IAF Methods Database Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

It’s February, and I hope your new year’s resolutions are still holding. If not, you can start over today! Welcome to the IAF Methods Database Newsletter.

Method of the Month

Settling in San Francisco has made me aware of some things I didn’t consider so much in the Netherlands. One of those is the theme of this month’s method, Earthquake!

I found this in a fine facilitation manual for permaculture training at: http://chenetwork.org/files_pdf/01_Creative_Facilitation.pdf This is an energizer for those days when you need to get a little physical.

See how you like it!



This exercise gives a group a chance to have some rowdy fun as an energizer. It works best with groups of more than 20 participants, in an open space either indoors or outdoors. The facilitator can stop the activity after a few rounds and/or once the participants are feeling refreshed. No preparation is needed.


1. Divide the workshop participants into three equal groups. It is easiest to assign each participant a number (1 -- 2 – 3) and participants form their groups based on the number they have been assigned.

2. All of the participants from Group 1 are asked to find a partner from Group 2. These partners face one another, raise their arms and place their palms together forming a “house”.

3. Each of the participants from group 3 then choose a “house” and “hide” underneath it.

4. The facilitator then yells “QUAKE!!” and the participants hiding under the “houses” must find another partner who was also hiding under a “house”, and create a house with them.

5. At the same time the participants who were forming “houses” need to scramble and find a “new house” to hide underneath.

6. Note: Those that were forming houses in the first round are not allowed to form a house again. They must try and find a “new house” to hide under. Similarly, participants who were hiding under a “house” cannot hide under a “house” again.

7. Each time this is done 1/3 of the participants are left without a “house” in which to hide and they are eliminated from the game.

8. Continue until there are only three participants left -- two forming a house and one participant hiding underneath.

Last Month's Poll

January’s poll aimed to see what use readers make of social networking in their practices, and I expected a great wave of enthusiasm. I was quite surprised at the results shown below!

In what ways do you use social networking (Twitter, Yammer, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) as part of your practice?

I use social networking sites to help participants prepare for the workshop 0%
I use social networking sites during the workshop as part of the process 20%
I use social networking sites to help participants followup from the workshop 13%
I use social networking, but not for facilitation activities 33%
I don't use social networking sites at all 33%

And what would you like to ask in a poll? Let us know and we’ll run it!