Category Archives: Retreat

2012 Retreat: Envisioning 2013

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A dedicated group of DwD members engaged in a year-end retreat and participatory planning session Saturday, December 15. Facilitated as an Appreciative Inquiry by Greg, Peter and Patricia, we explored the inspirations from over a dozen incredible workshops in 2012, our dreams for the new year, and the opportunities for designing actions for our near future.


Using the Group Pattern language card deck, pairs shared about the applicable meaning of selected cards for relevance to DwD practice. The sharing dialogue was sketched to reflect the meaning of its relationship to DwD:

DwD Retreat

Actions to Continue, Stop, or Start new filled the whiteboard after group reflection on actions and new directions for 2013.


We haven’t synthesized the design plan and next steps from the recommendations yet. The intention with sharing the artifacts here is to share with the whole community the ideas, interests and new directions supported by core DwD members.

Look for the following changes in 2013:

  • Revamp the DwD brand and synch with its support network and communities (OCADU, KMDI, Overlap)
  • Publish the pipeline of upcoming DwD sessions and collaborations – invite the entire DwD community to participate in creating and facilitating sessions
  • Revise the website to enable bidirectional communication and posting
  • Share on the website the individual work we do as a result of learning: Inspirations and facilitated engagements that draw from DwD practice
  • DwD for Designers to create dialogue processes
  • Invite non-designers to DwD, increase variety and diversity of participation
  • Promote visual storytelling, metaphorical design, and embodied practices
  • Spinoff DwDx (as TEDx) by supporting non-Toronto affiliates
  • “What’s inspiring you lately?” section on website
  • Create movement and dance-inspired DwD sessions


In Full Bloom: A summer story-share workshop

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The August DwD was hosted by Greg Judelman of The Moment,  outdoors at Grange Park.

August is the time of year when nature is in its fullest bloom. The sun burns hottest, the plants are at their highest, fruits ripen on their trees, and butterflies and birds are fluttering everywhere. In that spirit we’ll explore our own personal capacity to be in full bloom. We will share our personal stories of moments in our lives when we felt most energized, most full, most expansive. What did that feel like? What does that suggest about what we need to bring in, notice or celebrate in our lives?

Thanks to master story-facilitator Mary-Alice Arthur for her inspiration and collaboration on this session.


Greg Judelman is a facilitator, designer and innovation consultant based in Toronto. Through his firm The Moment, he works with the conceptualization and facilitation of collaborative design workshops and innovation processes for organizational and community transformation. From 2006-2011 he was a senior designer at the globally recognized Bruce Mau Design, where he led creative teams on identity, web, experience and strategy projects for clients ranging from not-for-profits to universities to public associations to multinational corporations.


DwD Reflection & 2012 Shared Vision

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Every end of year we retreat and reflect on what we learned over the year’s events and who we are becoming in DwD community and practice. Fifteen people attended to co-create the vision for 2012 priorities, sessions, and direction. An Appreciative Inquiry guided the exploration and reflection, leading to harvests for each phase, as illustrated:


Discovery explores the best in our experience, sharing and learning from our past and bringing forward the positive values to be honored in the inquiry. Paired shares led to whole-group expressions of valued experiences and impressions from Design with Dialogue in the 2011 season.

Visual reflection of DwD 2012 by Patricia Kambitsch.


Dream envisions what might be, and generates a multiplicity of possibilities for the group to reflect and decide. Individuals generated their ideas, shared in triads to review and add more, and posted and clustered in a harvest sheet. We organized and labeled clusters in a following session, resulting in a document shared with participants. The original harvest appeared as follows (not the full image):

Design and Destiny

In concluding the review and vision, people expressed their own hopes and encouragement for the 2012 season. People added their personal commitments to their proposals, which all ensures a rich, diverse, and heartfelt community in 2012.

  • Have continuity between sessions, with blogging and conversational support.
  • Have workshops to explore the nature of inquiring systems (of which AI, DwD are representative)
  • Evaluate the impact of learning from dialogue. Observe and evaluate the forms and outcomes of design. Relate the learning and observations to academic impact.
  • Inquiry into experiential modeling and experiential learning. What contributes to enhanced perception in dialogue?
  • “Listening sessions”  How to best share what we are learning in listening?
  • Continue with “sessions on what’s going on right now.” Capturing relevance as its emerging.
  • Holding new types of experiential dialogue sessions (e.g., Joanna Macy’s The Work that Reconnects)
  • Continue to connect with conferences and academic groups
  • Consider interim DwDs that provide continuity – Hold special interest groups for hot topics
  • Develop the practice and “rituals” of dialogue:
    Save 30 min at Pre or Post for continuing topics
    Provide coaching / video in basic facilitation and process skills
    Start Web conferences or online sessions


Evolving Community of Design with Dialogue

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Design with Dialogue has evolved into a learning and practice community.

The purpose of DwD was to create an ongoing venue for practice whereby we could develop established and emerging methods of dialogue and structured group engagement for community and social design. As the community has grown, we have a total group of about 150 past and present participants, and we’ve explored, hands-on, everything from Art of Hosting to Sensemaking. We’ve gone from just learning methods to inventing them, from trialing new practices to conducting them as live facilitation in community engagements.

It’s clear to me that DwD is having an impact on cultural change. People in the community are actively entering into new conversations with community stakeholders and clients to introduce more effective ways of social learning and action.  And while our monthly community sessions are extraordinary experiences, the lasting value shows up in how DwD informs our work and everyday lives. This is where culture starts to change around us.

We now have a Stewards Council of 6 regular, committed leaders that share a vision for a higher-impact DwD learning and practice community. And we have never made requests on the community before for a commitment, other than those who have graciously offered to present a session. But we’re not going to reach these goals on our own, we would love some more volunteers. We promise that you will get more from participating than you put into it.  I know this is true of all this work, a learning community that changes culture and eventually helps everyone we work with.

We need help in the following activities:

  • Two new programs getting started (KMDI and a Master’s series)
  • help setting up and striking down the gathering space
  • video and photo documentation at sessions
  • posting documentation and session follow-ups
  • Blog ( management and posting relevant things from other sites
  • posting session invitations on
  • toolkit development and management (for online methods resource)
  • outreach (help us find and connect to other leaders for masters or methods sessions)

We have action teams for Community, Communications, Programming, and other functions as well.

Please contact me, or Greg, to let us know you’d be interested. And how you would like to help.

Moving from Dialogue to Action

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When we convene dialogue for the purpose of understanding, can we also inform decisions and achieve outcomes?

Can strategic dialogue – a process for informing decisions – also include open dialogue? Are they mutually opposed in practice?  How do we move from collective inquiry to decisive action?

What are the conditions that grant authority to frame the inquiry initiating dialogue?

What conditions enable authentic inquiry and co-creation?  What dialogue structures empower leaders to make decisions?

Case studies of our own examples of dialogue in action will be elicited from participants in the open dialogue.  Stories will be captured visually in sketches and harvests. Café groups will break out to explore action scenarios, closing with a group discussion on the dynamics of organizational co-creation and authority.