Cooperative Facilitation Online

Cooperative Facilitation Online

 | home
 online workshop: 8-9 June 2021

This two-day workshop is organised by Tobias Mayer and facilitated by Francis Laleman. This page describes the online implementation of this workshop. For the in-person version click here.

Register Now

Workshop Abstract

By all means, facilitation is a gentle activity. To be honest, nobody is really sure what it means to facilitate or to be a facilitator, but most certainly it has something to do with making stuff easier.

Most surely, of dictionary definitions, there are many:

  • Facilitation is the designing and running of successful meetings and workshops in organizational settings.
  • Facilitation is the process by which an organism profits from the presence of another, such as nurse plants that provide shade for new seedlings or saplings.
  • Facilitation is the increase in postsynaptic potential evoked by a second impulse in neurons.
  • Facilitation is the tendency for people to perform differently when in the presence of others than when alone.

What isn't said, is that facilitation is a job for the humble. Decidedly, a court jester is very present and conspicuous, but he is the last to deem himself funny. What isn't said either, is that one cannot facilitate and manage at the same time. Or that facilitation does not mean leadership.

The programme of this workshop will follow a gently facilitated baseline.

  1. Who are we? What is it exactly that we do? How do we handle hierarchies, if any? What is the meaning of making things easy?
  2. What is the object of what we do? What is it that we facilitate? A status-quo? Processes? Transformations? Learning?
  3. Which are the means for a facilitator to deliver upon her promise? Approaches? Methodologies? Techniques?

And of course there will be plenty of facilitation done. By everyone. Making stuff easier for ourselves and for each other.

The Online Experience

In earlier (in-person) versions of the workshop, the methodologies, techniques and activities discussed and practised were uniquely for in-person workshops, where participants are together in three-dimensional space.

In this online version, we will focus on those kind of activities and approaches that take shape in an online environment. Perhaps, we will discover that the "new" facilitator, who is taking at least some of her work online, does not need to fall back on a series of daunting digital hat-tricks. Perhaps we can stay reassuringly human—and facilitate with a genuinely human, tactile touch.

Who knows, we will see how the remote space is just another type of space in which human beings are together and have the ability to really connect and learn with, from and among each other.


After these two days, expect to have explored a kaleidoscope of cooperative learning. Expect to have become stronger in your facilitator's job—but also more gentle, perhaps more kind.

Expect to have stepped away from the myth that online facilitation means fooling around with digital gizmos. Expect to have explored and practised "live" online facilitation techniques, involving analogue activities that can be applied in any kind of conversational space.

About the Facilitator

Francis Laleman started in the 1970s, travelling, researching, writing, storytelling and teaching Sanskrit, then moving on to working with the downtrodden in the urban slums of Northern India and spending extended periods of time in Buddhist monasteries.

Ever since, picking up inspiration from a variety of sources (from Helen Pankhurst, Mieko Kamiya and Rabindranath Tagore to Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal) Francis has been looking for novel methods and new meaning in the fields of education adult learning, and the facilitation of transformational dynamics—always preferring cooperative models over teacher/student duality, and practical implementation over theory and documentation.

Today, Francis keeps being on the move, from India to Japan to Europe and vice versa. He mainly works as a designer and facilitator of cooperative learning processes and learning cultures, and as a gentle facilitator of (Agile) transformation processes, all the time sourcing ideas from educational philosophies, (Zen) Buddhism, the shuhari learning process in traditional Japanese craftsmanship and other weirdly connected frameworks of thought.

Most probably, however, you will find him in a garden.

Organiser Note

This is a rare opportunity to learn from a seasoned facilitator, whose deeply human-centric values have touched many in the Agile community. Highly recommended for scrummasters, educators, and anyone who works with groups, in any capacity.

Register Now

Date & Time

8th-9th June 2021
10.00 - 17.00 (CEST)
There will be a two-hour lunch break from 12.30 - 14.30.


This workshop uses a pay-what-you-can model.
Workshop limited to 16.


Zoom. The access link will be sent on registration.

Contact Information

  • text message
  • email
  • linkedin

  • Image: Cover art from Rokto Kobori by Rabindranath Tagore
    Content: Francis Laleman, 2019/2020
    Page last updated: 02/09/2020