The January 2009, Share Fair generated a lot of momentum to learn about and experiment with knowledge sharing approaches, methods and tools in our Organizations. A series of trainings in knowledge sharing methods (world café, peer assist, community of practice) and knowledge sharing tools (blogging, micro-blogging, Wikis, social bookmarking) have been taking place at both FAO and IFAD.


The Facilitation Methods Workshop falls within this line of trainings, expanding on it by focusing more thoroughly on knowledge sharing methods, their rationale and applications. It will be most useful to those with already have some experience and interest in facilitation and who want to broaden and deepen this.

In this workshop we'll focus on three facilitation methods that can be used not only for knowledge sharing, but for other group needs such as planning, project development and even evaluation. The three methods focus on helping people step out of past assumptions and thinking “ruts” and include: Reverse Brainstorming, Future Backwards and Ritual Dissent/Assent. The latter two are from Cognitive-Edge's open source methods. We'll conclude with a quick After Action Review of our learnings.

When: 11 December 2009, all day starting at 9am, Open to IFAD and FAO staff by reservation only.
Where: FAO, Rome, A 046 bis (Library)

Possible Outcomes

  • You will have experienced three KS methods first hand. Note that we will be using somewhat "contrived" issues, so it won't be exactly like "the real thing".
  • You will consider when each method might be appropriate.
  • You will have basic knowledge on how to do the method. Some are more complicated than others, so you may still need practice for some of them before you are confident to facilitate.
  • You will have ideas of related methods to explore.


  • If you would like handouts, please look below. For the KSToolkit pages, there is a PDF printing option offered for each page by going to the page, looking at the "page" tab at the top and choosing print/pdf.
  • You may wish NOT to read about the methods in advance, as we'll be doing them and sometimes the freshness/surprise is useful.
  • Think about some real challenges, problems or opportunities where you need to inject creativity and bring those contexts with you to the workshop.
  • Bring paper/pen if you like to take notes.
  • We'll make sure all methods and any updates we want are put in the KS Toolkit

Method #1- Reverse Brainstorming

Also known as “Flip the Frame” and part of a more elaborate method known as TRIZ. Reverse brainstorming is useful to help a group explore a problem or idea in a new light. (After the workshop, you may enjoy looking at a video of Keith McCandless, who first showed this method to Nancy, doing a TRIZ here:

Method #2 - Future Backwards

Future Backwards is one of the Cognitive Edge open source methods used to understand and work in complex contexts.

Method #3 - Ritual Dissent/Assent

Ritual Dissent/Assent is another Cognitive Edge method which helps individuals and groups give and receive constructive feedback with an emphasis on listening. This simple method can be used in a wide range of contexts.

After Action Review

We'll do an After Action Review (AAR) to evaluate our learnings during the day and provide time for participants to consider which methods they might apply in their work and how.
  • For more information and to print out as a handout see the KS Toolkit.
  • KS Toolkit page on AAR and PDF here.