Tools: Project-Environment Canvas

  • Time needed: 1-3 hours, depending on the level of research.
  • Participants: 4-8 people per group, depending on the complexity of the topic.

Overview

The ‘Project-Environment Canvas’ a simple discussion tool to facilitate constructive discussions within expert groups.  It provides a useful platform to discuss certain specific aspects of a larger complex problem.

Applications

A problem could be divided into various elements for instance: local jobs, water management or peri-urban agriculture.  Each topic can be used as the basis of a discussion within a multi-disciplinary expert group, experts from very different backgrounds and disciplines that use very different vocation based language.  A group of experts may be made up of engineers and technicians, financial specialists, sociologists, human resources personnel, builders and/or residents.  The Dashboard helps summarising key components into limited but workable blocks of key words.

Use

Refer to our process description (step 4/ dialogue).  Once the scope of a project has been defined and key themes have been identified, invite experts to explore the theme in more detail through an expert meeting.  The expert should contain experts with complimentary skills and experience to gain an overall view of the problem area.

One can start by filling in any part of the dashboard however ‘values’, ‘involved partners’ or ‘interest groups’ can be a good place to break the ice. Try to focus on the more concrete issues later, once the objectives have been clarified and the group is able to work together.  Through discussion, informally add words or text as necessary.  Allow the group to contribute through notes or post-its.