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Including and Unleashing Everyone: Facilitation with Liberating Structures

Including everyone in a collaborative project can be a challenge in technology, as well as in many other fields. People may self-select out of conversations if they’re unsure that they can contribute. If you’re a manager or project leader, it can also feel intimidating to get people to start thinking and sharing ideas. What can we do to get people unstuck from those uncomfortable silences to be engaged, curious, and excited about the future?

This workshop will focus on introducing participants to Liberating Structures, a facilitation methodology designed to include and unleash everyone. Using a series of 33 methods that can be sequenced and adapted to a variety of contexts, Liberating Structures provides a balance between freedom and structure to provide space for new ideas to grow and develop. The workshop will focus on about five specific methods from Liberating Structures, and participants will learn the methods in a hands-on setting by participating in the methods themselves.

The workshop’s facilitators each have experience facilitating Liberating Structures sessions in their own institutions, and learned more by serving as facilitators on the IMLS-funded Lighting the Way project. Lighting the Way applied Liberating Structures to get participants to imagine futures for archival discovery and delivery, and to identify strategic opportunities and challenges. We’re excited to bring these methods to the Code4lib community through learning through doing, and to help build an informal network of other facilitators.