Key principles for effective and engaging workshops
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Key principles for effective and engaging workshops. & the Ketso approach to implementing them. Engaging workshops: 3 fundamentals. Hear Everyone’s Voice Create Shared Understanding & Commitment Think Together Effectively. Ketso was launched as a social business in 2009.

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Key principles for effective and engaging workshops

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Key principles for effective and engaging workshops

& the Ketso approach to implementing them


Engaging workshops: 3 fundamentals

Hear Everyone’s Voice

Create Shared Understanding & Commitment

Think Together Effectively


Ketso was launched as a social business in 2009


Helping people run good workshops by selling & renting kits…


& providing free open-source resources, e.g. workshop plans, slideshows, how-to videos


Mission: to provide tools for engaging people worldwide to learn together & develop creative solutions


Creating job opportunities for disadvantaged people in kit manufacture


e.g. the kits are assembled in a sheltered workshop in the UK


Engaging workshops: 3 fundamentals

Hear Everyone’s Voice

Create Shared Understanding & Commitment

Think Together Effectively


How Ketso helps you implement the key principles of engaging workshops


Engaging workshops: 3 fundamentals

Hear Everyone’s Voice

Create Shared Understanding & Commitment

Think Together Effectively


Hear Everyone’s Voice: the Ketso approach

Provide everyone with the means to contribute ideas

  • Give everyone a pen and leaves

  • Keep checking that everyone has leaves!


Hear Everyone’s Voice: the Ketso approach

Provide everyone with the means to contribute ideas

Have a balance of individual and group time

  • Give everyone a pen and leaves

  • Keep checking that everyone has leaves!

  • Think then share

  • Giving out the different coloured leaves in stages helps to ‘reset’ the process of ‘think then share’


Hear Everyone’s Voice: the Ketso approach

  • Use multi-sensory learning to engage everyone

  • Ketso is highly Visual (e.g. coloured leaves built into tree patterns)

  • Ketso provides opportunities for listening and speaking (Aural)

  • Written words get captured, allowing everyone to Read them

  • Ketso is very tactile (moveable pieces good for Kinaesthetic learners)

  • You see quantities of leaves and icons

  • Participants have quiet time to write or draw (good for reflective learners)


Engaging workshops: 3 fundamentals

Hear Everyone’s Voice

Create Shared Understanding & Commitment

Think Together Effectively


Create Shared Understanding & Commitment: the Ketso approach

  • Build a shared picture together

  • Felt workspace captures ideas

  • The trunk (centrepiece) helps keep focus on the core topic

  • Branches give (some) structure and can help people see a bigger picture

  • Leave the felt folded until after people have written their first thoughts on the core topic, then see where they fit


Create Shared Understanding & Commitment: the Ketso approach

  • Provide a way for people to build their ideas into a shared picture

  • Make connections and look for patterns

  • Felt workspace captures ideas

  • The trunk (centrepiece) helps keep focus on the core topic

  • Branches give (some) structure and can help people see a bigger picture

  • Move the leaves, develop clusters

  • Look at how the different colours are grouped around the branches

  • Use icons to show links


Create Shared Understanding & Commitment: the Ketso approach

  • Lead into commitment to action

  • Use icons to prioritise

  • Build an action plan on the Ketso grid or Ketso planners

  • Everybody commits to one action on their own action card (free top ups!)


Engaging workshops: 3 fundamentals

Hear Everyone’s Voice

Create Shared Understanding & Commitment

Think Together Effectively


Think Together Effectively: the Ketso approach

Proceed through clear, focussed activities

  • Each bit of the kit is designed to engage participants in a different and useful activity

  • The coloured leaves guide you through a growth metaphor appropriate for many purposes

  • Remember there are open-source, tried & tested sample workshop plans and resources to help you


Think Together Effectively: the Ketso approach

Start with a focus on the positive (e.g. existing assets)

  • The first question powerfully sets the tone and direction for the workshop

  • Brown leaves - this is the soil we have to grow ideas in

  • What is going well? What works? What are our existing assets? What do we have to work with?


Think Together Effectively: the Ketso approach

Start with a focus on the positive (e.g. existing assets)

  • The first question powerfully sets the tone and direction for the workshop

  • Brown leaves - this is the soil we have to grow ideas in

  • Encourage fresh thinking by looking at future possibilities before problems

  • Always allow time to develop solutions to problems – (clouds bring rain, encouraging new growth)

  • Use a 'Creativity Sandwich'


Think Together Effectively: the Ketso approach

  • The colours guide you through a growth metaphor

  • Yellow sun drives growth (goals or actions)

  • Grey clouds hide the sun (challenges) & bring rain to encourage new growth

  • Green shoots of new ideas (future possibilities)

  • Brown soil is what we have to grow our ideas in (existing assets)


Engaging workshops: 9 key principles (recap – useful with or without Ketso!)

Hear Everyone's Voice

Provide everyone with the means to contribute ideas

Have a balance of individual and group time

Use multi-sensory learning to engage everyone

Create Shared Understanding & Commitment

Build a shared picture together

Make connections and find patterns

Lead into commitment to action

Think together effectively

Proceed through clear, focussed activities

Start with a focus on the positive (e.g. existing assets)

Use a 'Creativity Sandwich'


Engaging workshops: the theory

Hear Everyone’s Voice

Paulo Freire, Ivan Illich

Robert Chambers - Participatory Rapid Appraisal

Howard Gardner – multiple intelligences

Edward de Bono - trains of thought & brainstorming

Create Shared Understanding & Commitment

Tony Buzan - Mind Mapping

Fritjof Capra, Peter Checkland, Maturana & Varela– Systems Thinking

Alan Savory – Holistic Resource Management

Think Together Effectively

David Kolb and Donald Schon - activity-led learning

Edward de Bono – different modes of thinking

George Lakoff - metaphors

GeoffreyVickers - appreciative inquiry

Caroline Moeser, John McKnight &Jody Kretzmann –asset-based dev.


Each bit of the kit helps lead you through running a good workshop


Ketso extends your capacity as a facilitator


Gives everyone a voice, increasing commitment


Harnesses the creativity of people at all levels


Makes productive use of people’s time


As show in 2012 independent survey (Lancaster University), 80 customers responded


People with different languages and levels of literacy can engage

The Ketso is particularly useful for me to communicate with members. My English level is low… It makes me difficult to actively participate group projects.

Last semester I could not insist my opinion…

However, with the great tool covering many different kinds of group meetings I was able to clearly suggest my thought on a meeting.


Ideas being heard

In past experiences of group work, I have often taken a backseat in group discussion as other more outspoken characters tend to hold the discussion. Using Ketso, it is also possible to set aside individual thinking time and sharing time...

I enjoyed Ketso as I felt it gave everyone a higher sense of equality.


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