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This is where we explore the facilitation of learning and inquiry, and of organizational life, to enhance whole person development, participation and collaboration.

The motto of this section is:

Getting Better at Working Together! We now have all the tools necessary to make communities work.

or, in slightly more complex terminology: From a recognition of Equipotentiality, to a practice of Coliberation, the advance of any of us to the ability to engage in peer to peer relationships is dependent on the ability of all.

Peer to peer, as a distributed mode of organization and way of thinking, expresses itself not only in a technological infrastructure, but also in modes of organization, and in ways to stimulate social processes that are congruent with it. There is a emergence of a wide variety of dialogical techniques to ellicit collaboration and collective intelligence. While this section mostly focuses on the human-relational aspect of facilitation, it will also monitor technological enablers to this process.

Inspired by the work of Dana Klisanin, the P2P Foundation favors the development of Evolutionary Guidance Media which posits the pairing of compassionate-seeing/action with that of Cyberception, or humankind’s rapidly advancing technological abilities, resulting in Transception, [1]

Not all relevant entries from the P2P Encyclopedia have been ported here yet: only material from A to C.

The P2P facilitation and research method 'par excellence' is: Co-operative Inquiry

Introductory Articles

  1. David Loy: On the Relationship between Individual and Collective Awakening
  2. For context and background, read John Heron's Introduction to Facilitation and his introduction to the revolution in learning
  3. Rosa Zubizarreta's Introduction specifically tackles the peer to peer vs. leadership aspects of Facilitation; also her (from Heb Shepard) distinctions between Primary vs Secondary Individual-Group Mentality are crucial as well.
  4. Jean-Francois Noubel: Creating Invisible Architectures for Collective Wisdom[2]
  5. Nova Spivack: Towards Healthy Virtual Selves for Collective Groups
  6. Characteristics of Participatory Leadership: graphic overview by Chris Corrigan
  7. Tom Haskins on the Full Spectrum of Connection Work: maintaining connections is hard work
  8. Christopher Allen: The numbers that matter for governing communities: Personal Circle; Group Tresholds and Power Laws
  9. Tom Atlee: Systems Thinking for Integrated Social Transformation, lists the main approaches available

More articles:

  1. Which tools to use for collaboration in business? - recommended overview table.
  2. The specific p2p formats for conferencing are Open Space Technology and its offshoots in the technology world: Unconferences and BarCamps; we are very interested in developments around Open Sphere
  3. In Transcending the Individual Human Mind through Collaborative Design, Ernesto Arias et al. explain why peer to peer learning design is essential in complex societies.
  4. David Eaves warns that the cooperation of online communities is not the same as Collaboration which requires the resolving of differences, and that For Benefit organizations are community management organizations and not software firms.
  5. Collaboration in the workplace can be given helpful structure via the set of principles and patterns known as Human Interaction Management.
  6. Positive Image, Positive Action: The Affirmative Basis of Organizing. David L Cooperrider: discusses the power of positive imagery, the placebo effect in medicine,the pygmalion effect in education and human development, the relationship between positive-negative discourse in health, the balance of internal dialogue to emotional health, the effects of positive images on culture and the implications for management creating a theory of the affirmative organization.


Areas of Personal and Social Change: Typology

Permaculturalist and self-fashioned alchemist/mythologist Willi Paul offers the following technology of change techniques:

"I am now touting the following types of alchemy to support the global leap in consciousness now under way:

Imaginative: This alchemy excites and creates our ideas, conflicts and even prayers in our brains.

Eco: Seeds, soil, plants and animals living, birthing and dying in a inter-related system pulsed by eco alchemy.

Shamanic: This is alchemy transmutates healing through ceremonies and rituals lead by a trained spiritual leader.

Sound or Sonic: The ancient alchemic power of song from cave rants to classical music and rock’n’roll.

Digital: Electronic learning and feeling working with computers including chat text, email and documents.

Community: People working with people: transforming attitudes, sharing ideas and making plans.

Earth: Planetary consciousness building and human evolution on a universal scale."


