Facilitating at Wortley Hall in 2018

Here’s what looks like a pretty good introduction to facilitation, a bit different from the Art Of Hosting approach.


I mention this one because Roffey is a charity and has a fairly good track record I think with alternative businesses and not-for-profits. I am not sure but there might even be special rates or bursaries available. (“Roffey Park continues to support less well off organisations, including charities, both through preferential pricing on programmes and gifted work.”).

By the way, just for the avoidance of any doubt, when Sion, Laura and I offered to support people who wanted to learn to facilitate, and take on the facilitation at Wortley Hall, we were making the offer completely pro-bono. There was never, I believe, any idea in our minds that we would get paid in any way for such work. I hope nobody assumed otherwise, but just wanted to make that clear.

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I did this a few years back. The Audergon’s are great and it’s a good introduction to the art rather than the science of facilitation http://www.processworkuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018-19-October-Processwork-Intensive-2018-v21-APril-y-pdf.pdf

Lots of interesting people on it too, working in diverse fields.

Here’s another good one SCT at York 2018.pdf (373.9 KB)

I know also that there are people in here who are interested in developing their facilitation skills.

So I thought I would expand a little on the above list of options. Obviously, everyone has to find their own route through, and make their own decisions about how to train and develop themselves. (Caveat emptor). But maybe I can suggest some criteria for deciding how to train.

I am sure others will have good criteria too - so please add them here.

Personally, I would suggest considering:

  • your aims - how do you think you might end up using your skills - in a mainstream business environment, or in a more cooperative, alternative environment
  • your interests - are you more drawn towards the inner, personal work, and group process work? Or methods and techniques?
  • the cohort - what kinds of people will be on the courses
  • the research or evidence base - some have years of research behind them, some much less
  • the aims of the organisations doing the training - eg for profit, not-for-profit
  • practicalities - location and fee (obvs)
  • the format - introductory courses range from 2 day and 5/6 day residentials through to weekly evening meetings for an academic year
  • numbers on the courses - ranging from small group practice (5/6 people) up to large group trainings of 60 or 80 people
  • accreditation - do you want and need it?

I would also strongly suggest:

  • doing some reading first (nearly all these organisations publish books and papers which will give you a sense of the orientation and approach)
  • talk to someone from the organisation and try to get a sense of who will be there, if you have the time ask to talk to people who have been on the trainings before
  • if you can, do a taster day or session - although these won’t always be indicative - particularly the more in-depth things can take a bit of getting used to!
  • trust your instincts - if it seems right do it.

Here’s another good introductory course - different format, not residential, a mixture of academic and practical study - aimed at developing facilitator awareness.

This one is in Oxford but it is run in other locations too.


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Nice brief article introducing what it means to be a facilitator. (The date is wrong BTW).


Hi All,

So following yesterdays community call @felix @aaron and myself thought that Manchester to potentially be a great area for the meet this year.
I have suggested Federation House as a basis for the event and would be happy to help organise and make enquiries into setting this up if others would be happy for me to do so, I would obviously like to engage and work with @polly who is the queen of event organisation :slight_smile: in pootentially making manchester the place to be!
I have spoken with Coops UK today surrounding supporting this and am awaiting for someone to come back to me with some contacts - for more info on federation house see: thefederation.coop which is run by Coop Digital, please also feel free to look back over yesterdays notes: https://pads.weareopen.coop:9001/p/cotech-community-call

Federation House has more than needed capacity and would be a great choice.

What do people think, what are their concerns e.t.c - answers on a postcard :slight_smile:



It sounds like a great idea to me Liam. I think the reason that nothing has been organised so far this year is the amount of time it takes to organise in general. If you and some other folks have the time to get something organised it sounds like a brilliant idea to run it up in Manchester.

@aaron, @polly, @laura and I had a bit of think about what we’d keep the same and change based on our experience of organising and attending last year so if you fancy a chat about anything I’d be happy to.

There’s also the post Wortley-Hall survey responses that are really useful reading.

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Thanks for looking into this, Liam, it’ll be interesting to hear whether Federation House is a goer. We also have Space4 as a great option, but the thinking is if Manchester is possible, it might make it more feasible for northern coops to come.
It will be pretty different from Wortley Hall, though, as there’ll be no accommodation and we’ll be in a city plus I guess it may be a bit shorter.

Hey Liam,

Did you manage to find out anything about Fed House?



Just to say, on occasion I’ve managed to negotiate crash space at the lovely Equinox Housing Co-op in Manchester.

Quick video tour I made back then here:

Although granted that maybe because I’m kinda sorta an honorary member of Radical Routes (the awesome network of co-op of which Equinox is a member)…

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Hey everyone,

For now I’m going to concentrate my efforts on organising an event here at Space4 in the autumn. We have Space4 as a great resource that ought to be serving the CoTech network and this seems to be a good opportunity for it to do so.

If there are people keen to organise and attend an event up North that’s great - it could even be simultaneous and we could link up digitally. Here at Outlandish we certainly don’t want CoTech to be too London-centric so we’d love to see something happening elsewhere, but at the moment this seems like the best way for us (Outlandish) to make the most of the resources we can currently put aside.

To get the ball rolling, I’ve devised a short questionnaire. If you could fill this out it will really help me to start planning the event. Please see the link here CoTech London Summit 2018

Please fill out asap and get in touch here or via polly@outlandish.com if you would like to discuss/contribute.




Hi all,

Apologies for the delay, I have contacts for federation house now, I’ll be making further enquiries this week, in regards to what people wish to discuss could you pop down your ideas and thoughts here?



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I’d be interested in discussing co-operative hosting, can we progress the idea of a minimal viable co-operative alternative to AWS?

And also can we do some collective bids for work? We are short of sysadmin/devops work and could also do with more hosting work.

I’d also suggest that what we discuss could partly be worked out in advance and partly on the day(s), depending on who is there and what they want to discuss / work on.

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Thanks @Chris sounds great, would you be free in the next couple of weeks to meet up and we could restart discussions?

Thanks Liam

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I’m not available until September I’m afraid, but could have a chat on the phone this week if you want, message me for my mobile number if you don’t have it (or get it from the CoTech Nextcloud shared address book!).

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Nice one @polly I’ve completing now. BTW, I think you should make the “What ‘hack’ would you like to work on while you’re at the event?” question multiple choice so people can choose more than one option :slight_smile:

In case you bring multiple of yourself to the event? :rofl:

I think the plan is for people to get stuck in a really work on something to the point that it’s launchable cf. last Wortley Hall which was about people dipping in and out of sessions.

We can make an ‘open spaces’ hack space for people who would rather discuss a whole gamut of things but we’re keen to keep at least some of the tasks focussed.

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So all ‘hacks’ will be running concurrently? I figured the primary purpose of the question at this stage was to gauge level of interest? (as opposed to people actually signing up for confirmed ‘hacks’) :slight_smile:

Fair point :slight_smile:

I think the idea is that we’re forming into teams now so that we’re rabidly excited/prepared when the flag goes up

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