have been the cornerstones of our project, during which experienced Facilitation trainers and the members of the partner organizations learned about Facilitation and created a Facilitation handbook together, by applicating the concept and tools of Facilitation.
NICO-F Kick-off Meeting: January 13 – 14, 2009 in Izmir
The first meeting of the Network of Intercultural Communication Organisations on Facilitation (NICO_F) took place in Izmir, Turkey. As this was the kick-off meeting of NICO_F, a primary goal of the meeting was to get to know each other and to determine our objectives and future activities as an organization. The meeting was divided up into four sections and each organization was responsible for one portion: (a) getting to know each other, (b) cultural excursion, (c) develop a common vision, (d) future steps. A common vision was formed during the meeting: Formulating our vision:
“NICO_F is an international, sustainable network aiming to disseminate practical tools to promote facilitation at the European level.”
The project members decided to hold an initial training session for project members in Slovakia, adressing issues that will be raised by needs analysis of each transnational organization involved.
NICO-F Training Meeting: August 22 – 26, 2009 in Košice and Spišská Kapitula, Slovakia
The second general meeting of NICO_F took place in Slovakia. Participants met in Kosice and moved to the European House in Spisská Kapitula, Slovakia, where training was held. NICO_F partners Mari Almgren, Kari Österling, and Juliane Neumann facilitated a training session on project development for transnational teams. In conducting this facilitation process, our goals were to establish a training concept for project kick-off meetings, get new ideas on how to continue and strengthen the NICO_F partnership itself.
The following issues were addressed with different facilitation methods:
- Team building
- Clarification of expectations
- Building commitment
- Role defining
- Visualizing and developing competences and capabilities
- Stakeholder mapping
- Getting feedback
- Risk analysis
The team members decided to have a virtual communication session facilitated by Juliane Neumann before the next general meeting in Kraków.
NICO-F Training Meeting: December 4th – 6th, 2009 in Kraków
After having agreed on the format and topic within a virtual meeting on November 30th, the NICO_F network met in Kraków for a three day Open Space Meeting. As this technology provides the possibility to work on several topics simultaneously, each participant was responsible for its individual engagement and contribution. Regarding the question "How to catch what's in the wind?" different topics were offered and discussed. The main focus was put on:
- exchanging experiences with FACILITATION
- working on a common definition of what FACILITATION is about
- gathering and summarizing what had been done to work out a FACILITATION toolbox
The project members agreed on a detailed action plan to keep on working on the topics that had been discussed in Kraków. A virtual communication platform on "mixxt" was installed to simplyfy communication and share experiences about how FACILITATION will be put into practice. This tool shall serve as a common workspace supporting sustainability within NICO_F.
NICO-F Training Meeting: May 17th – 19th, 2010 in Berlin
As agreed upon during our virtual meeting on May 10th, we used the final NICO_F meeting for croncretizing our handbook structure, layout and content, for evaluation of the whole project and also as opportunity for the FACILITATION newcomers to try out FACILITATION in practice.
For arriving in the group and getting on the same page, we used the first half day for updating on our expectations and our state of art regarding local applications of FACILITATION, Kraków actions, work with mixxt and handbook and then collected all our knowledge on diffrent handbook topics (derived from Kraków meeting) within the setting of a World Café.
After having discussed our different ideas about aims, target group, content and layout of the handbook, we worked out first texts in focused groups that we later uploaded to mixxt together, to also get more aquainted with the opportunities of this virtual platform. We ended the day with planning and distributing the final actions needed to finalize our handbook.
On the last half day and final hours of our last face-to-face meeting within the NICO_F partnership project, we closed with a visual journey through all phases of our project, a painting of the image that it left behind in each of us and by sharing the learnings and skills we gained throughout the last two years of the project.
A virtual meeting on June 6th, 2010 will complete our work on the handbook which shows all the methods we learned about, we worked with and we experienced in different and very inspiring ways.