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Book Launch & Thrive rationale

Book Package overview

Module 0 Book Integrating concepts: when the ecovillages meet design


Page Method 1. Design Thinking


Page Method 2. Social Permaculture



Page Other Methods and Approaches

Below we want to shed some light on other possible ways of working with different regenerative culture networks, not just ecovillage networks. They can be a very good complement to the combination of the two methods proposed here, adding more tools and distance to discover what really feeds the development of the network.

Module I Book LAUNCHING: How to get started? Diagnosis!

File ■ Tool: SWOT Analysis

Imagine your network is like a superhero fighting to save the day!

  1. Strengths - These are your superhero powers! What makes you stand out in the crowd? Maybe you have super-speed customer service or a mind-blowing product. Identify your strengths, and you'll know what makes you shine in the business world!

  2. Weaknesses - Uh-oh, even superheroes have their kryptonite! These are the things that might hold you back. Maybe your website is a bit wonky or you're not so good at social media. It's essential to spot your weaknesses, so you can work on them and become an even stronger superhero!

  3. Opportunities - Imagine a city full of situations where you can be the hero! These are the opportunities waiting for you to swoop in and make a difference. Maybe there's a new market you can conquer or a partnership that could take you to new heights. Keep your eyes open for these exciting chances!

  4. Threats - Just like villains trying to mess things up, there are threats that can harm your business. These could be fierce competition, changing customer needs, or even economic downturns. Identifying threats helps you prepare your superhero strategy to face them head-on!

So, SWOT analysis is like a superhero self-reflection! Know your powers, weaknesses, find your missions, and be prepared to conquer threats. 


Field Mapping

Use the template to create an ecosystem map around your network or organization. Start by adding the name to the centre. Label the rings or axis lines to determine any parameters of your ecosystem. Add ideas to the ecosystem map circle diagram. You can start to colour code and connect ideas with arrows to create additional layers of information on your map.

Some examples of the parameters:

- Scale of relationships

- Geographic proximity

- Relevance

- Direct and Indirect influence/impact


Personas are fictional characters, which you create based on your research to represent the different participant types that might be already a part of your network or can join it in the future. Creating personas will help you understand your members’ needs, experiences, behaviours and goals. Creating personas can help you step out of yourself. It can help you recognize that different people have different needs and expectations, and it can also help you identify with the groups you’re designing for. Personas make the design task at hand less complex, they guide your ideation processes, and they can help you to achieve the goal of creating a good experience for your actual or potential network members.

Personas are distilled essences of real users

Persona Canvas(PC) are a fundamentally important part of Design Thinking methodology and User Experience (UX) design, which makes it very appealing to apply in learning about your – future or existing - network. PCs are popular tools in the design of solutions to challenges when we need to KNOW THE PEOPLE we want to work with or for. PC can be very helpful in the design process by directing solutions towards collaborators, shaping the view of information and thus supporting decision-making.

¤ Designing the membership strategy, benefits and policy
¤ Envisioning the possible future members of our network
¤ Designing the activities dedicated to members, and the network's audience
¤ Designing the process of getting new members to the network

DURATION (min/max): 45 min – 1:30 h

Persona template, a big sheet of paper, and a few colourful pencils/pens. You might need to interview the participants or have access to the data concerning their needs and functioning context.


  1. Collect data. Collect as much knowledge about the members as possible. Perform high-quality user research of actual members and organizations in your target user group. In Design Thinking, the research phase is the first phase, also known as the Empathise phase.
  2. Form a hypothesis. Based upon your initial research, you will form a general idea of the various participants within the focus area of the project, including the ways participants differ from one another – For instance, you can use Affinity Diagrams and Empathy Maps.
  3. Everyone in your team accepts the hypothesis. The goal is to support or reject the first hypothesis about the differences between the participants. You can do this by confronting our network members with the hypothesis and comparing it to existing knowledge.
  4. Establish a number. You will decide upon the final number of personas, which it makes sense to create. Most often, you would want to create more than one persona, but you should always choose just one persona as your primary focus.
  5. Describe the personas. The purpose of working with personas is to be able to develop solutions, strategies and goals based on the needs and goals of your collaborators. Be sure to describe personas in such a way as to express enough understanding and empathy to understand the participants. You should include details about their education, lifestyle, interests, values, goals, needs, limitations, desires, attitudes, and patterns of behaviour.
    • Add a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character.
    • Give each of your personas a name.
    • Create 1–2 pages of descriptions for each persona.
  6. Prepare situations or scenarios for your personas. This engaging persona method is directed at creating scenarios that describe solutions. For this purpose, you should describe a number of specific situations that could trigger the reactions. In other words, situations are the basis of a scenario. You can give each of your personas life by creating scenarios that feature them in the role of a participant. Scenarios usually start by placing the persona in a specific context with a problem they want to or have to solve.
  7. Obtain acceptance from the organization. It is a common thread throughout all 10 steps that the goal of the method is to involve the team you work with. As such, as many team members as possible should participate in the development of the personas, and it is important to obtain the acceptance and recognition of the team in the various steps. In order to achieve this, you can choose between two strategies: You can ask your folks for their opinions, or you can let them participate actively in the process.
  8. Disseminate knowledge. In order for the participants to use the method, the persona descriptions should be disseminated to all. It is important to decide early on how you want to disseminate this knowledge to those who have not participated directly in the process, to future new employees, and to possible external partners. The dissemination of knowledge also includes how the project participants will be given access to the underlying data.
  9. Everyone prepares scenarios. Personas have no value in themselves. Until the persona becomes part of a scenario – the story about how the persona is involved in the network– it does not have real value.
  10. Make ongoing adjustments. The last step is the future life of the persona descriptions. You should revise the descriptions on a regular basis. New information and new aspects may affect the descriptions. Sometimes you would need to rewrite the existing persona descriptions, add new personas, or eliminate outdated personas.

