Credits: 5

Schedule: 01.10.2019 - 11.10.2019

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Teacher in charge: Dr. Paula Siitonen, Aalto Univeristy, Department of Design.

Email: paula.siitonen(at)

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

Learning outcomes

Students are familiarized with participatory methods, processes, theories and communication and facilitation skills and their practical applications in complex environments. After this course you will be able to work as a part of a facilitation team and to prepare and facilitate a participatory workshop or a process.


Interactive lectures, workshops, group works and exercises where students learn and practice participatory methods and processes, communication and facilitation skills and their theories including e.g. stakeholder and situation analysis, world café, exhibition walk, open space, a road map, space and time related and relational methods, complexity, systems thinking, interactive decision analysis, value focused thinking, group dynamics, creative cooperation, constructive verbal and non-verbal communication, dialogue, facilitation and conflict resolution. We use various materials, techniques and examples, including students’ own works. Students create a personal learning diary and write a final essay. Students (in groups) prepare and facilitate workshops

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 

Requirements to pass the course:
• A half page reflection after each lecture (a learning diary).
• Be present on all four course days (mandatory).
• Actively participate in group works throughout the course also outside the course sessions
• Read selected articles/book chapters and be prepared to discuss them through e.g. workshops.
• Each group will create a concept note (max three pages) on how they aim to facilitate and organize the interactive final workshop. We will create the groups on the first lecture.
• Each group will create an invitation (one page) to their final workshop.
• Each group will plan, practice, organize and facilitate interactive workshops.
• A personal final essay (ca. three pages)
You need to do all eight tasks above to pass the course

Details on calculating the workload (applies in this implementation): 

• Interactive lectures and workshops 28 hours
• Group works outside group sessions (workshop preparation) 38 hours
• Reflections and a final essay 33 hours
• Literature and other materials related to the lectures and workshops 36 hours

Details on the course materials (applies in this implementation): 

Book chapters, articles and other study materials will be delivered during the course. See the course homepage at mycourses. 

Students in groups will read a book chapter by Isaacs, W. 1999. Dialogue and the art of
thinking together. Currency, New York
and articles related to  driven forces and perspectives to creative cooperation and facilitation, and organize and facilitate workshops to involve other students to learn more about these topics - and practice facilitation.

Key readings:

Hennessey, B.A. & Amabile, T.M. 2010.
Creativity. The
Annual Review of Psychology.

Daniels, S. E. & Walker, G.B.
2001.Working through environmental conflict. The collaborative learning
approach. Praeger, London. (pp 176-185)

C. M., & Amabile, T. 2009. Creativity, improvisation and organizations. In
T. Rickards, M. A. Runco, & S. Moger (Eds.). The Routledge companion to
creativity (pp. 13–24).
USA: Routledge

Nowak, M. 2006. Five rules for the
evolution of cooperation. Science 314:1560-1563.  OR

Nowak M. 2012. Why we help? Scientific
American 306(7):34-39

Susskind, L., McKearnan,
S. & Thomas-Larmer, J. 1999. The consensus building
handbook. A comprehensive guide to reaching agreement. Sage Publications,
Thousand Oaks. 

Additional information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

All course days in Särkkä island front of Helsinki. Mandatory participation in all four course days.

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

See the detailed program at the course homepage in mycourses

1.10.2019 at 9-16, Särkkä Island, Piper Hall, Helsinki

4.10.2019 at 9-16 Särkkä Island, Piper Hall, Helsinki

8.10.2019 at 9-16 Särkkä Island, Piper Hall, Helsinki

11.10.2019 at 9-16 Särkkä Island, Piper Hall, Helsinki


Registration and further information