Back in November last year I had the absolute pleasure of working with Louise Tennekon – a Bishops Stortford resident who decided that the town needed to take action against climate change and that she needed to do something about it!

She got stuck in, created an action team, raised enough money to fund the initial meetings and brought together a hundred or so residents over a weekend in November at two community events.

The events were expertly facilitated by Augusto Cuginotti who did a brilliant job of steering the group through Open Space, and Fishbowl exercises, and it was wonderful to see all ages getting involved from 8 – 80+ and the events resulted in a number of small working groups being formed to work on actions such as cycling, traffic calming, solar energy and more.

And I was there to capture the discussion:

Graphic Recording at Open Space workshop



More information on Augusto’s facilitation techniques:

What is Open Space?

Open Space Technology (OST) is a method for organizing and running a meeting or multi-day conference, where participants have been invited in order to focus on a specific, important task or purpose.

In contrast with pre-planned conferences where who will speak at which time is scheduled often months in advance, and therefore subject to many changes, OST sources participants once they are physically present at the live event venue. In this sense OST is participant-driven and less organizer-driven. Pre-planning remains essential; you simply need much less pre-planning.

The agenda and schedule of presentations is partly or mostly unknown until people begin arriving. The scheduling of speakers, topics and locations is created by people attending, once they arrive. At the end of each OST meeting, a debriefing doc is created summarising what worked and what did not work.

More info here

What is a Fishbowl Discussion?

The fishbowl process aims to increase the understanding of a large group of other people’s perspectives on an issue or proposal, and to allow them to make connections and recognise links that may have been hidden in a short amount of time.

A Fishbowl Discussion is an inner group of participants in a roundtable format going through a decision making process that is ‘witnessed’ by a larger group standing behind them who have the opportunity for input and questioning.


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