WEBSITE for additional information

File ■ Tool: The Hero's Journey DEVELOPMENT ASSESSMENT

Tool Overview: "The Hero's Journey Development Assessment" is a transformative tool designed for adults to identify and reflect on their personal and professional development journeys. Inspired by Joseph Campbell's monomyth concept of the hero's journey, this interactive workshop can accommodate up to 15-20 participants and typically takes 1.5 hours to complete. It guides individuals through a structured process of self-discovery and growth, helping them better understand their unique path and areas for development in relation to the network, organization or community.

Materials Needed:

  • Large poster or whiteboard
  • Markers
  • The papers with each of the Hero's Journey step
  • The Hero's Journey description 


1. Introduction (15 minutes):

  • Welcome participants and explain the purpose of the workshop: self-assessment and personal development.
  • Introduce the concept of the Hero's Journey and its relevance to individual growth.
  • Emphasize the importance of embracing challenges and transformation in one's life and network-building journey.

2. Hero's Journey Overview (15 minutes):

  • Present a visual representation of the Hero's Journey on a poster or whiteboard.
  • Explain the stages (e.g., Call to Adventure, Trials, Transformation, Return) and their significance.
  • Distribute templates of Hero's Journey (if you cannot provide them just ask participants to use white sheets of papers, a4 format)

3. Self-Reflection (30 minutes):

  • Ask participants to reflect individually on their network's journey. If they are not a part of any network they can reflect on their own life, community or organisation. 
    IMPORTANT: We want to invite all the experiences HOWEVER Encourage the participants to not focus only on the negative parts or regrets they experienced! The tool serves to gain awareness and see your own (your network's) journey as a part of the archetypical journey connecting communities, traditions and cultures smile 
  • Provide prompts and questions related to each stage of the Hero's Journey framework. We encourage you to ask around 3 questions about the chosen step. Too many points may take too long and make participants tired or bored. For example:
    • "Think about a moment when you felt a 'Call to Adventure' in your life. What was it, and how did you respond?"
    • "Describe a significant 'Trials' period in your life. How did it shape you?"
    • "Share an experience of 'Transformation' where you evolved as a person. What did you learn?"
  • Encourage participants to jot down their thoughts and insights on their papers. 

4. Group Sharing (20 minutes):

  • Invite participants to share their reflections in small groups (2-4 people).
  • Encourage active listening and support among group members.
  • (OPTIONAL) Each group can select one member to share a summarized version of their journey with the entire workshop.

5. Group Discussion (20 minutes):

  • Lead a facilitated discussion with the entire group.
  • Explore common themes, challenges, and growth opportunities that have emerged from the personal stories.
  • You can write them down on the common big paper with the Hero's Journey steps.


a. Action Planning (15 minutes):

  • Ask participants to identify specific areas for personal or professional development based on their reflections.
  • Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals for their ongoing journey.

b. Circle of Heroes (15 minutes)

  • For this, you will need to prepare before the whole exercise the presentation of the Heroes Journey Cycle on the floor
  • (7 minutes) Ask participants to have a moment with themselves and ask them to move around the room. Relaxing music is invited. Ask them to try to situate themselves at the specific stage of their development or journey within the network/organization/team. It is handy to provide the short versions of each step's explanation somewhere in the room, so they can go back to it and choose the most fitting stage. 
  • when all have found their spot ask a few of the participants about their places. Why this stage? Was it easy to discover it? How do you feel here?
  • Create a circle with everyone and kindly request to take a longer, mindful look at each of the participants. You may add that now each participant can thank himself/herself for being where she/he is and thank the group for being in the same Cycle of Heroes. Hold hands for a minute or two with or without closed eyes.