Related Wiki Sections


  1. Online Facilitation: The onlinefacilitation listserv is for discussion about the skills, techniques and issues around online facilitation in a variety of Internet online environments and virtual communities. [3]


  • "The big lesson of the twentieth century for commoners was to discover that collective decision-making is a “lesser evil,” a response to scarcity that must be limited to situations in which this is inevitable. It’s not necessary for everyone to vote on a uniform if each one can wear what they want. It’s not necessary to agree on a menu if several different things can be cooked that will completely satisfy everyone. That is, where one person’s decision does not drastically reduces others’ possible choices, the sphere of the decision should be personal, not collective. Collective choices, democratic methods and voting are ways of managing situations where, more or less explicitly, there is a conflict in the use of resources. They are a “last option” imposed by scarcity. The point is to avoid, as much as possible, the homogenization that they involve. That is why in a community committed to abundance, the wealth produced is measured by the extent of the personal decision-space. It’s no good to create more goods and income if that doesn’t have an impact on everyone’s option-space. It’s no good to defend individuality if resources are not created to make it possible without conflict. To gain ground against scarcity, build abundance and therefore continuously enlarge the material base of personal decision-space is the objective of economic activity of an egalitarian community that works."

- David de Ugarte [4]

Michel Bauwens: the person, the relationship, the field

Responding to a question by Robyin Katz: something I responded to 3 years ago:

question asked by Robyn Katz "what’s real facilitation?" :

BAUWENS: Among the people I really admire is a guy called John Heron who lives in New Zealand, north of Auckland. He has something called the South Pacific Centre for Human Inquiry. So he’s the founder of cooperative inquiry which basically says you can't study human beings as objects because they are subjects. So any research into the human condition has to be participatory from the get-go, in every phase of the work. So that’s one thing, but he has a very interesting theory about autonomy, cooperation, and hierarchy. He says the only thing that justifies hierarchy, so the only thing that justifies facilitation, in a way, is to improve autonomy and cooperation. So I think the role of a facilitator is to actually plant the seed that makes everyone into a facilitator in a way. Does that make any sense?

So peer-to-peer environments where everybody can contribute to the creation of something that’s shared, they are not leaderless, they are leaderful. So that’s the whole idea of facilitation, and I think there are two things. So if you want to change anything to society, we need to change ourselves as persons. So there’s inner work to be done. We need to work on our relationships, that’s the second thing. So how do we relate, how do we share emotions and truth, and how we deal with conflicts -- but there’s a third thing and I think that’s probably what facilitators are doing which is kind of the field in which we operate, right? Our inner work and the relationships, they don’t occur in nothingness, they occur in something that’s hard to name but it’s there. You can immediately feel if you have a good facilitator that the quality of both the inner work and the interrelationship actually gets better. I don’t know how to say this in any better way than that but I think this is an important function and in a P2P foundation wiki, where we look at the transition towards commons-based relationality, societies, businesses. So basically, it’s overturning the relationship between competition and cooperation. Now we live in a society where competition is primary, meaning that we play sports in business. Every team fights against the other team, but within the teams, we work together. We have to. To a situation where you say, “Actually, we’re all codependent on something that we have in common, and therefore cooperation becomes primary even if within that we will still maybe compete for certain things.” So it’s not about utopia. It’s about kind of a switch to a situation where cooperation becomes the clear dominant way of interacting, and that’s the change from managers or the mass of hierarchy telling people what to do in the competition sphere to facilitators who are the people and who help people cooperate and be autonomous to the maximum degree." (

Chris Corrigan on the fifth mode of organization:

"Within the Art of Hosting community of practice, we have been looking at a fifth organizational paradigm, which is something like a combination of hierarchy, circle, network and bureaucracy. Some of us have been looking at what these four paradigms have to offer, for examples, hierarchy offers order and clarity, circle offers an equal reflective space, network offers an immediate ability to connect with whatever is needed, and bureaucracy helps channel resources where they are needed, "irrigating" initiatives or parts of an organization.

Certainly, each of these has a dark side, but if the benefits are illuminated and then transcended, you get a fifth organizational paradigm in which all four can be somehow present and somehow something new is born."

Alex Steffen on why we need peer sharing tools

"as we move more rapidly towards a bright green future, we are going to find ourselves more and more in terra incognita, doing things and creating things and combining things that have never before been done, created or combined. In order to do this well, we have to help each other by sharing what we've learned." (

Russ Volkmann on the relational stance for leadership

"Participants need to have “confidence that better outcomes emerge from joint work when the quality of interaction truly matters, rather than when tasks are the sole and primary focus.” This requires a “relational stance.” That is, members are open to the perspectives of others and the possibility that “any contribution by any group member can be a source of intelligence for the group…In sum, the view here is that contentious problems require leadership grounded in processes of joint and individual learning rather than influence (or authority) and that these learning processes must be conducted in a highly relational manner.” (

