Promoting inclusion matters. In remote meetings our groups are often more diverse than in-the-room gatherings. Power differentials abound, language challenges are obvious… and that’s before we start struggling with the technology itself.
This week, Martin Gilbraith and I explored these issues with a worldwide group of fellow facilitators. More than 140 people signed up for 90 minutes of adventure.
Our approach was largely inspired by a 3-day online regional forum for a large international NGO, originally conceived as a 3-day hybrid event in Brussels, that Martin, Orla Cronin & I had just designed and prepared in three fast-moving weeks and facilitated together this past weekend. It involved over 100 delegates from around 25 member organisations across Europe, asynchronous collaboration over 10 days in Basecamp, and five Zoom sessions of around 2 hours each in which we also used Mentimeter, Googlesheets and Jamboards.
Participant feedback from that event included:
- “The tech and facilitators were amazing, it felt super inclusive”
- “Technology facilitated a more inclusive meeting than is usually possible in person.”
- “Technology! Great to have breakout sessions with so many different people. It makes everything very inclusive.”
- “Great facilitation. Great diversity and inclusion.”
- “Best facilitation ever (thanks Martin, Orla, Judy), more equal interaction than at any other meeting, no flights (climate thanks us). Virtuality rules!”
That experience merits a post of its own: watch this space.
Meanwhile, below are the outputs from the public online event on Promoting Inclusion in Online Facilitation.
- To learn more about facilitating online events, download my Web Events That Connect How-To Guide.