7. Closing and Reflection (10 minutes):

  • Summarize the key takeaways from the workshop.
  • Encourage participants to continue their development journeys, supporting each other as fellow heroes.
  • Thank participants for their contributions and willingness to engage in this transformative experience.

Outcome: "The Hero's Journey Development Assessment" provides participants with a framework to identify their personal and professional development stages, challenges, and opportunities. It fosters self-awareness, goal-setting, and peer support, helping them embark on their ongoing journeys as heroes in their own lives.

Book GROWING ROOTS: Strategy design


Building sound and plausible scenarios is a challenging task that needs to follow a structured process. Before describing the scenario building itself, one should first identify the purpose that the creation of scenarios fulfils.

The scenarios are used as a one-time activity to:

  • predict and evaluate a specific, already defined strategic plan of action.   
  • support and enhance a specific strategic planning process including related decisions. 
  • an ongoing course of action within an organization’s strategic planning process supporting how an organization learns

What all three purposes have in common, is that scenarios enable network participants and organizations to be better prepared for strategic decisions, especially in times of increased volatility and environmental uncertainty.

The scenario matrix builds and visualizes four scenarios based on two key uncertainty factors. Four is regarded as the maximum number of scenarios that decision-makers are still able to manage. 

In overall, four sub-steps are necessary to design and describe scenarios based on the scenario matrix tool.

  1. Create a list of future uncertainties - brainstorm on the specific topic or area of the network development. Try to think in the long-term time perspective and try to think about the most underlying, fundamental issues.
  2. Select two critical uncertainties that are most impactful and most uncertain. 
  3. Identify plausible extremes for the future state of each critical uncertainty.
  4. Using the critical uncertainties as axes, plot the four possible scenarios in a 2x2 matrix. At the heart of scenario identification is the scenario matrix. The scenario matrix is based on the 2 key uncertainty factors. To construct the scenarios, it is necessary to protect each key future uncertainty with an extremely positive and negative outlook along the x and y axes of the matrix. 

Subsequently, one can position the scenarios in the four quadrants of the developed matrix, thus automatically generating four distinct scenarios. The two key uncertainty dimensions are hence the basis for building as well as describing the four scenarios. We commonly develop scenarios that look three to five years into the future. This matches the typical time frame for strategic planning activities. Each scenario should be given a concise and easily memorable name. It is important to focus the name on the chain of causes and effects behind the scenario description, the so-called influence diagram, rather than its end state.


Finally, Develop narrative explanations for each scenario. Finally, the stories behind the scenarios need to be built. These stories describe the paths along which the world will arrive at the four alternative scenarios. To derive these stories, we generally build a chain of causes and effects leading to these end-states.



Backcasting is a planning and envisioning tool that is really useful when you are dealing with complex problems and when the current trends are part of those problems. Network Backcasting is a special tool that helps us understand how things in a network evolved or how they became the way they are today and where it can lead us!

Imagine you have a complicated puzzle that represents a network, like a social network with many connections between people. Now, you have the final picture of the puzzle, which shows the network as it is now. But you don't know how it became like that or what it looked like in the past.

Network Backcasting is a tool that helps us work backwards from the final picture to figure out how the puzzle pieces fit together in the past. It allows us to reconstruct the past states of the network and understand how it evolved over time.

Using this tool, we can analyze historical data and trace the changes and connections that happened in the network, helping us understand its development and how it reached its current shape. It's like solving the puzzle backwards to see how it was put together step by step. The tool was created by John B. Robinson from the University of Waterloo

This method is aimed at networks that need to create a strategic plan. It can give clarity about short/medium and long-term actions, and to:

  • define a strategy for the network for a certain period
  • highlight goals and objectives
  • create a clear road map

So, let's start!

You will need a board with markers/bigger sheets of paper and stickers OR an online Miro board template:


TIME (min/max): 60 – 90 minutes

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS (min/max): From 5 to 30 



Backcasting is a planning method that starts with defining a desirable future and then works backwards to identify policies and programs that will connect that specified future to the present.

Backcasting involves establishing the description of a very definite and very specific future situation. It then involves an imaginary moving backwards in time, step-by-step, in as many stages as are considered necessary, from the future to the present to reveal the mechanism through which that particular specified future could be obtained from the present.

⇒ PHASE 1 – 20 minutes:

List down your long-term goals. Think of a time frame between 1 and 5 years.

Open the template in the Miro board link.