On Staying Non-Hierarchical

"To egalitarian groups that want to stay so, we could thus propose the following ethics: to not reduce any force of internal differentiation, for fear that it becomes vertical, but instead to increase it in all directions, to enrich the range of identities available: this is probably the best way not to flatten the (many) relationships within the group and turn them into one two-term relationship - dominating, dominated. In this way, the construction of our collective histories can stand a chance of no longer being at the mercy of the passions that affect it, subjugate it, and often sadden it: it would play with these passions, which would become joyful - including, yes, the passion for distinguishing oneself." (


Digital Commoning Techniques

Via Co-Creative Recipes:

Neotraditional Cooperative Forms

Via Co-Creative Recipes:

  1. Ayni: a term with a meaning that’s closely related to minga. It describes a system of work and family reciprocity among membersa Filipino term taken from the word bayan, referring to a nation, country, town or community. The whole term bayanihan refers to a spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective. of the ayllu (a community working on collective land).
  2. Bayanihan:
  3. Córima: The Rarámuri people of Mexico’s Chihuahua mountains use the word “córima” to describe an act of solidarity with someone who’s having trouble.
  4. Gadugi: a term used in the Cherokee language which means “working together” or “cooperative labor” within a community
  5. Gotong-Royong: in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, Gotong-royong is a cooperation among many people to attain a shared goal with ideas of reciprocity or mutual aid.
  6. Guelaguetza: a cross between a potlatch and a tequio. The term describes “a reciprocal exchange of goods and services”.
  7. Harambee: a Kenyan tradition of community self-help events, e.g. playdraising or development activities. Harambee literally means “all pull together” in Swahili
  8. Imece: a name given for a traditional Turkish village-scale collaboration.
  9. Maloka: (or maloka in Portuguese) is an indigenous communal house found in the indigenous Amazon region of Colombia and Brazil.
  10. Meitheal: the Irish word for a work team, gang, or party and denotes the co-operative labour system in Ireland where groups of neighbours help each other in turn with farming work
  11. Mutirão: This is originally a Tupi term used in Brazil to describe collective mobilizations based on non-remunerated mutual help.
  12. Naffīr: an Arabic word used in parts of Sudan (including Kordofan, Darfur, parts of the Nuba mountains and Kassala) to describe particular types of communal work undertakings.
  13. Tequio: a very popular type of work for collective benefit in the Zapotec culture. Community members contribute materials or labor to carry out construction work for the community.

Key Resources

  • The Group Pattern Language: A Pattern Language for Bringing Life To Meetings and Other Gatherings, also produced in the form of a card deck [5]. Produced by Group Works
  • Liberating structures: new ways of structuring interactions between people to foster better results
  • Labso (Laboratory for Social Technologies) is a cross-over between open-source facilitations techniques and principles, strength-based approaches to change, and social interactions to help people 1) act together during a workshop to address a specific issue and 2) learn how the same techniques can be used to tackle any issue. The Labso is itself released in Open-source.

We recommend the material gathered by the Participedia:

  1. Methods of Participation
  2. Directory of Organizations Active in Participation
  3. Case Studies in Participation


* Report: Gather: the Art and Science of Effective Convening. Rockefeller Foundation, Monitor Institute and Monitor Deloitte, 2013 [6]

See also:

  1. Seb Paquet's list of Online communities of cooperation and collaboration thinkers
  2. The ParticipateDB directory is very ambitious in creating "the world's most comprehensive directory of tools for participation"
  3. General Facilitation Literature is compiled by DAR
  4. An overview, with links, of facilitation methodologies by Chris Corrigan
  5. Tools and Literature on Decision-Making for Democracy, compiled by Josef Davies-Coates
  6. Augmenting Conferences through technology: great overview of tools and examples by George Siemens and Terry Anderson et al. Reviews Augmented Conferences, Blended Conferences, Online Conferences etc...
  7. Recommended course on Facilitating with Confidence
  8. The Optimal Size of Groups: Christopher Allen of the Life With Alacrity blog has expanded his articles on group size, with an article on community sizes and another on personal circle sizes. The latter are our own self-centred circles (those we're in the middle of), while the former are circles of which we have chosen to be a member. The dynamics of the two, Christopher says, are different.
  9. Recommended community: Global Sensemaking
  10. Bibliography on non-hierarchical self-organisation

