Playful facilitation methods for serious purposes

Alice Fox, Alice Donaldson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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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