🎯 Stage objective: establish the groundwork for working together
The first digital workshop in a series is incredibly important! This is where participants get to know each other and start building powerful bonds that form the basis for future collaboration. You can ensure your workshop has a successful start by focusing on these three ingredients:
1. Introductions 👋🏽
2. Ground Rules 📋
3. Input 🙋🏾♀️🙋🏼
Taking time for participant introductions is really worth it when organizations from different countries and backgrounds are collaborating.
Icebreakers and more formal introductions are helpful for highlighting what your workshop group has in common: similar values, experiences, or a shared vision. But it’s also valuable to understand and respect differences. Especially in a multicultural group!
Every workshop (series) should start with an icebreaker: to encourage participants to interact and identify each other. There are countless icebreaker formats – below is one we used recently 👇
2. Ground Rules
Setting rules at the start of a workshop may seem dry. But it’s useful!
These should include:
- Giving everyone space to talk
- Respecting each other's opinions
- Timekeeping: why and how
You can make this part feel lighter by involving the whole group in deciding the ground rules – as a way to encourage everyone to follow them.
For digital workshops, it’s also helpful to clarify at the start how technical features (e.g. raising hands, using the chat, surveys, shared documents) are used. Make sure everyone understands and can use these, so nobody is left out!
For the start of your workshop series you should ask yourself: what input does every participant need to be able to contribute to the process of developing a campaign together? Then make sure that they receive this input at the start!
One thing you have to include: the campaign plan and objective. Share this with the group so that everyone understands exactly what is planned.
Other useful inputs for the workshop could include:
- Local context (e.g. based on experience, data, research) to understand what you are campaigning for or against in each country;
- Technical skills: if social media or campaigning is new to any participants, you could use the workshops to empower them!