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Upgrade your workshop with a background story!

September 06, 2018 annavonsury Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

NadiaHynek Bures neu

How to create an immersive workshop experience, where your participants bathe in the juices of the workshop’s topics? Immersive doesn’t require virtual reality headsets, foremost it requires a story. Here a practical example.

Nadia von Holzen, learning moments and Hynek Bures, dubbed perceptions

 

For the DDLGN 2018 face-to-face event, we – Nadia as facilitator and Hynek as multimedia reporter – came up with a low-tech idea to tell the network’s background story: A timeline that portraits the network, its members, its achievements.

For your info: SDC’s face to face events are organized by the agency’s thematic networks, where participants exchange on the networks’ topics. In this case on democratization, decentralization, and local governance. This year’s event coincided with the network’s ten years anniversary.

 

The timeline

On the wall of the main event hall, we drew a horizontal line using a colorful scotch: a Washi tape. Each year with a different color. Below this timeline we asked the network core team to add key events, or publications in form of a picture or a short text. We then took Polaroid pictures of all participants on their arrival and added them above the line according to the year they joined the network.

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Immerse into history

From the first step into a cave with ancient paintings on the wall, or into the Sistine Chapel you are enveloped by the story of the place. Though less monumental, the timeline – its images from past events and the participants’ faces – has a similar effect: The networks history, its achievements enter the hearts of the participants: They become aware of their part in the story.

 

Enrich the learning process

While moderating participants’ interactions and reflections, Nadia would come back – time again – to the timeline: For example, recalling a past event or a key document to which present interactions make reference. We both felt that the historic background heightened the thematic complexity. It enriched the discussions among participants. New ideas were anchored in history. They had a reason to emerge, because they are part of a process that didn’t just start with this event.

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Reflect on your learning

One of Nadia’s key moderation tools is to let participants reflect on how their personal learning process feeds back into the network, changes their role as a member, or impacts their day-to-day job. The timeline played a key role in taking the participants on this meta-level journey. Without this visual tool, the participants would have struggled to let go of the immediate lessons assimilated and focus on the bigger picture: Reinforcing the network’s culture of learning and sharing.

 

Propel actors to take action

The last day of the workshop a list of next steps was proposed. Participants could subscribe to which activity they wanted to contribute with their expertise and time. The timeline serves here as a constant reminder and assurance, that their effort is not in vain. Their action will contribute to the network’s future story: a continuous enrichment of thematic expertise.

 

Do it yourself

Key to reap the most beautiful fruits from your timeline is to give it a presence, a role, in your workshop. Start by creating it yourself! Make it beautiful in your eyes. A visually appealing timeline will attract the participants’ attention. During the workshop, this attention should transform into an interaction with the timeline. For this you should keep the timeline in mind when you plan your workshop. For example, provide time for the participants to interact with it. Then during the event, make recurrent links to your timeline. For example, introduce the next workshop slot with a short backstory.

 

Let’s conclude

Yes, the timeline is all about the story: the story of a network, of a program, or of a theme. But don’t focus your story on the product or the output. Behind every good story is a hero. Thus, to create a time-line that touches your audience, tell your story through them, through the people.

Concept

 

 

Creating common ground for working together – what it needs and why it matters

May 17, 2017 Blog Admin Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Jany picture

Nadia

Workshop space is precious space we want to use wisely. Creating the right conditions is the facilitator’s job. It is part of the design process to think about how to create these conditions and the ambiance conducive for working and learning together in a productive and inspiring way. In this blog post, we share our reflection on what it takes and why it matters to create a common ground for working together.

By Jany Barraut, Beyond Boundaries and Nadia von Holzen, Learning Moments (more…)

K4D and the Trouble of Measuring Impact

April 21, 2017 Natalie Frei Change Stories, Learning Elsewhere

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

quadraticAt the beginning of April, Knowledge Managers from diverse backgrounds travelled to Geneva to witness the formal inauguration of the Knowledge for Development (K4D) Partnership and to honor the UN Joint Inspection Unit’s (JIU) report on Knowledge Management in the United Nations system. There was a broad consensus that the lack of ways to measure impact inhibits the potential of knowledge management and that the community needs to raise awareness for the importance of KM in preventing reinventions of the wheel.

By Natalie Frei, SDC

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Effective Presentation

April 13, 2017 Natalie Frei Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

quadraticIn the last Lunch & Learn, Yvonne Vogel talked – and sang – tips on how to overcome inner constraints and become a better presenter. Key to any successful presentation is an audience-centered approach, which many people struggle with. However, there are some simple exercises to make it easier.

