Entries by Gillian

Game plan – using games for effective learning

How do you keep a workshop of 30 people focussed and engaged when exploring a complex issue such as climate change or explaining dry internal procedures an organisation must adopt? What are some effective ways to highlight collaboration or performance issues and opportunities in a team’s work together? We as facilitators regularly face these types […]

What I learned at the Academy – Uta Jungermann

Project Manager at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development My day-to-day work requires a lot of moderation, facilitation and – at times – mediation. Meetings, workshops, webinars or just plain conference calls fill my day – sometimes more than desired, which can be challenging. There is simply not enough time to get the actual […]

Staying on track to meet group objectives

How many of you have been in meetings or workshops that veer off track and become ‘talk shops’ that have little chance of reaching the outcomes that were agreed at the start? Are you often left wondering how relevant a meeting’s topic is to your day-to-day work? As process facilitators we are called on to […]

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Too Good to Be True? Is Your Consultation Workshop Going Too Well?

I had the great honour and pleasure to be the process steward for a multi-stakeholder consultation recently around a complex new idea (which is exactly when you want and need a multi-stakeholder consultation) in the sustainable development field. The issue was one that had significant potential environmental, social, economic and political implications that people and their […]

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Large Meeting Challenge: Call for Proposals Produces Too Many for Parallel Sessions? Take a Blended Approach

You put out a call for proposals for your large meeting coming up and your enthusiastic community responds with many ideas – way too many in fact for the traditional parallel break-out session format that was envisioned. What can you do about this? This is a good question and an issue for many large-scale gatherings. […]


The Places You’ll Go, the Things You Will Do (Unless…): Facilitation and Roles at Large Workshops and Conferences

(I love the fact that I really do learn or re-learn something new every day…) You might be the Facilitator, in charge of weaving together threads of themes, helping people make sense of complexity, ensuring time for reflection and assimilation of concepts, framing and debriefing activities that will help participants share their thoughts or co-create […]

Coming Soon! The Climate Change Playbook

It has been great to work  with my co-authors Dennis Meadows and Linda Booth Sweeney on a book of  22 games that help people learn more about climate change. The three of us have been working in the sustainability field and on related issues for many decades. We’ve enjoyed building on some of the games […]

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Condensing Learning into 4 Minutes or Less? Making a Simple Animated Video for a Complex Project

I am enjoying being the Learning Expert for a very innovative programme (Learning and Knowledge Development Facility) that aims to promote, capture and share learning from a series of international public private development projects (PPDPs). The objective is to create a platform and a process for sharing learning among all the project stakeholders and with […]

Facilitator, Do You Have a Plan C?

In June I had the opportunity to work in Sweden at a wonderful event on the seaside. I got the job because a friend of mine who usually worked with this group was unavailable. Unfortunately I had another event scheduled until 6pm the day before in Switzerland which meant that I needed to leave my […]


Speaker’s Checklist for Super Short Speeches: Don’t Let These 8 Things Come Between You and the Prize

There’s nothing like a conference with short presentation after presentation to remind you what makes a particularly good one. I facilitated two Awards ceremonies recently where 18 people in all presented their cases and proposals in 6 minutes each. These were critical opportunities for the speakers to share their ideas and convince the jury and […]

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How to Write a “How To” Guide: 2 Approaches to Creating Reusable Learning

I have been working for the last few years as the Learning Expert on a very interesting partnership project called the Learning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF). This project focuses on “promoting green industrial skills among young people in developing countries”.  The focus is on developing Public Private Development Partnerships (PPDPs) in selected Vocational Training […]


What’s New(s) at Bright Green Learning?

We like to use this blog to capture our learning as we go, through the interesting and varied processes that we have the opportunity to co-develop with our partners and support in different ways. Many of these initiatives produce news! They develop new standards (like for aluminium stewardship along the supply chain), test innovative models […]

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Glints and Gleanings from TEDGlobal 2014

Attending a TED event is like spending 5 days surrounded by shiny objects – great opening lines to speeches, weird facts, interesting turns of phrase, amazing visuals, and those random ideas that you get that are sparked by something that the speaker says, and more –  and from amongst all this having to choose what […]

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Systems Thinking and Sustainable Development: 124 Books by Balaton Group Members

We’ve recently put together the Balaton Group Book List of 124 books by Balaton Group Members. If you are interested in systems thinking, systems dynamics, sustainable development and related issues, you might be curious to look at this collection, which includes a wide range of titles from academic books to games books. There are books […]

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Lessons I’m Learning About How to Be an MC (Master of Ceremonies)

As learning practitioners we play many roles – we are process designers and facilitators, panel moderators, skills trainers, advisors, team coaches, and sometimes we are MCs (Master of Ceremonies), helping weave together the different learning threads of a larger event. I recently took on this role at the Women’s Forum, having done this on a number […]

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Working with Values and Frames: Practical Lessons for Process Designers and Facilitators

With thanks to Guest blogger: Cristina Apetrei  Back in January my friend Gillian and I were planning to go together to a Common Cause workshop, but we both cancelled last minute due to work obligations. When six months later I did manage to attend a similar event, she was very eager to hear what I […]


The Turkish Astronomer, The SDGs and The Balaton Group

Every year on the shores of Lake Balaton, a very unique group of systems dynamicists, systems thinkers and sustainability practitioners – called The Balaton Group – meet. The Group has met annually since founders Dennis Meadows and Donella Meadows (Co-authors of Limits to Growth) constituted it in 1982 to explore, exchange, support, dream and create together around […]

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Need Impromptu Speaking Practice? Try Toastmasters Table Topics (Bonus Topic Idea: “Why Did You Get That Tattoo?”)

I recently took over the role of Table Topics Master at our Nyon Toastmasters Club, a role I had not taken before (Note: If you don’t know about Toastmasters, I would highly recommend this wonderful  learning community focused entirely on public speaking.) Table Topics are a regular feature of our Club, and I think of […]

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Constructing Multi-stakeholder Processes: Paying Attention in the Blueprint Stage

Most multi-stakeholder processes convene a diversity of opinion around complex issues. They do so with the express mandate of surfacing these different perspectives and working with them – maybe even transforming them – to become the building blocks with which to construct an agreed and robust solution for an important challenge that the parties care […]

Architects of Air: 5 Tips for Adding Structure to Workshops

If you think about it, the kind of workshops we go to, and run as facilitators and learning practitioners – our strategic planning meetings, our team development sessions, and brainstorming events – are not traditional workshops. The walls are not lined with physical tools, and in the room there are no hydraulic lifts and pneumatic […]


Fast and Easy Workshop Reports with Penultimate

As Facilitators sometimes we get asked to prepare reports from our workshops. Normally we at Bright Green Learning encourage the teams to do this as report preparation is an excellent learning opportunity and helps the team to process the results of the workshop in a more in-depth way. (See our blog posts: Don’t Outsource It: […]