Start to define a time frame your network wants to work with.

It could be the time the council will last, or looking even further.

Start to identify several goals that your network wants to reach at the end of the chosen period.

Use the sticky notes and apply them at the end of the timeline.

It's good not to write too many objectives. Try to stick within 5-10 goals that have priority in your network.

⇒ PHASE 2 – 25/30 minutes

Work backwards to figure out the necessary actions to achieve the long-term goal. Step by step.

Divide into smaller groups that will work on two main objectives each.

Starting from the goal to be achieved go backwards in time and describe the actions that need to be taken one year before the achievement, and slowly go back to the present. For each action write a brief description of the activity. When is the deadline, and who is taking charge of it? After 20 minutes come back to the larger group, and present the results.

⇒ PHASE 3 – 15/20 minutes

Collect insights into difficulties that might be encountered, steps that need to be taken and resources needed to achieve the goals.

Reflection questions:

Once the template is complete, have a general overview of the results.
How do you feel? Is it overwhelming? Is it achievable?
If there are too many activities, try to select only the goals that are most important for the network, to reduce stress.
Are the activities covered with a list of one main person focalizing each activity?
Are the deadlines achievable?

Sometimes less is more. Having too many goals could lead the group to a sense of stress, and if those goals are not fully achieved could generate a feeling of failure. Less goals are more reachable and give a successful feeling to the group.

Open also a space for doubts, questions and suggestions for the responsibilities.


Final sharing about how the exercise went and the dynamics within the group.


Opening the space for people’s dreams uplifts the group’s energy and creates personal links that may otherwise remain hidden. This method is also rank-effective, as it highlights, safely and respectfully, areas where leaders can unveil their “dream space” and become learners of other, and less prominent, members. It can be applied to create circles in a sociocratic organization
File ∆ Tool: OCTAGON

DURATION: 30 min - 1 h

This tool can be used to analyse an organisation's development with eight different variables. 

I. On the one hand, the octagon is a tool for the follow-up and measurement of results of organisation development.

It is important to be aware of the fact that the Octagon is based completely on subjective assessments of the organisation. Its subjectivity makes the Octagon a sensitive instrument. Therefore, it is important to give reasons in writing for each ranking of the Octagon’s eight variables on the very first occasion measurements are made. To measure results, it is necessary to make analyses of the same variable on several occasions over a long period, for example at one-year or five-year intervals. Since the person who makes the first Octagon analysis of a partner organisation may change his/her opinion over the course of time or maybe be replaced, it is necessary to document what, for example, was the reason for awarding four points in one part of the Octagon analysis on the first occasion. The weakness of the Octagon as an instrument for measuring change is the risk that it is the basis used for personal assessments that has changed and is reflected in the Octagon’s results, rather than real changes at the partner organisation. As long as there is awareness of this risk and everything possible is done to eliminate subjectivity in assessments, the Octagon will function as a tool for rapid results analyses. 

II. On the other hand, this tool can be used to start organisation development at a deeper level.

If you, as a financier, partner or consultant, intend to use the Octagon for organisation development purposes, it is important to remember that the Octagon is a tool for making a rough initial analysis of an organisation. Thereafter, other tools must be used. The responsibility for the process must rest with the partner organisation. Never- theless, you must explain that the purpose of your initiative to make an Octagon analysis is the first stage in providing support for the internal organisational development of the partner organisation, and describe the forms of your support for this process in the future. Is your role to finance measures that have been identified? To act as a sounding board or as a mentor? Or something else?

How to use the Octagon

The Octagon is constructed in such a way that four basic aspects of the network are analyzed with the aid of eight variables.

The organization’s base:

1. Identity: The network expresses its basic values and has articulated the reasons for its existence.

2. Structure: The organization’s management and its division of duties and responsibilities are explicit and visible.

The organization’s activities – output:

3. Implementation of activities: The organization can plan and implement planned activities.

4. Relevance of activities: The content of activities and the methods used are relevant to the organization’s vision and operational objectives.

The organization’s capacity development:

5. Professional skills: voluntary and paid staff and management have the requisite professional skills and qualifications to pursue and develop the organization’s operational objectives and vision.

6. Systems: The organization has the financial resources and administrative routines to run its activities.

The organization’s relations:

7. Acceptance and support of target groups: The target groups’ assessment of the organisation and the demand for its activities give the organization legitimacy.

8. Relations with its external environment: The organization is accepted and supported in the community and can mobilize support for its vision and operational objectives.

The eight variables form an octagon. Each dimension is ranked by assessments of two statements/questions on a six-point scale. When all the variables have been analyzed and ranked, the organization’s development profile is illustrated in the form of an octagon.

