with this: when I’m telling others that I’m playing improv, they often say “I would […]

Consultation Management, revisited

More than two years ago, I wrote a post titled “Wanted: A Consultation Management System for Sustainability Standards” in which I described how technology could support the mandatory stakeholder engagement and consultation processes in sustainability standards.

Yesterday, I found myself researching available options to manage a consultation for a new sustainability standard. It turns out, not much has changed:

Quick tips for effective feedback

Quick tips for effective feedback

Feedback was an important element in the Powered by Nature workshop at the end of August. Participants gave each other feedback, and we also received lots of good feedback from external parties. In the end, it was this good feedback that develop the Better in the Dark campaign.

Edward, my co-facilitator and I, chose not to teach about feedback – instead, we gathered the following tips after a focused conversation […]

Experiments in Project Management

Instead of doing everything yourself, why not get a group of people together to come up with a solution?
Instead of working towards a fixed outcome, why not work towards a fixed launch date?
Instead of adding one more project to your busy schedule, why not clear your schedule to focus on one thing only?
Instead of creating in secret, why not share your interim results – and get feedback along the way?
Instead of […]

A conversation is a conversation, even online

Yes, this was a first, and it was an experiment. A few weeks ago, the GIZ Leadership Lab attracted nearly thirty participants from all corners of the world. We had invited them to a co-creation session for a leadership approach for global sustainability – and we had invited them to join us from the comfort of their offices: online.

With five breakout sessions and three co-presenters, my task was […]

What’s in a name?

Since Saturday, one of the world’s oldest digital rights organizations is operating under a new name. FoeBuD e.V. is now Digitalcourage.

The need for a new name was obvious. The organisation was tired of being referred to as ‘data protection activists from Bielefeld’, of having to clarify spelling or pronunciation at every occasion, and generally of the dreaded question: “What does the name stand for?”

The correct answer had been a joke […]