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    "Facilitation: by Design" Workshops

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    Learn to facilitate interdisciplinary problem-solving sessions

    Design facilitation skills are increasingly in demand, but rarely taught. In 2015, we will offer a number of opportunities to participate in these unique two-day workshops. Learn how to lead design-thinking activities and help groups develop solutions to big, interconnected problems at one of these sessions led by design strategist Renna Al-Yassini. "Facilitation: by Design" will offer resources, strategies and valuable insights in leading design thinking collaborations, including:

    • The role of the facilitator 
    • Understanding and framing the problem
    • Designing agendas and activities
    • Creating engaging environments
    • Collaboration and decision-making
    • Managing group dynamics

        The hands-on workshops will also address a variety of situations commonly faced by facilitators:

        • Facilitators who are internal versus external to an organization
        • Facilitators who are internal versus external to a coalition of people
        • The nature of participation, whether mandatory or voluntary
        • Determining meeting/workshop intentions, such as decision making, consensus building or idea generating

        We will teach you how to successfully lead diverse groups of stakeholders through design-thinking exercises and develop solutions to complex problems. Whether you’re leading internal teams or workshops with clients, you’ll gain confidence facilitating collaborative sessions and learn new techniques, resources and insights to enhance your professional skill set. Hear what past participants had to say about "Facilitation: by Design" by reading their testimonials here.

        Upcoming workshops

        Workshop Date Location
        Facilitation: by Design San Francisco
        Date TBA, 2015
        San Francisco, California
        The Autodesk Gallery
        Facilitation: by Design New York City

        Date TBA, 2015 New York, New York
        The SVA Branding Studio


         Registration rates

        Registration rates
        Early registration rates
        General registration rates
        Supporting+ member
        Contributor member


        Sample workshop schedule

        Day one
        8:30 a.m. Check-in and catered breakfast
        9:00 a.m. Workshop begins
        1:00 p.m. Catered lunch
        5:00 p.m. Workshop concludes for the day

        Day two
        8:30 a.m. Catered breakfast
        9:00 a.m. Workshop begins
        1:00 p.m. Catered lunch
        5:00 p.m. Workshop concludes


        Workshop registrations include continental breakfast and catered lunch each day. Attendees are responsible for covering the cost of transportation and lodging, as well as evening meals. See the Lodging page for hotel and transportation options.

        Workshop instructors

        AIGA works with a pool of qualified instructors who are well versed in facilitating interdisciplinary problem-solving sessions with community groups as well as clients. Lead instructors include:

        Al Yassini headshot new 100x100Renna Al-Yassini, project lead, Adaptive Path; senior strategist, service designer and design researcher

        Al-Yassini leads initiatives to create new products and services for a wide range of clients, guiding them through the entire arc of the project and systems-thinking processes, while fostering collaboration amongst stakeholders. Al-Yassini came to design having been raised in the social justice world, working as a communication strategist for nonprofits, government projects and social justice initiatives. She has guided diverse groups of people through a variety of collaborations—from teenagers in East Oakland working to open up a state-of-the-art youth center, to bank executives working to establish a new business entity. She remains committed to helping designers wishing to work in the social impact space to do so responsibly, effectively and critically.

        Al-Yassini is the co-founder and senior advisor of the Roudha Center, has been recognized as one of Bloomberg Businessweek’s “Twenty-One People Who Will Change Business,” and is a regular AIGA Design for Good facilitator.

        M_Breslin_100 x 100Maggie Breslin, designer, researcher and writer at Smaller Sanities; faculty at the School of Visual Arts

        Maggie Breslin is a designer and researcher with a unique focus in healthcare although she does work in other fields as well. She pioneered the role of designer/researcher at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation when she joined in 2005 and helped build the program until she left in 2011 to establish her own practice, Smaller Sanities. She leads and collaborates on research, design and development efforts around topics as diverse as decision-making, risk communication, integrated practice models, remote care, caregiving, end of life, social determinants of health and minimally disruptive medicine. She believes strongly that good conversation is key to transforming healthcare and that design has a big role to play in making it happen. She has logged many hours observing and talking to patients and clinicians and counts those opportunities as among her most treasured.

        She teaches in the Design for Social Innovation program at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City.  She has published in journals ranging from Design Issues to Archives of Internal Medicine. Breslin holds a Masters of Design from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in Mass Communications, Film and Television, from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

        Mathan Ratinam headshot 100x100Dr. Mathan Ratinam is a core faculty member in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons The New School for Design. He directs the Humanitarian Design Lab conducting design research with various external partners from the humanitarian, NGO and development community including the Red Cross (IFRC, American Red Cross), Oxfam America, World Bank (Social Development, WBI, Africa Region) and the United Nations (UNISDR and UNU).

        Ratinam has been an independent consultant working both internationally and domestically. His work with the World Bank and the United Nations (UNHCR, UNWFP) has entailed a variety of projects ranging from designing facilitated workshops for government officials, multilateral donor and civil society personnel, to the development of communication strategies and technologies focusing on nuanced, human-centered stories. Within the United States Ratinam serves on the board of the Urban Assembly School of Emergency Management in New York, and frequently engages on initiatives regarding crisis response and emergency management. More recently he co-facilitated and led the design of an all-day workshop at the White House titled Innovation Brainstorm for Disaster Response and Recovery, a partnership between the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

        Registration policies

        Your registration constitutes permission to use photos, audio and video recording taken of you at the event for promotional and educational purposes in connection with AIGA and : by Design conferences and activities, in corresponding publications and in AIGA’s archives.

        AIGA refund policy for workshop fees can be found using the workshop registration links listed above

        Cancellation policy

        The workshop is subject to cancellation or change. Liability is limited to funds remitted for workshop registration and sponsorship fees.

        Learn more about AIGA’s professional development opportunities.

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