GOOD TO KNOW: Be aware of the fact that the Octagon is based completely on subjective assessments of the organisation or network. Its subjectivity makes the Octagon a sensitive instrument. Therefore, it is important to give reasons in writing for each ranking of the Octagon’s eight variables on the very first occasion measurements are made.

To measure change, it is necessary to make analyses of the same variables on several occasions over a longer period, for example, 3 months, or one year.


The PDF and illustration below can help you assess your organisation's development.



  • Drawing on rational, intuitive and unconscious information to build a shared vision, mission and strategic plan
  • Creating a safe and fertile space to dream and feel the strength of the group
  • Backcast several steps necessary to achieve the group's goals


  • A space large enough to allow the group to move through 6 steps;
  • Setting vocative and instrumental music;
  • Materials: A4 sheets, markers, post-it, scotch paper

TIME (min/max): between 95 and 150 minutes (1,5-2,5 h)

TARGET AUDIENCE: this tool is dedicated to groups who would like to dive deep into the work of developing the network at its foundations.

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS (recommended min/max): From 3 to 30

ORIGIN OF THE METHOD: Systemic tools for organisations


This method is related mainly to the Intention level but is rooted in the “I” level (individual intention), and in the “Community” level (common goals). The “structure” level needs to come at the decision-making process to set common actions.


This work can be preparatory to the creation of a "Field of Forces" by drawing the ideal present from vision and mission.

The music and the accompaniment of the facilitator are very important to support the emergence of messages coming from the systemic field.



Power analysis is a process that can help networks and groups navigate the different dimensions of power, to understand how social issues are shaped and what change could be achieved to improve the lives of the communities those networks and groups are working with. 

Power is a complex phenomenon and a person who has power in one context, can be relatively powerless in another. 

We do not see power as being held solely by the few, but rather as something that can be found in the hands of many, and can manifest itself in both positive and negative forms. This tool can be used to start thinking about how power impacts our individual lives, communities, and networks – in both positive and negative ways. It can be useful to understand power dynamics within our networks and how they shape the challenges we face or the benefits they can give us when understood and used appropriately.

DURATION (min/max): 1h 30 min approximately


Blank A4 papers and colourful pencils or markers. The descriptions of different power types in the group might be handy


This tool explores the different ways in which power can be understood and analysed, using the power frameworks to explore the different ways in which they can help to achieve a better understanding of how power operates within your networks.

This is both an individual and group exercise, it can be adjusted to each setting. First, reflect on how a participatory power analysis can benefit your network as well as individual development within your network – reaching your full potential but also feeling safe with those around you.


To correctly prepare for this workshop, the facilitator must read “Power, A Practical Guide for Facilitating Social Change”. Especially the frameworks 2(a) – the expressions on Power – and 2(b) – Faces of Power Spaces.

Start by asking people to think about a personal experience of power or powerlessness. It may be a positive or negative experience, drawn from either their personal or professional life. Ask them to express creatively this experience, e.g. an abstract drawing, writing, or a single word that reflects their story. After this reflection form pairs or groups of 3-4 (depending on how many people are involved in the workshop), to take turns sharing their story. Remind them to switch storytellers halfway through the time allotted.

The stories can then be used to explore ways in which power can be defined. This can be done by working in pairs or small groups to discuss a definition and then as a group to agree on one definition, by completing the sentence – ‘Power is….’ Or the various meanings of power can be discussed as a large group.

Some questions and reflections for the workshop:

  • Is it possible to agree on one definition of what power is?

  • What new light do our definitions of power shed on our understanding of achieving social change?

The facilitator should use their familiarity with the power frameworks to identify the types of power arising in the stories. For example, notice the difference between stories in which there is visible domination or ‘power over’ and those with more subtle or ‘invisible’ power (e.g. discrimination based on gender, ethnicity or age).

Further reflection:

  • Inner power in your network: Analyse the different power dynamics in your network as a team, and think of power also as something positive – empowerment. How does power affect your network?

  • External power in your network: What power leads to a thriving network? How can we use power to launch our network? e.g. the power of community.

These questions can be good to reflect on as a team after the workshop, once the different expressions of power are better understood. It can help build trust, connection and empathy within your network. Moreover, analysing power structures is a good tool to better understand the challenges and limitations we face and what we can do to transform the “negative power” – or power over - into “positive power” – power within or empowerment.


Power: A Practical Guide for Facilitating Social Change


Module II Book THRIVING: Sustaining the connections

Book WHAT IS INVISIBLE?: Structures


Force Field Analysis is a technique to visually identify and analyze forces affecting a problem situation to plan a positive change. It has been used in diverse fields ranging from organizational change to self-development. Its visual character, simplicity, suitability for group work and applicability in planning for change make it a potential tool with wide application.


