Skip Main Navigation
Page Content
This event has ended

Save This Event

Event Saved

Is there a single, universal principle of facilitation?

Martin Gilbraith

Monday, 15 February 2016 from 13:00 to 14:00 (GMT)

Is there a single, universal principle of facilitation?

Registration Information

Type End Quantity
One free place Ended Free  

Who's Going

Loading your connections...

Share Is there a single, universal principle of facilitation?

Event Details

For more on this new monthly webinar series, and to register your interest for future sessions and topics, please visit free facilitation webinars.

This session is adapted from a face-to-face session delivered at the October 2015 IAF Europe MENA conference in Stockholm, Making Waves.


At a monthly meet-up of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) in London, the question was posed “is there a single, universal principle of facilitation?”  More to the point of course, if there is – what is it!

It didn’t take me long to think and respond that, in my own facilitation at least, there is certainly something approaching that – a simple four-level model of human behaviour that is always in my mind as I design and facilitate any learning or collaborative process, and that is very often explicitly the basis of the design.  Anyone who has worked or taken training with me, or who is familiar with ICA’s Technology of Participation (ToP) approach, will know immediately what I am talking about.  It is the basis of the ToP Focused Conversation method, featured in the foundational ToP Group Facilitation Methods course, and it is affectionately known as ORID.

In this session I shall introduce the ORID model, first by demonstrating the ToP Focused Conversation method in leading a conversation on the role of the facilitator, and then by talking through the theory behind the model and by giving some examples of broader application as a universal principle of process design and facilitation. Participants will have an opportunity to consider how they might apply the model themselves in their own situations, and what they can learn about their own ‘universal principle of facilitation’.

The session will introduce a simple but powerful and versatile model, that can be applied as a tool and even as a guiding principle. It can help facilitators to engage and empower their groups with greater confidence and versatility, to better enable them to make the change that they are seeking in the world.  The session will be equally suitable for newcomers to facilitation and for experienced facilitators who are new to ToP, and those who would like to deepen their understanding of ORID as a design tool.


Each session in this new series of free facilitation webinars will be hosted in Adobe Connect for a highly interactive learning experience.

Each topic will be addressed by a short case study or other presentation, supplemented by links to further online material for later reference. Sessions will apply tools and techniques of virtual facilitation to help participants to engage with the material and the presenter, and with their own and each other's experience on the topic. Participants will be invited to share contact details privately in order to reconnect with each other after the session should they wish. Sessions will be recorded, and recordings also made available.

Microphone rights for full voice participation in the session will be strictly limited to the first 15 participants to login, for a more conversational experience. Others may listen and interact via their keyboard alone.

A short technical orientation directly before the session will introduce the features of the virtual meeting room and the tools to be used. A brief closing reflection at the end of the session will invite reflection and learning on the facilitation process and virtual tools as well as on the content of the session. 

Participants should be ready to login to the meeting room from 45 minutes in advance for any technical support that may be required to enable their participation, then they may 'step away' until it is time to begin. Login details will be circulated to registered participants within 7 days of the session.  

Adobe Connect will use your computer audio for the session. To participate you will need a computer with internet connection and (for voice participation) a microphone and headphones so that others don't get feedback from your speakers to your mic. Adobe Connect apps are available for participation via tablets and smartphones, however functionality may be limited so use of a computer is recommended. Please test your connection to Adobe well in advance of the meeting, in case you need to install any software or adjust any settings in order to participate - complete the test in a few moments by following the instructions here. Your computer needs to have the latest version of Adobe Flash - please check and if necessary download and install that from here.


Please note, we reserve the right to cancel any session without notice and without liability for any consequential or indirect loss, however in this case we will give us much advance notice as possible by email to those registered.

Do you have questions about Is there a single, universal principle of facilitation?? Contact Martin Gilbraith



Martin Gilbraith

Martin Gilbraith is an independent facilitator, trainer and consultant based in London, UK.  He is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) of the International Association of Facilitators, and former IAF Chair and IAF Europe Director. He is an ICA Certified ToP Facilitator (CTF), an Associate and former Chief Executive of ICA:UK and former President of the Institute of Cultural Affairs International (ICAI). He has been facilitating and training, specialising in ICA’s ToP facilitation methodology, since 1986.


Martin's LinkedIn recommendations include:


“I joined Martin for Group Facilitation Methods training in Brussels, 2 days packed with tips, tricks and hands-on exercises. It was great experience and, though I work as a facilitator with my clients, it gave me a boost to do more, using the ToP methods. I would really recommend anyone who has done facilitation, but need a refresher or inspiration, to join one of Martin’s sessions. He is inspiring, he checks with attendees that they are OK, and he follows up afterwards.” - Michael Nord, Principal, Facilitator, Strategist & Networker – April 26, 2016


“Martin trained the Chairs of the CENTR Working Groups on facilitation. The training was tailored to the needs of the trainees and was an excellent opportunity for our Chairs to explore the role of a facilitator and their own role(s) as Chairs. It provided them with valuable tools and techniques to make agenda-setting more efficient and meeting facilitation more effective – some have already been able to successfully implement what they learned. It was a pleasure to observe Martin lead the Chairs through a lot of content in a very light and involving way. I would recommend Martin to anyone who is looking for an engaged trainer and thorough listener.”Nina Elzer, Policy Advisor at CENTR – February 16, 2016


“Meetings are a key part of what we do. As a diverse, transnational, multilingual membership network, successful meetings are key to our internal and external successes. Many of our staff mentioned Martin’s training as a highlight in their end of year reviews – several said it was the most useful training they had ever attended, and there was a clear consensus that we should work with him again.”Eve Geddie, Deputy Director at Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) – February 1, 2016


“Martin is a very inspiring trainer, he is very skilled and knows how to facilitate facilitators in a structured and insightful way. I have been able to succesfully use his personal advice and facilitation techniques straight away!”Miriam Elst, Facilitator Design Thinking and LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, Lead UX researcher & strategist, Service designer – January 29, 2016


“Martin is a continuous source of inspiration for me. As a facilitator I really like the way he leads the group, and his ability to foster participation, sustain group discussion and achieve useful outcomes. As a consultant and trainer I’m always curious to see how he market his courses and services, how he designs his training and how he uses social media. As a colleague I appreciate a lot the work he does for the facilitators community, and his ability to create opportunities of peer learning and best practice sharing among facilitators.”Gerardo de Luzenberger, Facilitator and trainer – January 28, 2016


“I went on a Group Facilitation Methods course run by Martin and found it really helpful. Martin established a really good group learning process and displayed mastery of his subject. I am very glad I went on it and very glad he ran it!”  - Mike Pounsford, Employee engagement, communication and change specialist – February 7, 2015


For a case study of virtual facilitation with the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) see How engaging can a large facilitated online session be? 


For more on my work, and what others have to say about it, please see how I work, who I work with and recommendations & case studies – or view my profile and connect with me on LinkedIn.


Martin Gilbraith Associates Ltd. is a UK registered company #08583435.


If you are interested in these events and do not find dates or topics that suit you, please contact me for alternatives.

  Contact the Organiser
Is there a single, universal principle of facilitation?
Course Business

Interested in hosting your own event?

Join millions of people on Eventbrite.

Please log in or sign up

In order to purchase these tickets in installments, you'll need an Eventbrite account. Log in or sign up for a free account to continue.