Facilitating on the tube

Just imagine: sitting on the tube, rocking to and fro. Being forced to listen to somebody’s monotonous MP3 beat seep out of their headphones, watching the faces of all those strangers.
You stand up and welcome all 50 people to the short meeting. Astonished and worried and nervous and embarrassed and perhaps also excited, the 50 faces either turn to you or instinctively place a hand on their wallets. You pose your question. You tell them you are trying to find out what normal people think about a complex issue. You ask them to turn to their neighbour and discuss for a minute or two. And then you reap the fruits of human creativity.
I would have loved to have asked my train load of commuters, stick-carrying elderly hikers and sleepy teenagers this morning for answers to some of society’s burning questions. But I didn’t.
Any facilitation needs framing. But then again, can’t a train load of people with their various purposes, experiences and needs provide us with an adequate framework?
I’m going to think about this some more. Will be back to you on this.

3 thoughts on “Facilitating on the tube

  1. Shawn Cunningham

    Dear Natasha,

    I am impressed that you restrained yourself. I have often wanted to scream the question in the tube “what is the big question that you have that is not yet answered?”. The trend of everyone (including me) withdrawing into their MP3 players is very visible in public space. I get the feeling that many issues are not surfacing at all…

    So I dare you, try it on the tube.

  2. Natasha Walker Post author

    I think I need you to be there. Perhaps we should ask a slightly less large question! How about: “What would you like to change today for the better?” or something.

    And we should video it!

    1. Shawn Cunningham

      Perhaps we need a sponsor that is willing to pay for a series of video clips on “using the power of facilitation to involve citizens in problem solving”. Do you think that the cities transport authority will be willing to pay for this to prove that the tube does more than transport people?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s