I’m now an official trained facilitator of the Biodiversity Collage (that I wrote about here)!
And I am sharing this because of one of the really good ideas that we were demonstrated during the training: Ending with congratulating all the participants (i.e. new facilitators) on having done the training and explicitly encouraging them to be proud and share on social media. I’m totally going to use this idea in future academic development trainings I’m involved in! But there were a lot of other aspects that I want to remember, too.
For example, even though the game is developed as an in-person game, there is a pretty well-functioning version using Mural (which we used during the training). Of course playing the game virtually is a bit more awkward than in person, but especially with a group of people that know each other a little bit better than we did, I think it works super well.
The training was led from Canada but involved participants from all over the world. Even though I also see the benefit of doing trainings local and in-person for network-building purposes (and for that it was nice to see two of my Lund colleagues there, who actually had played the Biodiversity Collage with me, so great job on recruiting people, Léa!), connecting (even just for three hours) with people who want to use the Biodiversity Collage in completely different contexts, e.g. to play with police teams or companies in Pakistan and UAE, felt really empowering.
What else did I like? The very clear separation between the scientific information in the game and personal opinions. The friendly encouragement for everyone to participate (for example by dealing cards that people are asked to read out) while also giving everybody the free choice to what extent they want to participate (e.g. after reading out their card, they could place it themselves or not, but there wasn’t any pressure to place it yourself). The repeated and explicit acknowledgment of the authors of the game.
I did not like that it was a 3-hour-non-stop workshop and that the advice is to also play the game without a break so people don’t leave or there isn’t enough time left for the game — I think there NEEDS to be a break, otherwise people are going to start disengaging after some time; I know I did (especially it was a 3pm-6pm workshop for me after a full workday). I think a quick bio break needs to be integrated in anything that runs for longer than 90 minutes, or the explicit encouragement to take that bio break whenever it is needed (which I personally find more disruptive, but ymmv).
But in any case, now I am super excited to facilitate my first Biodiversity Collage soon! :-)