Real versus Digital Workshops

I am just returning from running three half-day foresight to strategy workshops in North Africa, which followed hard on the heels of five virtual and hybrid (real & digital) workshops/trainings in the last two weeks.

Striking is the difference in energy levels. As a moderator you can generate much more energy and excitement in a “real” event than is possible on-line. For instance, even if I resort to having all participants turn the microphone on to give a round of applause every now and again, it is much more a spontaneous happening in a real workshop. And of course it is easy to see when people are lagging, or need a break.

On the other hand, I would have never been able to fit in five workshops in the space of 8 days, if all of them had been with physical presence (only for one hybrid meeting did I have travel, and that only within Germany). And as it is 5:30 am in Paris Airport, with crowds of not very socially distanced people, I certainly see the health advantage of home comfort, not to mention the ecological benefit.

In any case many thanks to Andrea, Lukas and Asma for pulling things together in Tunis, as well as to my colleagues Faten and Petra for their stirling work over the last weeks, and to the participants for their good will and lively interaction.

foresight, multi-stakeholder