Lesson Series

Facilitating Design Workshops

This course on workshop facilitation covers principles of design workshop facilitation, whether face-to-face, online, or hybrid. It explores the fundamentals of what workshops are, why we might run workshops, how to plan and facilitate them – from who to invite and how to think about methods to your own role and managing participants. Throughout, there are several activities you can try either on your own or in a group.
What you are going to learn

Facilitating Design Workshops

This training program delves into the essentials of orchestrating design workshops, be it in-person, digital, or a mix of both. It sheds light on the core aspects of workshops, their purpose, and the techniques to execute them successfully – from selecting attendees to strategizing methods, understanding your part, and overseeing participant engagement. The course also offers multiple activities suitable for individual or group participation.
Throughout this course you will:
  • Dive deep into the intricacies of both face-to-face and virtual workshop facilitation, understanding how to bridge them in a hybrid setting
  • Uncover the core reasons for conducting workshops, along with the foundational elements that make them effective
  • Master the art of workshop planning, from meticulously selecting the right participants to strategizing optimal facilitation methods
  • Be engaged in a variety of hands-on activities, designed to enhance both solo and group learning experiences.

Who Should Attend?


who want to their message and methods to stick with participants


who want to build engaging and impactful learning for staff and clients

Project Managers

who want to create enduring value alongside their teams


who want to sustain organizational learning

What People are Saying

"If you want to make your message stick, work with Erik. Erik helped me and my co-author develop an online course for our book "Make Time" and coached us on teaching workshops for our other book, "Sprint". Erik's mastery of the latest education research, his ability to quickly synthesize what we were trying to accomplish, and clear, actionable advice were priceless. If you're considering developing a new talk, workshop, training, or online course, Erik will help you get from a fuzzy idea to a crisp and effective plan. Highly recommended."
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Jake Knapp


"Jake Knapp and I worked with Erik to design the curriculum and learning experience for a new online course. From the first moments of our conversation, I knew Erik was going to make a huge contribution to the project. He bridges education, experience, and behavioral design in a way that is incredibly rare and tremendously valuable. Plus, he's got a super casual facilitation style that makes it easy to jump in and start making progress. During the all-day workshop that Erik facilitated, we moved effortlessly through the design process and ended up with a great structure and plan for our course. Jake and I are both experienced facilitators, and it was a joy to experience and benefit from Erik's facilitation skills! Jake and I are already thinking of new reasons to work with Erik."
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John Zeratsky


About Andy
Dr. Andy Polaine is a design leadership coach, educator, and writer who helps clients build and grow their own design and innovation capability, transform their organisations and themselves. For several years he worked at Fjord where he was global Group Design Director of Client Evolution. Previously Andy was Fjord’s APAC Regional Design Director, based in Sydney, Australia.

Andy has been involved in interaction design since the early 90s and was co-founder of the award-winning new media group, Antirom, in London. He was a creative producer at Razorfish, UK and later Interactive Director at Animal Logic, Sydney. Andy was Senior Lecturer and Head of the School of Media Arts at The University of New South Wales, Sydney before moving to Germany and holds a PhD from the University of Technology, Sydney in which he examined the relationship between play and interactivity and he teaches on the MA Service Design at the Hochschule Luzern, Switzerland.

He has had a long career as an academic and independent consultant with nearly three decades of experience in design and innovation with clients across a range of industries, including financial services, public services, life sciences, telecommunications, automotive, media, design and education. He has written over 160 articles and papers and co-authored the Rosenfeld Media book, Service Design: From Insight to Implementation. Andy is a regular keynote speaker at conferences and events and can be found online at polaine.com, @apolaine on Mastodon, on Twitter as @apolaine and also on LinkedIn. He writes a popular newsletter called Doctor’s Note and hosts the Power of Ten podcast.
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