By Natalie Frei, SDC

(more…)

Value-creation stories for monitoring the value of networks

November 01, 2016 Leonie Pock Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Beverly Wenger-TraynerIn SDC learning is taking place in the networks – learning about approaches, about experiences and about good practices. The networks meet regularly in f2f-events in order to engage in this learning. But does it have an effect? What is the outcome of these events? By Beverly Wenger-Trayner, co-author of the Value Creation Framework

 

 

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Are you preparing social reporting for your next face-to-face meeting? Here are 6 points to remember

March 09, 2016 Leonie Pock Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Nadia von HolzenThe idea behind social reporting during a learning event is not only to jointly produce a report and reach out to a wider audience. The beauty of social reporting is that it adds an additional layer of reflection to the workshop conversation. This blog post gives some tips how to include participants and how to make the task of the social reporting team doable and meaningful. The most important of the 6 tips is: Prepare what you can prepare and be flexible at the workshop.

Nadia von Holzen, SDC

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Playing the Cupid’s Role: Creating Connections for Collaboration

February 18, 2016 Leonie Pock SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Alfonso Team LAlfonso Flores is a networker. He definitely has a networked mindset when he has the idea to connect his Latin America team with the Learning & Networking team based in Switzerland. After having participated in the digital storytelling workshop organized by the Learning & Networking team, his aim is to bring not only the idea of short digital stories back to his colleagues, he also wants to connect them with the Swiss team. To do so he asks the Learning & Networking team members to explain their services in short video statements. And what he shares back to the Swiss team is this blog post.

 Alfonso Flores Bermúdez, SDC Nicaragua (more…)

The power to share, learn and cooperate in networks – el poder de trabajar en red

February 03, 2016 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

MariCarmen AlarconIn 2008 Maria del Carmen Alarcón Lizón started working as communication specialist with the SDC Cooperation Office in Bolivia. Over these years the communication approach within SDC Latin America has evolved from diffusion of information to a more integrative and participatory approach putting communication in the service of programmes and projects. An essential factor in this shift to communication for development (C4D) was sharing and learning among the communication practioners in SDC, for example in the communication network Redcolatina. A manual named “Comunicación para el Desarrollo – Una guía práctica” is the tangible result of this cooperation. 

Maria del Carmen Alarcón Lizón, SDC Bolivia (more…)

Creative Facilitation – an inspiring book for facilitators

November 18, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Nadia

The new facilitation book by Viv McWaters and Johnnie Moore for designing and conducting inspiring and creative meetings is available online. It is a book about the art of facilitation. The book is an invitation to reflect our role and our understanding as facilitators. It is not a book about techniques; it is a book about BEING the facilitator.

By Nadia von Holzen, SDC

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Learning together – what it needs and what it means

August 26, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Thank you for voting!

Nadia von HolzenBringing together 95 learning practitioners does not provide a guarantee to joint learning nor community forming. Learning together needs space for joint inquiry and deliberation. Learning together needs true and deep conversations. Conversations are connecting and connections are the condition for deep conversations.

 Nadia von Holzen, SDC
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Meetings can be done differently: The Flipchart–Chat

July 22, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Corinne-SprecherMeetings can be fun, interactive and productive. The ‘flipchart-chat’ is a good way to really discuss a hot issue at your next staff meeting.

Corinne Sprecher, Agridea (more…)

No Pain, No Gain

May 27, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Pic-of-Lawrence-McGrathThe SDC Learning & Networking Blog is about sharing and learning. Every speaker and participant at the 2015 Leaders Forum wanted to both share and learn beyond the forum’s rapid-fire 15 minute presentation format. Sharing and learning require a degree of courage and persistence. At the outset of the dialogue, Doris Leuthard and Yolanda Kakabadse explicitly instructed all participants to discard bashfulness and “Be a pain” to senior speakers and officials during breaks. This open invitation to debate was enthusiastically accepted and insight-fuelled discussions coursed throughout the corridors during breaks.

By Lawrence McGrath, Institute for Media and Communications Management of the University of St. Gallen (more…)

2015 Leaders Forum Highlights: Yves Daccord’s Stakeholder Engagement Stories

May 13, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Pic-of-Lawrence-McGrath

The Leaders Forum is an annual event bringing together thought leaders on sustainable development from businesses, NGOs, public organisations, social enterprises, universities and the general public. This year’s event was held at the University of St. Gallen from February 5 to 7, and the focal point of discussions was multi-dimensional sustainability in Latin America. The first three speakers at this year’s forum were Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, WWF President Yolanda Kakabadse and ICRC Director-General Yves Daccord. Following this thought-provoking beginning, the pace of fascination did not slacken.