According to Lewin, the creator of the tool, any situation or performance can be viewed as a state of temporary equilibrium. This equilibrium is caused by two sets of opposing forces:

  • those which try to bring change: driving, facilitating or positive forces; and,
  • those which try to maintain the status quo: restraining, resisting or negative forces.

Because it is based on visual depiction, FFA provides people with opportunities to think of forces that are affecting the problem in question.

Even problems that look quite vague start becoming clear. The forces are quantified and their strength is represented visually. This makes it easier for the participants to think of how to grapple with them to bring about change. It becomes obvious that the magnitude of the driving forces has to be increased and that of restraining forces has to be decreased. These decisions are taken jointly in the light of resources available, other constraints etc. Often solutions start to emerge to seemingly insurmountable problems.


depends on the circumstances: number of people, topic, etc. around 60 minutes 


A couple of sheets of paper, different coloured sticky notes, and markers.



These steps are suggestions only; they are not prescriptive. The circumstances, location, profile of the participants, time available, problem etc. will determine the exact nature of the process. You are the best judge.


  1. Write or draw the problem that the group of participants wants to discuss on a sheet of paper. Try to make the problem as precise as possible.
  2. Keep the sheet of paper with the problem written/depicted on it in front of the participants and ask them to concentrate on the problem. Ask them to visualise the problem situation in a state of temporary equilibrium maintained by two sets of opposing forces - ones that are favouring change: ENGINES or driving forces, and the others opposing them: BRAKES or restraining forces.
  3. Ask participants to list one set of forces first followed by the other. Each of these can be written/depicted on small cards. Different colour cards can be used for driving and restraining forces. Clarify that if a force seems to be made of multiple elements, each component should be listed separately as a force. The use of cards is more flexible than simply listing forces on a sheet of paper, but each of the participants may have their own sheet of paper for individual use and for personal notes. They can also create a more participatory discussion, as with cards, writing/drawing can be done by many, and control is not in the hands of one person.
  4. Keep the sheet of paper with the problem written on it in the centre and draw a line across it. Spread the cards with restraining forces below the line and those with driving forces above the line.
  5. Ask them to look at the cards and see if they would like to make any changes.
  6. Next, ask the participants to assign weights to each of the forces. They should position each force card at varying distances from the problem line/present status line in such a way that the distance denotes the strength of the force. The greater the distance, the greater the perceived effect of the force on the problem. If you decided to use the printable template:
    1. have a 100 points as a pool for each of the side of forces.
    2. After naming the forces ask participants to give each of the force a score from the 100 points pool and write it next to the force. Is easier to do it individually and then share the results in the bigger group to discuss the opinions.
  7. Check if they are satisfied with the diagram, then ask them to discuss how they can change the situation. Which of the driving forces can be reinforced and which restraining forces can be diminished?
  8. Brainstorming techniques can be used here. Smaller cards preferably of different colours can be used to write down possible interventions for each of the driving/restricting forces to increase/reduce its magnitude. Each of the possible interventions can be further weighed in light of various factors e.g. resources available, time, ideology of the organisation etc. The idea is generally to capitalise on those that would bring the greatest change.
  9. Copy the diagram onto a piece of paper.

If the number of participants is large, one common way is to divide them into smaller groups and then ask them to work on the FFA separately. The findings are later shared amongst the different groups. The frequency method described elsewhere in the article can be used with the large number of participants


Additional resources:


The part of network resilience can be asses ed by checking it’s vitality. But hot to do it actually? Supporting this inquiry can be an immunity map that provides clarity on which of the “thriving moments” could we situate our networks. This can be done on your own or in a group, preferably up to 5 people, and those who are the closest to the pulsating - either strongly or a bit weakly - movements inside the network.



Prepared immunity map worksheet, enough pens for everyone, and post-its.


1-2 hours, depending on the group of people (5-10 recommended). We recommend to give at least 10 minutes for each point. You can take a break in the middle, to refresh minds, move bodies and gain a new perspective.



1. The first step, after you bring together a group (2-5 people), will be to identify the improvement goal that you aim for in the near future. It should be something that would definitely improve the network but it does not have to be enormous. You can follow the SMART approach in naming the goal. Another proposition for how to do it:

Finding your focus – What is most important to be changed?

What would you most like to get better at, or improve upon?
What is most important for you? Ex. What is the single most powerful change I could make to improve myself in the network?

Brainstorm some ideas for improvement in the box below. From the improvement goals you listed above – circle the one that feels most important.
This goal should feel like a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 5 (very important).

