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Welcome to Facilitation Stories, where we discover how facilitators ended up in the profession, and how facilitation methods, principles and techniques are used more widely. Brought to you by IAF England and Wales. For more information on our chapter, click here.

Feb 3, 2020

In this episode, Helene talks to Hilary Topp about one of her favourite facilitation methods, why (and how) she got into facilitation and her involvement with Citizens Assemblies.

Hilary Topp is a facilitator and coach and host of the IAF meet ups in Midlands and the East of England and IAF England and Wales board member.

She tells us how she first got into facilitation and that although she hasn’t yet done a whole year as a freelancer how much she is enjoying it.

She uses a variety of facilitation methodologies but in particular likes using ORID from the ICA Technologies of Participation approach, and tells us a bit about how she puts in into practise.

Although she enjoys all kinds of facilitation her favourite pieces of work are strategy reviews and she talks us through some of the ways that she does these.

Hilary tells us a bit about citizens assemblies and a related participatory democracy process (a People’s Panel) she was involved in last year, and a bit about the role of the facilitator in these.

Both Hilary and Helene attended a practitioners day in London that they both attended and discuss some of what they learnt. You can find out more about it here

Hilary gives us some examples of pieces of work that she’s really enjoyed and tells us a bit about what she has coming up next.

Hilary hosts the Birmingham coffee meet ups which happen the first Friday of every month, and afternoon learning and networking meet ups three times a year.

You can get in touch with Hilary and find out more about her here:

On twitter:

Hilary: @HTFacilitation

Helene: @helenejewell

Pilar: @pilarorti

Other links:


Liberating Structures:

Involve UK

The Democracy Society

West Midlands and East of England Meet ups


ICA strategic planning course

Please let us know your thoughts:

And go mad on Twitter! @IAFenglandwales @Fac-stories  @Helenejewell @pilarorti #IAFPodcast #IAFmeetup