What I learned about facilitating by doing stand-up comedy

July 16, 2018

Earlier this year I co-hosted an experimental event called Radical Acts. The premise being that we need to do things differently – maybe not big things, sometimes the smallest of acts can make a huge difference. For many people attending Radical Acts was just that – a radical act of stepping into an experimental event, […]

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Can improv save the world? It can’t make it any worse!

July 16, 2016

Whoa! There seems to be bad news around every corner. It’s a volatile and unpredictable time, and we all need to draw on all of our skills and resources just to cope, let alone, be of any use to others. Applied Improvisation is one approach being used to develop people’s capacity to cope with change and […]

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Becoming who we are not

February 11, 2016

My photocopier is broken. I’ve been searching for the manual. I haven’t found it yet. However, I did find a yellow notepad that I paid US1.49 for at the San Francisco Marriot in 2004. The price sticker is still on the back. I remember buying this notepad in the hotel gift shop. I remember walking […]

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What is Creative facilitation?

November 11, 2015

And how does it differ from any other sorts of facilitation? It took me a long time – literally years of trial and error – to find my own style of facilitation. It was helpful to see how other people facilitated and I would learn lots from them. But I was not other people. With […]

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When improvisation meets Open Space

October 29, 2014

There are few things that have influenced my way of working – and way of living – as much as Open Space and Improvisation. And it’s not so much what they represent, as the people they have enabled me to meet, befriend, and learn from. I also see Open Space as improvisation in action. So […]

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Change, and strategy, and creativity – another take

July 29, 2014

I love this! Change as creating. Did I mention how much I love this? Congratulations to Karen Dawson, Julie Huffaker, Ian Prinsloo, Sarah Moyle, Andrea Grant and Leonardo Spinedi, and Laila Woozeer. Lucky people to have had the opportunity to work and play with each other and at the fabulous Banff Center in Canada. Jealous? […]

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Researching applied improv – a project for 2014

December 19, 2013

Even a cursory look at this blog will reveal my interest in improvisation. It started with Playback Theatre and ranged far and wide around different improvisation styles. Most improv happens on the stage, in theatres and bars. I enjoy this type of improv performance AND I’m also interested in how it can be applied off […]

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The introduction to a book I never wrote

November 19, 2013

I wrote this in 2007, and published it in my blog in 2012. I found it again today, re-read it and thought to myself that I really should blog that. Luckily I checked before blogging it again. Here’s what I left out of the blog post: “This book explores what facilitators can learn from improvised […]

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Using games from improvised theatre to build mental agility and responsiveness amongst humanitarian workers responding to disasters

November 1, 2013

During the 2013 Melbourne Knowledge Week, I was part of a group of people exploring the role of (mostly video) games for social good, organised by Games for Change.  Here’s my contribution.* — I was in Perth in the 1980s at a conference about soil science. It was a very grown-up and serious conference. In […]

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A deepening understanding of status

October 20, 2013

It was the end of a five-day workshop. What had been going well, suddenly wasn’t. I had to step in front of a group that felt there was still too much unfinished business, and time had run out. My thoughts were racing, jumping from conciliatory to rebellious. “Let’s not cave in,” said my co-facilitator. “We […]

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