We develop tools for researchers and practitioners to strengthen their connections, integrate their approaches, and solve problems. We call the framework of those tools Toolkit360. Toolkit360 is a set of process models for doing inclusive problem-solving to reduce natural hazard impacts and disaster risk. We can facilitate the application of Toolkit360 to support most any team’s convergence work. Of course, there are too many researchers, practitioners, and wicked natural hazards and disaster problems to assist everyone through facilitation.

That’s why providing capacity building through training workshops is so important to us. More inclusive problem-solving can happen if more disaster professionals are skillful at inclusively solving problems.

Staff at Team Rubicon recently reached out to us to run our 8-hour Toolkit360 overview workshop (split across two days). We enjoyed spending time with 11 Team Rubicon staff to get them familiar with Toolkit360 and tips for group facilitation.

We covered what inclusive problem-solving for natural hazards and disasters means, how the toolkit fits together as a modular set of process models, and reviewed some foundations, such as human-centered design and consensus-building. We defined all twelve tools and discussed what tool is useful for what applications, particularly for Team Rubicon’s work. We also helped attendees envision the successful outcomes for each tool. Eight hours is not enough time to learn the ins and outs of all twelve tools. (We offer 8-hour training workshops for each tool to accomplish that.) But we ran 30-minute interactive activities for Team Rubicon staff to get a sense of facilitating six of the tools. Team Rubicon even designed some activities for facilitating the tools.

One of Team Rubicon’s favorite topics was what we call inclusive problem-solving personas. They went through an activity to understand what problem-solving roles they thrive in, and which may challenge them. We referenced those personas throughout the workshop to think about what attributes people predispose to be comfortable or stretched when being facilitated through the different tools. This idea is something all facilitators need to think about before and when they are facilitating. We offered many other tips and tricks to build their know-how for group facilitation.

We’re happy to report that Team Rubicon loved the training and eager to try to apply it where we find the opportunities. They found the workshop facilitation something they can emulate in their work, which is exciting for us to hear. Beyond new knowledge and skills, Team Rubicon was pleasantly surprised that the workshop was great for team building. We can’t say that we intentionally designed the agenda for that. But we think it’s a natural feature of well-facilitated discussions and activity.

Let us know if your group is interested in improving your capacity to facilitate inclusive problem-solving to reduce natural hazard impacts and disaster risk. If so, reach out today to schedule a Toolkit360 training workshop or any one of the twelve workshops on each of the toolkit’s specific tools. Right now, we are only offering workshops for pre-organized groups but will be offering open-registration workshops soon.

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