When things get tight online – does a “get wide again” work?

Explore complex issues online? When the first discussion in a group already makes waves? And no one believes in a common solution anymore – is that even possible? We addressed these questions at our last practice evening, which took place online.

Dynamic Facilitation (DF) as a facilitation method opens up the space for the transformative exchange of all in the case of complex issues and challenges where no one believes in solutions anymore. Participation takes place in the best sense. Everyone gathers in a transformation space and starts from there with a common energy, a common spirit. Each individual is picked up in this setting at the current point. Thus the narrow space becomes wide, the diversity becomes visible.

Can this also succeed online in virtual space? If the participants are distributed regionally or even globally and still need to be fully involved?

We are experimenting with a tool for an online DF

After initial not entirely satisfactory tests with Mural, Michael Schreier, IT expert and facilitator from the DF network, had provided us with an application for our Zoom session that enabled us to visualize the challenges, concerns, information and solutions of the participant:s in an orderly fashion in virtual space.

Through the direct trying out and the subsequent appreciative exchange, we made interesting experiences. These are the main findings:

  • With the help of a working, digital tool, Dynamic Facilitation opens up new possibilities. DF in online space is possible and may be explored
  • In the digital space, the requirements for moderation and overview are more demanding
  • The focus of the participants through the digital space enables a different way of listening.
  • Co-moderation opens up a different role for the participants (interaction, focus, taking notes…)
  • A clever arrangement at windows helps
  • Online DF is environmentally sustainable because no paper is used

In the end, it was clear to everyone that a professional tool helps to practice DF well online, to structure it and to be able to carry it out better. In this way, all facets and opinions of a group can also be brought into a common connection virtually with DF. In order to shape the future of tomorrow and to let the narrow space become wide again!

We are curious to further discover this “possibility space” for topics and participants. And maybe this is the beginning of rethinking DF in the digital space – DF 2.0? The first ideas are already bubbling up, we’ll stay on the ball!