Would the people who know you best agree that you do, indeed, need to get better or improve on this thing? What would your colleagues, family, partner or friends say?

Does the goal you circled resonate with the feedback you have received from colleagues or peers?

The more agreement between you and others about what you would like to improve upon the more powerful the exercise will be.

2. Next, specify what concrete behaviours are necessary to achieve this goal. Frame them as positive statements (for example, “delegate more” vs. “stop doing all the work myself”). Ask yourself (or an imagined observer):  What’s the thing you do, or don’t do, that most gets in the way of your goal? 

After having it done list all the actions that support achieving the decided goal. It can be direct and non-direct activity, both concerning yourself, as an individual and the group and the whole network as the agents of change. Maybe it will be something you have never done before. Or something connected to your daily routine that you always wanted to improve but never had enough motivation. Define your actions, not your feelings.

3. The next step would be similar, also gathering a list, of the actions, behaviours and attitudes that stop you or your network from achieving the goal. A tip: Try to look a bit wider, over the perspective of this one goal. Are those behaviours also stopping other goals or objectives? That can also help you bring more insights into this part and this specific goal.

4. In the next round, you will try to capture the worries and all the “softly” destructive thoughts that you believe in. Hence, you will fill in the epically named “worry box” - in this case try to stay very focused on the goal you have chosen for this worksheet. If you go too far with worries it might be actually contra-productive and put you in a rather “worried” mood. Bear also in mind that worries are logical thoughts that serve a function - they help actually stay immune and avoid some risky situations. Nevertheless, here they also stop you from the flow of action and achieving your goal. It’s important that you feel safe in the group where you are discussing your fears and worries, Sharing them can be also very powerful and build stronger bonds within the team. Maybe you just found out something very surprising about the others?

5. After this - maybe vulnerable - point you will look at the other side of the “worries coin”. Your commitments and inspiring thoughts are making you stronger, more confident and curious about the process of achieving the goal. When you write down your hidden commitments, you are now able to see across the three columns how you have one foot on the gas pedal (column 1) and one foot on the brake pedal (column 3). This is the immune system “protecting” you from feared, undesirable outcomes.

6. The last step in completing the worksheet would be connected to the two previous ones. Try to identify the so-called BIG assumptions that underlie your worries and commitments. Therefore, you can ask yourself or the group the question:

What do I believe to be true about the world that makes my worries and commitments entirely reasonable?


Notice how your assumptions lead to the very behaviours that undermine, rather than support, your goal. Generally, “assumptions make each hidden commitment feel necessary.”

Worth reading: 

Book MORE THAN PROFIT: Network Economies

  • To create working groups that are effective and sustainable;
  • To help people reflect on their resources and dreams/wishes;
  • To create synergy in the group and strengthen the peer-to-peer learning process;
  • To know each other better, in an unexpected way


  • A flip chart with a few clean sheets;
  • Colored markers;
  • Sheets of paper and pencils for participants

TIME (min/max): 60-90 minutes


This method is aimed at groups that need to create an operational structure and perform joint actions to achieve their goals.

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS (min/max): 5 to 30

ORIGIN OF THE METHOD: CLIPS 1, Mind mapping (by Tony Buzan), Social Permaculture, personal experience.


This method is related mainly to the Structure level (organizing groups) but is rooted in the “I” level (individual skills and wishes) and in the “Community” level (creating working teams). The “intention” level needs to come in at the end, to check if the available skills, resources and dreams are aligned with the mission and strategy, or if something needs to be adapted to create better synergy.


Opening the space for people’s dreams may uplift the energy of the group and create personal links that may otherwise remain hidden. This method is also rank-effective, as it highlights, safely and respectfully, areas where leaders can unveil their “dream space” to become learners of other, less prominent, members. It has a solid peer-to-peer element and stimulates mutual learning in a practical and supportive way. Following the permaculture principle  “3 elements for each function, 3 functions for each element” makes the structure more resilient and less dependent on a single human resource. 

Skills and dreams can also be applied to create the circles in a sociocratic organisation. This procedure can be repeated periodically to check the health of working groups, make possible changes to the structure, and also to replace project groups that have completed their task.  

The exercise can lead to interesting explorations concerning diversity management - to lift the curtain for underlying skills and dreams that might not have been so obvious but can be included in the work. 




  • To design and formulate a coherent and effective work plan for the group at the end of the CLIPS process, or any, “consulting” process;
  • To harvest the wisdom of the whole group in one single, well-structured document;
  • To reassure the group in a time of uncertainty and emotional stress;
  • To establish a long-lasting connection between the group and the facilitators' team.


