Wildgoose were approached by AlSharq Forum to design and facilitate a one-day experiential program as part of their four-day retreat to discuss the future of the forum and strategies for improving the effectiveness of the network. AlSharq Forum is an independent international network whose mission is to undertake impartial research and develop long-term strategies to ensure the political development, social justice and economic prosperity of the people of AlSharq.
The Wildgoose programme needed to:
The Operations and Learning & Development teams at Wildgoose worked closely with the client to design a completely bespoke programme, that fostered creativity and idea sharing in a way that reflected the democratic values of the AlSharq Forum. We knew instantly that splitting the day into three sessions would work well, providing the opportunity for everyone to get to know each other through an ice breaker session, before introducing the group to the strategic techniques and models for idea generation and creative thinking, through an interactive facilitated session. Following this, the third session would see the group split into teams to complete a creative simulation challenge, allowing them to put their newly learnt theories and strategies into practice through collaboration.
We used the facilitated session to introduce the participants to the concept of Divergent Convergent Thinking. A video introducing the concept was played to the group before the learning was solidified through an immersive team activity, which saw participants split into teams to explore various methods of idea generation and decision making. Applying the CDT models, teams were tasked with coming up with a new idea for the circle. Using the app’s in-built video and photo functionality, teams had to capture every stage of the process on tablets before sharing their ideas and experiences with the rest of the group. Post activity facilitation enabled the group to assess the effectiveness of the model and draw out any impacts its use might have on creativity and collaboration.
The third session in the programme consisted of a creative simulation activity which saw the group split into six teams, each representing a different country or prominent political group in the Middle East. Each team were given a SWOT analysis for their nation and had a number of specific political agendas to fulfil. Teams located hotspots around the venue unlocking their own tasks using image recognition technology. As each nation had different objectives to meet, we knew that our collaboration mode would work perfectly, as it meant each team had their own set of hotspots to unlock within the same game.
To maintain an emphasis on collaboration and the CDT models from the previous session, each ‘nation’ had to allocate roles including leader and spokesperson. Team leaders used the in-app messaging function to call meetings with leaders from other nations, in an attempt to form agreements that were mutually beneficial for all parties. Challenges within the simulation included hosting press conferences (recorded through the iPad) to announce the outcomes of the cross-nation meetings, along with creating combined national flags at a ‘Nations Forum’.
Due to the versatile and flexible nature of our app, we were able to create a fully immersive one-day experiential programme that introduced new models for creative thinking and idea generation. Our blended learning approach through app-based activities and facilitation helped to solidify new models before participants were able to put these into practice through a creative simulation challenge. The use of our collaboration mode and a series of curated challenges promoted collaboration within the group whilst generating fresh new ideas for the future direction of the Forum.