Helene Jewell and Pilar Orti discuss The IAF
conference (18th/19th October 2019 in
2 days and an evening which included: Human map, Client Panel
Interviewing, Parallel Sessions, Open Space (inspired), Dine
We hear from James at Session Lab @notjamessmart
talking about the sessions he attended.
Some of Helene’s and Pilar’s highlights:
The panel interview – 3 clients from 3 different
organisations, interviewed by Gary Austin with additional questions
from the audience. It was great to hear from the panel and question
them live. Lots of different aspects were discussed including not
underselling the whole package of facilitation and the benefits of
the pre and post work.
The panel discussion was useful in terms of helping everyone
to understand how to explain to clients who “don’t get it”. They
were advocates for the profession. They also talked about
co-creation by using an external and internal facilitator
The human map – organised by Hilary Topp. A great way to show
where participants at the conference came from and a good warm up
The session from Paul Brand and Andrew Chilvers– emphasising
the facilitation skills you bring before the facilitation event and
the importance of co-creation with the client.
Justine Marchant’s session on internal dialogue and the
discussions around the importance of understanding ourselves and
the fact that imposter syndrome can still be present even if you
are very experienced.
Mary Robson’s session on co-facilitation – talking about
viewing co-facilitation as a part of the process and not an add-on
and how it can be included as an integral part of
In between the sessions the conversations there were lots of
great conversations to be had. During these, Emma Cragg (personal
development coach) @ekcragg , suggested she could send a
“microcast” , which you can listen to in this
Camilla Gordon’s session on her work with refugees in Calais.
One of the things she discussed was about what a facilitator brings
in and leaves behind in a session, and being a bit more conscious
QUESTION TO LISTENERS: What do you bring into the session,
what do you leave there and what do you take with you as a
Pilar ran Podcasting for Advocacy and Self Development –
started the session with something similar to the human map to
gauge people’s experience and interest in podcasting. The session
focused quite a bit on the podcasting process.
Something to try out – taking notes by repeating what
participants were saying by speaking into a phone that had a Google
doc open. You can do this by using the microphone button instead of
typing. Good to think about with respect to multi generational
Open space inspired (run by Penny Walker)– really energising
and full of generosity from people wanting to do different
sessions. Different people got different things from the sessions.
Open space is about having the conversations people need to have
there and then. It was also a good time to not have conversations
if that is what you needed and take some time out. The sessions
were written up on a Pinpoint pinboard (brought along by Keith from
The Wall of Wonder – put up by Gary Austin for participants to
write up ideas, key phrases from the conference.
At the end of the first day Helene and Kim Jones lead a wrap
up session using iDeeter – asking people for their key learning and
best moments. It was a nice quiet reflective time.
A genius moment at the end was the Dine Around organised by
Lee Button. Lee chose 6 or so restaurants and booked tables in them
so everyone could sign up to go to one of them.
Organising the conference – the planning started in January
and from this a gentle trickle of work. It felt quite organic and
everyone seemed really invested in it, stepped into doing what was
needed. The energy of working in a team was great and it was easy
to tap into the meet up networks to find out who wanted to do
sessions. The content was created by the community so everyone was
sharing what they could put into it rather than focus on what they
could get out of it.
Please let us know your thoughts:
And go mad on Twitter! @IAFenglandwales @Fac-stories