By Lawrence McGrath, Institute for Media and Communications Management of the University of St. Gallen (more…)

A joint face-to-face is well worth the effort

July 16, 2014 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

 Portrait FMFThe Gender Equality Network as well as the Agriculture and Food Security Network decided to organize their face-to-face (f2f) events in the same week June 2nd to 6th and to have a joint program during three of the five f2f days. The joint days were especially important to demonstrate with practical examples how gender equity in a natural way is always part of any social reality. Felix Fellmann, SDC Agriculture & Food Security Focalpoint

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Social reporting from the Gender Network face-2-face: in the role of the social reporter

July 01, 2014 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

photo SRSocial reporting from network events is commonly used in the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC). Yet every social reporting process is unique and tied to its context; it is like embarking on a new learning adventure. In this blog post we would like to share the story of the social reporting team at the face-2-face meeting 2014 of the Gender Network.

Isabelle Jost & Danielle Rosset SDC

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SDC education network joined together for a common cause at their F2F

March 12, 2014 Blog-Admin1 SDC Networks

Rating: none

Pic E-network

 What results can we expect from a F2F? In the education network (E network), our objectives were to strengthen links between members, the sharing of experiences and lessons learned on key issues. We did not expect the impetus within the network to lead to the drafting of a joint advocacy paper. A concrete result, which reflects the position shared by the people and organisations of the network with regard to the post-2015 discussions.
By Valérie Liechti, Nicole Gantenbein & Lucia Bordone, SDC

(more…)

Graphic facilitation – tips to get started

January 15, 2014 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: none

ECC-NAGCH-VONNA2Let’s talk visual. Graphic facilitation strengthens communication in meetings and workshops. Visualizing key insights, steps to take or stakeholders involved adds another layer of communication to our workshop conversation. Drawings – be it a storyline, a process or a metaphor – help us clarifying our thoughts, make us ask new questions. Just start drawing. There is no right and wrong. There is only practice.

Charlotte Nager, Nadia von Holzen, Carmen Eckert, SDC (more…)

How to recreate the face-to-face magic every day?

December 18, 2013 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

Rating: none

Hynek

Face to face meetings are magic moments in a network’s life, full of life, interaction and social weaving. How can networks hold this vibrancy after the face to face meetings? “By creating a virtual face to face ambience,” says Hynek Bures. “With the Internet and today’s social media your colleague actually sits next door.”

By Hynek Bureš, dubbed perceptions

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Cooperation Offices and Networks: From Skepticism to Dedication

December 11, 2013 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none
IbrahimFor the SCO Macedonia the networks of SDC are an important tool for learning and sharing. The exchange with peers and the joint reflection of practices is stimulating, instructive and rewarding. Even as lurkers – as the time constraints limit sometimes proactive participation – the benefit is high. And the networks are shaped and co-owned by its members; this makes them so valuable.

Ibrahim Mehmeti with contributions from the SCO Macedonia team (more…)

Twitter & Co. for Social Reporting?

November 06, 2013 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: none

toula

How can you enhance reflection and learning in workshops by using social media? Hook Touravanh from the Swiss Cooperation Office in Lao was animating a social reporting process during a training workshop in Thailand. Social reporting is a tool to help people digest what they learned.

Hook Touravanh, SCO Lao

Remark: This post is summarizing Hook Touravanh’s key points what it means to do social reporting. You can read the full length of his story on the Mekong blog.

hashtag pcm

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Efficient networking is the engine for capacity development among different stakeholders fighting poverty

October 23, 2013 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none

Portrait Markus Glatz

In the eye of the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) in Bolivia SDCs thematic networks are an important pillar for strengthening both the capacity of a great number of development actors and the sustainability of their projects. The level of their effort justifies the ‘raison d’être’ of the networks and the results they produce. Therefore we dare the prognosis: “Without networking – less development!”

By Markus Glatz and the SCO Team, La Paz

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New guidebook for face-to-face meeting and workshop organizers – simple and powerful

August 21, 2013 bit-wartung Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Are you soon organizing a face-to-face meeting or a workshop? Have a look at this rich Guidebook from the Rockefeller Foundation. The simple and powerful questions and how-to guides will inspire your preparation process. 

(more…)

Network meetings 2012 – the members’ impressions one year later

July 31, 2013 bit-wartung SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: none

This blog entry looks back to the face-to-face meetings held in 2012.
14 members of 5 SDC networks remember them one year later as inspiring moments for networking and new thinking. Concrete action steps resulted from these gatherings. (more…)

The SDC network Democratization, Decentralization and Local Governance: lively, dynamic, innovative and planting seeds for action

May 08, 2013 bit-wartung SDC Networks

Rating: none

Connecting to peers, being exposed to new thinking and exchanging experiences are most valuable to members of the Democratization, Decentralization and Local Governance network (DLGN). Storytelling on knowledge sharing and learning within the DLGN network suggests that this networking translates into concrete innovations in the field. (more…)

Dynamic Facilitation – or the art of creating collective solutions

April 17, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Dynamic Facilitation is a facilitation approach addressing difficult or even complex issues. By taking notes on 4 flip charts the moderator supports the conversation and helps the group to make the shift towards a solution. (more…)