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OUR WORK

Date with an Elephant

Sky Space facilitated a two-and-a-half-day workshop for the ‘The Alternative UK’ who brought together 30 leading systems thinkers, activists, practitioners and change makers from across the UK to allow a picture of a new sustainable system to emerge; one that linked the health of people, to the health of their communities and the planet. The workshop was a chance for participants to meet, create relationships and pool their diverse perspectives and insights. Read more about how it went in our case study below.

Client Feedback

Overall rating based on 10 indicators 

49/50

Indra Adnan

The Alternative UK

Planning and preparation

“Stephane did his research on the people coming and showed a good awareness of the challenges we might face in the room. He showed that he understood the brief and managed expectations.

There was clarity about roles and responsibilities. We had discussed before the event that the convenors – myself and partners – would be part of the process, not co-designing or facilitating. Stephane stepped up strongly and never tried to make us responsible for outcomes.

The planning process was efficient, effective and met my expectations. He educated me about his approach to facilitation and made expectations around the philosophy, focus and potential impact clear. I couldn’t fault the ambition of what we were attempting. We took time before the event to go through the schedule and his thinking around the choice of exercises.”

Post event

“Stephane was supportive of me after the event he made himself available in whatever way possible after the event – despite it being Christmas and New Year. He understood the complex emotions that follow such an ambitious attempt to do something never done before and stayed open to outcomes as they arose.”

Indra Adnan

The Alternative UK

Workshop delivery

“Stephane’s facilitation met my expectations. He did a brilliant job. In a very diverse room with plenty of self-determination and no previous experience of collaborating with each other, he kept us moving through an original and ambitious agenda. For those who were in the habit of observing closely, the exercises showed the room to itself in all its strengths and weaknesses. There were many very poignant as well as exhilarating moments. Not a single person left the process for reasons within their control.

He acted professionally, with integrity and in a way that was consistent with the expectations I had of him. Going well beyond my expectations of a conscientious and ‘true’ facilitator, he arrived hours earlier than the participants and kept to time. He also offered a contract to be with us all with integrity at the beginning of the process, which he clearly stuck to throughout.

He was personable, sensitive and responsive. Alive to what was happening in the room and he supported participants to have a positive experience. My only reason for not giving a full 5 is that we allowed ourselves to be slightly de-railed on the final day by the emotions in the room. We saw a pattern arise that might have given way to a different energy for becoming responsible, but instead ended up a little dissipated. Having said that, he completed the event masterfully so that the whole group could remain open to next steps.

Stephane worked well with his co facilitators. He did not have a second ORSC facilitator to help, but made fantastic use of the different skills available to him via the ‘home team’. For example, he collaborated with an improv expert who was also doing admin. And gave space to the youngest person in the room as an expert witness.”

Indra Adnan

The Alternative UK

Participant Feedback

“Stephane allowed me the freedom to experience a different facilitation style and work in different ways. He helped me feel the emergence of system – ‘The Elephant’. He kept the show on the road despite perturbances. Allowed dissent and used the energy of it well. He listened, and heard, not just the explicit communication(s) in the room, but also the (potentially more important) implicit. We may not have reached the end goal we would have envisioned at the beginning but Stephane guided us to a worthwhile conclusion. Stephane helped us surface some difficult emotions in a safe environment and through such safe vulnerability helped us to build trust.  A personal thank you from me to Stephane for a dynamic workshop that I enjoyed and challenged me in a positive and constructive way.”

- Ian

“Stephane ensured that everyone felt included and heard, even (perhaps especially) when they had difficult things to say.”

- Hilary

“I found Stephane to be a competent, effective and safe facilitator, all around. He held the creative and emotional tensions with a good balance of tenderness and focus. I felt comfortable handing over the reigns, so to say,and going on the ride with him whether or not I immediately understood or resonated with every choice. I think it’s a great quality in a facilitator, to engender trust and comfort, when things are both ‘going well’ and ‘not so well’. I would have no reservations attending another event or process he was hosting.

He held the line between strength and receptivity – which is no easy task for a facilitator. Was agile enough to recognize when the group needed to be heard and firm enough to help keep the process flowing without losing it’s balance. I enjoyed his metaphor of weather with group energy/emotions. His perspectives on everyone having a piece of the truth and establishing that different is just different – not wrong or less than.”

- Bret

“Stephane held a very strong container with heart as well as consistency and strong boundaries. Core strengths: well planned and executed structure and process, ability to keep everyone on course despite tension, explicit context and values and overall integrity of character and position. He was approachable yet firm.”

- Andrea