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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!

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.

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

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 Zubaretta'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[1]
  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.



  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. [2]


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.” (

Key Resources


  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. 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...
  6. Recommended course on Facilitating with Confidence
  7. 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.
  8. Recommended community: Global Sensemaking

On Online Facilitation

  1. Overview of online facilitation and Moderation Models. By Dolors Reig.
  2. Overview graphic by Robin Good: Collaborative Map of Online Collaboration Tools
  3. 17 Online Facilitation Tools
  4. 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

Key Books

  1. The Change HandbookThe Definitive Resource on Today's Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems

Arrow. by Peggy Holman , Tom Devane , Steven Cady

  1. The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making
  2. Liberating Voices: guide to a liberatory pattern language for human communication
  3. Books on Building Online Community. List compiled by Nancy White [3]
  4. Otto Laske. Manual of Dialectical Thought Forms.
  5. Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice. Todd Davies and Seeta Pena Gangadharan editors. Stanford: CSLI Publications, November 2009; free pdf download at

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 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 [4]


List of participatory processes that should be part of our directory [5]:

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 632 total.

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