Playful facilitation methods for serious purposes

Alice Fox, Alice Donaldson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The facilitation approach described here, though developed in artistic contexts, can easily be adapted to tackle serious organisational issues like team relationships, collaborative working and strategic planning. In a nutshell, it involves combining movement, material and words to create an emotionally safe, trusting landscape that is conducive to honest, brave exchange. Our reflections are based on two particular events, separated by a couple of years, in two different oriental locations. We begin by describing a visit to Taiwan, where we worked with a group of older people to prepare them rapidly for a live collaborative performance featuring ice and ribbon. The other (earlier) event took place in Cambodia and, though it was based on similar principles, the context was quite different: a group of staff from all levels of an NGO managed to develop a draft strategic plan by writing on fruit and teapots. In both cases, a playful and creative way of working enabled those involved to bond rapidly and achieve something useful and positive.


  • facilitating
  • groups
  • movement
  • materials
  • verbal communication
  • writing
  • human relationships
  • strategic planning
  • playfulness

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