Learn to facilitate “collective story harvest” in a free workshop

As part of Pittsburgh’s Inclusive Innovation Week, we are holding a free workshop on Monday, April 2. Marc and Hannah will facilitate one of their well-received group sessions, combining a bit of training, the full experience of a group facilitation method, and great conversation.

The topic

In an ideal world our work embodies the maxim, “Nothing about us without us.” But in reality we are often unable to innovate with the people we innovate for, and we risk building our interventions on faulty assumptions.

Join us for a dive into the PRACTICE of suspending our beliefs and listening to the experience of people different from ourselves. We will do short skilling exercises in listening, experience a structured listening method called “Collective Story Harvest,” and end our morning with a survey of practical ways to include many voices in the work of innovation.

What to expect: story-tellers from many different backgrounds

Expect to meet people who share your interest in the topic, a short presentation to give background and point of view on the topic and the method, and expect to actively participate in the “story harvesting.” We are arranging for five people from diverse backgrounds to tell their stories, so we can all experience and practice this method together.

Take home some resources

Workshop participants will receive a handout with the workshop materials and pointers to resources for continuing your learning. We will also put you on the discount list for an upcoming online course on the topic of the workshop, designed to support you when you want to try this method for yourself.

Sign up for the workshop

The workshop is free, but it really helps to know you’re coming.


“We’ve watered ‘listening’ down to data collection:” A story about listening

Here is a 12-minute podcast that features workshop instructor and Fit Associates principal Marc Rettig talking about the power of focused listening to people different than ourselves, through the collective story harvest method. (It was made for a corporate design audience, so… jargon alert! But the principles of inclusive listening still apply.) The podcast revolves around an incident in which Facebook “accidentally” outed someone’s sexual identity to her parents.

You can listen and view a transcript here.


Pittsburgh’s Inclusive Innovation Week

The week is an amazing schedule of offerings across the city of Pittsburgh, showcasing the many ways people and organizations around the region are committing to including EVERYBODY in the region’s services, products, and progress.

For more background on Inclusive Innovation week, see the press release from the city, and Pittsburgh’s Inclusive Innovation web site — “Including everyone in Pittsburgh’s transformation.”

See the full (big!) schedule for the week’s events