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Facilitator Training Agenda

The following is agenda for Local Event facilitator trainings which have been done in Toronto, Berlin, and Sao Paulo.

Opening Circle

At the start of training participants sit in a large circle to get introduced and have an overview of the day ahead.

  • Go round: Each participant shares their name, where they are from, and 1 word to describe how they are presently feeling
  • Welcome and introductions from training organizers
  • Thanks to participants and those who have made training possible
  • Introduction
    • Vision and community: It's about participating in keeping the web open
    • Events: These events are intended to be interactive, with everyone getting to speak, learn and do.
    • Projects: Projects are those which involve every-day internet users in activities that help keep the web open.
  • Goals for this training
    • Explain and explore the Local Event model
    • Share facilitation techniques
    • Learn from participants what they think are the most effective techniques and convening models for their city or region
  • Today we will follow an agenda similar to that of a Local Event
    • Participants can learn the agenda model
    • All of you can help design the agenda for the next Local Event

Spectrogram Exercise

After Opening Circle, we use "spectrograms" to engage all participants in a set of interactive discussions about the open web.

  • Getting to it: Playing with “Spectrograms”
    • We believe all voices matter
    • At traditional conferences, so-called “experts” control the dialog, and the “famous” get more “famous”
    • At our events, we try to break that model, and let voices from the edge drive the dialog. Those with knowledge are asked to be in service to those who are trying to learn about the open web and find out how they can get involved in keeping the web open.
    • We use an interactive exercise called "Spectrogram"
      • Demonstration spectrogram: “The weather in (CURRENT CITY) is perfect”, with one agreeing, one disagreeing and one confused
      • Let's do a spectrogram for everyone: “The internet today is free and open”
  • Now that you understand how spectrograms work, it's time to design some spectrogram statements of your own.
    • A good spectrogram statement is
      • Inclusive: everyone present can relate to the statement and have an opinion
      • Assertive and hopefully a bit extreme; vague or non-controversial statements do not make good spectrograms
      • Short: participants must be able to remember the statement and repeat it easily to themselves.
    • Exercise: find 2 other people you do not know
      • Each group should get a set of “post-it” notes
      • You have 15 minutes
      • Introduce yourselves
      • Brainstorm spectrogram statements that are relevant to the topic of “open web” or “open internet”
        • Put each statement on a separate post-it note, so they can be arranged on a wall later
      • Create as many as you like, “more is more”
      • For each statement, “test” it: try to imagine what types of people would agree with it, what types would disagree, and who would be more in the middle of the line.
      • When you have 2-3 minutes left, pick your best statement, which you will get to test and practice facilitating with the larger group.
    • Back in the larger group, each small group should take a turn:
      • Make your spectrogram statement
        • Make it with passion and emphasis on each word, and repeat it for additional emphasis
      • Invite participants to move to an appropriate place for them on the line
      • Remind people of the ground rules:
        • Emphasize that one person should speak at a time, and that others should listen and not talk amongst themselves; “honor the speaker”
        • When a participant speaks, they should make only one point, not several, so that everyone has time to speak.
        • Each participant should only speak once until everyone has had a chance to speak
        • All participants should speak to the group as a whole; avoid letting two or more participants get into any direct argument.
      • Facilitate the spectrogram:
        • Move the dialog up and down the line, from one extreme to the other and back to the middle
        • Remind people they can move up and down the line when their thinking on the issue changes.
        • Because this is a practice, you only need to take 3 or 4 statements from across the line
      • After all the groups have facilitated 1 spectrogram, ask each group to post all of their statements on a wall somewhere
        • At some point, it is good to invite participants to vote on which spectrograms they think will work best at a larger event.
        • This can be either immediately after the spectrogram session, or during a break later in the day
        • Voting can be done in one of two ways:
          • If adhesive “dots” are available, those can be used to vote by affixing a dot to the desired post-it note
          • If there are no notes, participants can make check marks on the appropriate note. In this the honor system is in play :^)
        • Participants can vote for any statement, can only vote for any one statement at most once.
        • Sample voting instructions, done during an agenda break
          • Put all the spectrograms on the wall in a group
          • Once they're up there:
            • Vote for exactly __ 1 __ statement over the wall
            • Vote with a “check” mark
            • You can vote for any note
            • Pick the one you believe will generate the best range and quality of opinions
  • Summary at end of session: We start events with spectrograms to demonstrate that everyone has something to contribute and invite participation.

Explaining the Open Web Exercise

Mozilla is about “keeping the web open”, but what that means is not always easy to explain to people we want to join the movement

In this session, we invite each participant to be VERY CREATIVE in explaining “open web”


  • Make a group of 5 with 4 other people you don't know
  • Pick a type of person you will explain the open web to: doctor, teacher, child, parent etc
  • Create an explanation in words and metaphors they know and understand
    • Make it creative:
      • Skit/sketch
      • Picture
      • Song
      • Poem
      • Pantomime
      • Anything!
    • You have 20 minutes to create your explanation
    • You must present your creation back to the whole group in 60 seconds or less!
  • For report backs to the whole group
    • Each team will have 60 seconds for their report back (it's ok to run a little long)
      • Tell us who your audience is
      • Present your CREATIVE explanation of the open web!
  • Questions?

Still To Be Documented

  • Agenda designed exercises
  • Break out session facilitation
  • Overall event facilitation
  • Participant Guidelines