Designing inclusive and engaging hybrid workshop formats

from PIA LABORGNE and FRANZISKA WAGNER contributed on 25.08.2023
Workshop scenery on-site

The Karlsruhe Transformation Center for Sustainability and Cultural change (KAT at KIT) and the Urban Europe Research Alliance (UERA) invited to the workshop Designing inclusive and engaging hybrid workshop formats with specific focus on urban transformation. The workshop was held on 20th of July 2023 at KIT-ITAS and online. The workshop facilitators Christine Bell (Centre for Facilitation) and Johannes Riegler (JPI UE) guided through the workshop in which 22 people took part. Both are experienced workshop designers and urban transformation specialists.

Inclusive participation engaging a diverse range of stakeholders in the process is crucial for achieving urban sustainability transformation. Hybrid workshops have the potential to promote inclusiveness and diversity by providing better accessibility and flexibility for participants. With a hybrid format, individuals who may not be able to attend an in-person workshop due to geographic, financial, or other constraints can still participate remotely. This can increase the diversity of participants and perspectives, and promote greater inclusiveness. Additionally, online participation decreases CO2 emissions through travelling.

But hybrid workshops also come with challenges. This concerns e.g. balancing the needs of in-person and remote participants. It can be difficult to ensure that all participants feel engaged and included. Another challenge is managing technology and logistics effectively. Hybrid workshops often require the use of multiple tools and platforms, and technical issues can arise that can disrupt the flow of the workshop. It can also be challenging to ensure that all participants have access to the necessary technology and resources. Engaging participants can also be a challenge in hybrid workshop formats. Remote participants may feel disconnected from the group, and it can be difficult to create a sense of community and collaboration and to ensure that all participants have the opportunity to share their ideas and perspectives.

Facilitating hybrid workshops requires a unique set of skills and expertise. Facilitators must be able to manage the dynamics of both in-person and remote participants, navigate technical issues, and create an engaging and inclusive environment for all participants.

This workshop was designed for stakeholders in the field of urban transformation with diverse background (e.g. researchers, professional facilitators, practitioners, public administration,) who are interested in creating effective and engaging workshops that combine both in-person and remote participation. With a particular emphasis on urban transformation, we explored how hybrid workshops can be used to drive positive change in cities and communities.

During the workshop, we covered topics such as:

  • Reflecting inclusivity of hybrid workshops and how to increase inclusivity through hybrid workshops.
  • Balancing in-person and remote participation
  • Creating a sense of community among physically distant participants
  • Managing technology and logistics effectively

Click here to download a detailed summary of the learning insights.