Part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as captured by Edward Burtynsky for National Geographic, 2010.

Defining and Designing Successful Conversations – Reflections on the Delta Dialogues.

Groupaya recently wrapped up a two-year project facilitating a series of dialogues around contentious water issues in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  As we reflected on the process of facilitating the Delta Dialogues, we found ourselves reflecting on the process of dialogue itself – how do we design for success, and how do we measure successful dialogue?  With a bit of introduction to the context of our work in the Delta, we want to share our learnings, recently published in our […]

Behind the Scenes: Storytelling and Group Process

One of the great ironies of designing highly participatory, emergent processes is that they require a lot of work. We walk through and practice design scenarios. We scrutinize every last detail, from the wording of each question to the layout of the physical space. It’s exhausting, but it’s also incredibly fun and gratifying, and the results more than make it worth it. We’ve written a rough description of our design process, but the best way to understand it is to experience it […]

Our First Year

Tomorrow, on September 15, 2012, Groupaya celebrates its one year anniversary. It completely snuck up on all of us. We’ve had our noses to the grindstone this whole year, focusing on doing great, meaningful work, on learning as much as we can, on exploring innovative ways to make a greater impact on the world, and on living our values. It’s been incredibly intense and an absolute joy. We all feel very lucky to have had this experience together this first […]

Finding the Simplicity Embedded in Complexity

My friend, the amazing designer and facilitator, Gail Taylor, often exhorts people to find the simplicity embedded in complexity. I’ve been puzzling over this advice over the past few weeks, as I’ve been reflecting on our own practices for working with groups on complex problems. I recently came across two resources that I’d like to share. The first is from my friend, Jeff Conklin, who first introduced me to the notion of Wicked Problems a dozen years ago. This past […]