On Online Facilitation

  1. The Loomio Facilitation Guide: "What if we started from facilitation principles and worked toward understanding software? This guide goes in-depth about applying key facilitation concepts in the online space." [7]
  2. Overview of online facilitation and Moderation Models. By Dolors Reig.
  3. Overview graphic by Robin Good begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting: Collaborative Map of Online Collaboration Tools
  4. 17 Online Facilitation Tools
  5. Intro to moderation software

See also:

  1. The report Online Tools for a Sustainable Collaborative Economy.
  2. There is a budding wiki on Online Facilitation.
  3. The DAR group maintains a collection of Online Facilitation Links and a review of related Literature
  4. Free groupware: links to collaborative software which can be freely used, copied, studied, modified, and redistributed
  5. Josef Davies-Coates maintains a directory of offline and Online Decision-Making Tools, which he keeps updated through this bookmark
  6. The ideal Social Media Toolbox selection for nonprofits
  7. List of collaboration softwareand of Wiki software, compiled by Mark Elliot
  8. Tools for Online Idea Generation: a side-by-side overview comparison of ten popular tools for online idea generation. [8]

Key Articles

Key Books

See also:

  1. The Change HandbookThe Definitive Resource on Today's Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems Arrow. by Peggy Holman , Tom Devane , Steven Cady
  2. The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making
  3. Liberating Voices: guide to a liberatory pattern language for human communication
  4. Books on Building Online Community. List compiled by Nancy White [10]
  5. Otto Laske. Manual of Dialectical Thought Forms.
  6. Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice. Todd Davies and Seeta Pena Gangadharan editors. Stanford: CSLI Publications, November 2009; free pdf download at
  7. Doing Good Things Better. Brian Martin. Irene Publishing, 2011 [11]
  8. Richard Sennett. Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation. Yale University Press, 2012.

Key Blogs

  1. P2 Software and Technology: A blog that highlights the use of technology for public participation/public involvement and decisionmaking purposes.

Key Conferences

  1. Fourth International Conference on Online Deliberation

Key Organizations

Key Skills

What kind of skills do we need for the p2p age (an age of collaboration),

as proposed by Donnie Maclurcan [12]:

Means of Learning and the Self

Individual asset mapping Systems thinking Finding your purpose through strategic questioning The latest science on learning processes and knowledge retention Speed reading Touch typing Mysticism and the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine within Developing intuition Yoga and breath work Meditation De-cluttering Time management techniques

Community, Family and Leadership

Key lessons from human history Asset-based community development Running an ‘offers and needs market’ Relationship skills Non-violent communication and conflict resolution Diversity sensitivities (including GLBTQI, cultural, religious, disability, age, indigenous/First Nation) Parenting and family dynamics Dynamic teaching and group facilitation Circle work and other decision-making techniques Confident public speaking Singing in harmony and dancing together How to read and play music Holding and participating in sacred rituals Improvisation theatre Storytelling Restorative justice Fun cooperative games for children and communities (including outdoor and card games) Sharing law Effective campaigning and lobbying Child honouring and protection (including an introduction to ADHD, child trauma and special needs) Graphic facilitation Conversational French/Spanish/Mandarin/Arabic Archiving (sound, video, images, stories, items, documents)


Basic anatomy (and terminology), understanding the body’s systems and exercise physiology Injury rehabilitation Holistic approaches to healthcare (including natural, homemade medicinal remedies and birth control) Administering first aid Administering mental health first aid Medicinal herbs Massage (including acupressure) Sleeping well Natural birthing Natural cleaning

Food and Nature

Composting and improving soil quality Setting up a worm farm Growing food Permaculture principles and sector design No-dig gardening Threshing Aquaponics Seed saving and plant propagation Pruning Grafting Ploughing (with animals and vehicles) Identifying invasive species Connecting and working with animals (including husbandry, birthing and basic healthcare) Horsemanship Raising fowl Understanding the weather (and reading a weather map) Disaster preparedness (including earthquakes, sandbagging for floods, and hazard reduction and back-burning along with fire safety) Cooking essentials Vegetarian cooking Bread making Preserving food (canning, drying) Sprouting Fermenting (including brewing, distilling, mead making, winemaking)


Orienteering Hiking and camping (including the ‘leave no trace’ principles) Tracking Fishing Sourcing water from nature Shelter building Open fire cooking Sourcing food (forest foraging and gleaning) Fire making (including natural fire creation) Rope making and essential knots Hunting and using weapons Animal food preparation