  • A flipchart pad with a few clean sheets;
  • Colored markers;
  • Large coloured post-it notes;
  • Masking tape;
  • Sheets of paper and pencils for participants;

TIME (min/max): 60 – 90 minutes


This method is applied at the end of the consulting & facilitation work, which normally lasts at least one full day (but up to three). The target audience is groups that need clear directions for their next steps, organically arranged over time with three timelines: short/mid/long term.

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS (min/max):  5 to 30

ORIGIN OF THE METHOD: CLIPS 1, Mind mapping (by Tony Buzan), Social permaculture, the CLIPS-Italy team experience.
This method summarizes the entire CLIPS process and includes all levels and dimensions. The roadmap will interweave all the phases of the group’s future path, and once again show how each level is connected to all others. As said, the road map will benefit from graphic facilitation, and depending on the CLIPS facilitator can be supported by input from Dragon Dreaming, Social permaculture, OASIS Game and others.


Helping the group to create its own, unique and precious road map is a service of high value, and a solid ground for the group to start working together again after a time of crisis, stagnation or hopelessness. It is reassuring and comforting to see that our actions can – and will – have an impact on the common future. 

As facilitators, we bring in our trust in the group and in the process, our deep appreciation for the group’s vision and mission, our creativity, humour and urgency to co-create with them a better future for humanity and for the planet. As always, we are alert on roles and ranks, do our best to balance participation and bring the “small voices” into the big picture.

Make sure you mark down the revision time and keep in contact with the group to hear how the roadmap is unravelling.

The roadmap should remain at the group’s disposal in the common area and be uploaded and stored in the archives.

Book YES, NO, MAYBE: Decision making

Decision-making is a process of choosing between different options or courses of action, including the option of doing nothing. Different types of decisions range from automatic, programmed decisions to more intensive nonprogrammed decisions.

File Tool: SOAR Analysis

Decision-making is a process of choosing between different options or courses of action, including the option of doing nothing. Different types of decisions range from automatic, programmed decisions to more intensive nonprogrammed decisions.


Understanding the environment we act within is important for creating projects that matter to the people around us. In more traditional methods, like the SWOT analysis, it's easy to think opportunistically and focus on weaknesses and threats. While useful, it can drive our projects from a sense of scarcity or competition, and paint a picture of others as threats to our success instead of key players in it. SOAR is a strategy formulation and planning tool that allows your network to plan its most preferred future.

SOAR applies the Appreciative Inquiry philosophy to provide a strategic thinking and dialogue process.

SOAR analysis is powerful in bringing the team or members of the network together to recognise the potential of the project and create a shared vision of the future. Building on strengths requires less effort and resources than trying to correct weaknesses. The technique is more action-oriented than a SWOT analysis and is focused on outcomes.



  1. Download and print the SOAR analysis template (recommendable, but optional smile ;
  2. Sit relaxed, calm your breath;
  3. Start off by investigating the strengths and follow the SOAR board clockwise
  4. You can colour and connect the elements with arrows to create additional layers of information on your network board.

The NOISE analysis is a tool that allows organisations and networks to examine the current and forecasted conditions and generate strategic improvement plans. Five factors are:

  • Needs (N) – what is internally needed for a plan to be achieved (can be organizational or individual);
  • Opportunities (O) – what external factors allow your organization to grow? How are other networks, locations, or peer organizations achieving growth? Are there unexplored areas that offer new growth opportunities?
  • Improvements (I) – how must the organization adjust internally to achieve needs and prepare to take advantage of opportunities?
  • Strengths (S) – what is the organization doing well currently? How are you measuring success?
  • Exceptions (E) – What is already done in the NOI subjects? List all factors regardless of their current impact.

The main premise behind NOISE analysis is that you frame issues with what you don’t have rather than what you need to overcome. The use of solution-focused language creates a plan that focuses on identifying obstacles and finding new opportunities. Seeing many opportunities is more positive than seeing a long list of strategies done wrong and challenges to overcome. Only the last part of the analysis is dedicated to the present state. Finishing this way can help you admit what you, as a group or network already did. It differs from strengths - it focuses on the already done or started things, not competencies.

A NOISE analysis seems to feel positive because it identifies and focuses on needs. To a team, needs may feel more achievable and targetable than being handed a list of challenges to overcome. Meeting needs is often easier than challenges to be overcome.

You can do it individually and compare them together or without sharing, making the group one and then comparing the individual ones!


  1. Download and print the template provided below (recommendable);
  2. Start by naming the plan or objective to fulfil;
  3. It is recommended to follow the NOISE order, departing on N and finishing on E. You can put the most realistic ones close to the middle and the least possible ones close to the external borders;
  4. You can connect elements with arrows to start creating a strategy!