Process Design & Hosting

Notes from the Co-creation of CSAW, the Climate and Sustainability Action Week at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland and online.

During the co-creation of the CSAW Pilot, FoAM is conducting a series of training and mentoring sessions for the EPFL co-creation team. The purpose of these sessions is to learn some some basics of participatory design and hosting/facilitation as well as respond to specific questions by the team, and provide advice for the diverse challenges the team is facing. Each session focuses on a different aspect of process design, collaboration, participatory approaches to complex problems, etc.

Working notes

SEP 2020 - FEB 2021

Other topics discussed during mentoring sessions

  • Engaging co-creators with CSAW and each other
  • Designing, facilitating and coordinating co-creation sessions
  • Clarifying the purpose, core questions and theme for the event
  • Connecting the purpose, the theme and the formats of the event
  • How to avoid Solutionism and move towards systemic interventions (including methods from complexity, systems thinking, permaculture, cooperative games, etc.)
  • COVID planning and working with contingencies
  • Feedback on the detailed event flow, programme, session and atmosphere design
  • Selecting participants and forming teams
  • Balancing learning and doing, theory and practice
  • Possible outcomes and deliverables
  • Care packages and gifts for participants and speakers that reflect the theme and purpose of the event
  • Challenges of co-ordination of heterogeneous groups and moderation of (online) plenary discussions
  • Check-in and Check-out practices, including pre-performance rituals from music and performing arts
  • Team facilitation over multiple days, juggling diversity of feedback and consistency of support
  • Engaging public presentation formats e.g. Pecha Kucha, Open Lab, Fuckup Nights, Role Playing / Prehearsals, etc.
  • Keeping the facilitation team focused and energised over multiple days, including quick breathing exercises
  • Ongoing debriefing and feedback after co-creation and review meetings


Our approach to mentoring in CSAW is based on FoAM's experience with:

  • Process facilitation, in which we combine different participatory techniques to guide discussions and co-creation towards effective collaboration and long term thinking.
  • The Lab approach, which creates space for groups to investigate complex real world challenges and to collaboratively develop a range of experiments through iterative action research.
  • Futuring techniques that explore problems and solutions from the vantage point of multiple futures, encouraging the participants to imagine and prototype how things could develop otherwise.
  • csaw/start.txt
  • Last modified: 2021-02-15 14:39
  • by maja