Building, Equipment and Vehicles

Fundamental principles of structural engineering Building structures (including insulation) Coppicing Woodwork Stonework Natural brickmaking Creating natural toilets Smithing Bike maintenance Vehicle maintenance (including mechanics) Boat maintenance (including mechanics) How to operate heavy machinery How to use power tools Using non-power tools Sourcing and installing renewable energy Water/sewage systems design and building (including filtration, drip irrigation, Keyline and swales) Passive solar design Sailing Paddling (kayak and canoe) Swimming and water safety Electronic basics and how to fix electrical faults Amateur radio and setting up a mesh network Using vehicles in extreme conditions (including towing and defensive driving)

Urban-oriented Skills

Urban farming Setting up a rain water collection system Setting up a photovoltaic power generator Dumpster diving

Crafts and Making

Life hacking Up-cycling and making things from scratch (including dyes, soaps and shampoos) Mending, knitting, sewing, crocheting and weaving Tanning (to produce leather) Homemade cosmetics Drawing Painting Pottery


Sustainable business models (including not-for-profit associations and companies, solidarity franchises, producer-, consumer-, worker- and multi-stakeholder cooperatives, community land trusts, benefit corporations, community interest companies) Running an organization Participatory organizing for business (including Sociocracy) Project management Budgeting, bookkeeping, money management and invoicing Information management Sourcing items ethically Blogging Coding Server setup, website design and development (including CMS setup) Using other online tools Setting up and managing a wiki "


Key Tools


  1. Actions Options Tool: open source peer to peer organizing tool for activist organizations. Here is a screencast which provides a preview of AOT's features
  2. Open Sphere, group facilitation method
  3. Bernie DeKoven explains Coliberation strategies in his book The Well-Played Game
  4. Appropriate Software Foundation: facilities and tools to develop Free Software supports for civil society processes.
  5. Amazee, is a recommended Social Collaboration Platform
  6. Blue Oxen High-Performance Collaboration Pattern Repository: Inspired by Christopher Alexander, this is a repository for collecting, discussing, and refactoring patterns for High-Performance Collaboration.
  7. The Metagovernment Project keeps track of Collaborative Governance Projects and Collaborative Governance Software [13]


List of participatory processes that should be part of our directory [14]:

Active Listening * Appreciative Inquiry * Area Neighborhood Forum * Arbitration * Arts Based Civic Dialogue * Asset Based Community Development * Backcasting * Bohm Dialogue * Brainstorming * Briefing * Candidate Evaluation Panel * Chime And Stone * Choice Creating * Choice Work * Citizen Advisory Committee * Citizen Committee * Citizen Consensus Council * Citizen Deliberative Council * Citizen Election Forum * Citizen Initiative Review * Citizen Jury * Citizen Panel * Citizen Reflective Council * Citizen Survey Panel * Collaborative Inquiry * Commons Cafe * Community Asset Inventory * Community Consultation Committee * Community Fair * Community Indicator * Community Issues Group * Community Planning * Community Viz * Compassionate Listening * Conflict Transformation * Conflict Work * Consensus Building * Consensus Building Exercise * Consensus Conference * Consensus Organizing * Consensus Participation * Consensus Process * Conversation Cafe * Council Process (see Talking Circle) * Deliberation * Deliberative Dialogue * Deliberative Focus Group * Deliberative Inclusionary Process * Deliberative Opinion Poll (aka Deliberative Polling) * Delphi Study * Design Charrette * Despair And Empowerment Work * Dialogue * Dialogue Mapping * Dynamic Facilitation * Enlightened Communication * Fast Cycle Full Participation * Fish Bowl * Flower Diagram Workshop * Focus Group * Future Search * Gemba Kaizen * Gestures Of Conversational Presence * Group Awareness Exercise * Group Silence * Integrative Conversation * Interactive Strategic Planning * Intergroup Dialogue * Intragroup Dialogue * Large Group Intervention * Listening Circle (see Talking Circle) * Listening Project * Multi Objective Decision Support System (MODSS) * Multiple Viewpoint Drama * Neighborhood Policy Jury * Open Question Circle * Open Sentences Practice * Open Space Technology * Participative Design Workshop * Participatory Budgeting * Participatory Idealized Design * Participatory Research * Participatory Rural Appraisal (aka Participatory Research And Action) (PRA) * Process Worldwork * Regulatory Negotiation * Residents Feedback Panel * Restorative Justice * Story Circle * Sustained Dialogue * Symbolic Dialogue * Talking Circle * Transformative Mediation * Widening Circles Exercise * Wisdom Council * World Cafe *

Pages in category "Facilitation"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 679 total.

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