After so many week not having a real life Meetup it was so welcome to start up again with a deep dive Liberating Structures Meetup. Quint was our location and food sponsor, all well organized by Harry Bijsterbosch. MyOffice in Groningen was the spot where we would meet on Wednesday September 16th. Of course keeping a safe distance to each other because of the COVID-situation.

We started at 17.15 with some lasagna and salad and we talked and talked and talked. It was so good to see each other again after all these weeks. At 18.00 Harry kicked of by welcoming us and telling us good things about Quint. After a check-in we started with the first Liberating Structure facilitated by me.

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How can you move from either-or conflicts to both-and. We talked through every step of the structure, created examples, practiced, went back in previous steps to improve and talked afterwards how and when to use it in your own situation. Our wicked questions was “How can the PO decide what the team will do (side A) and the team is self-organizing and can make its own decisions (side B)”. It was interesting to see that many actions you will take when on side A, you also do on side B. So the discussion wouldn’t have to be on the action, but more on how can the PO and the team do it in cooperation. And again, the questions you have for the group is most important, if the question is vague or ambiguous it is hard to start and to connect.

A small break, some coffee and at 19.15 Harry took over to facilitate the second structure.

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Imagine you are 30/40/50 years in the future, imagine what it will look like …. We imagined a world without garbage. Two of each group were old people who where there 30 years ago to tell the young people how it looked like when we still had a lot of garbage and dumpsters and so. The older people told the younger ones why it stopped, what happened, what was the twisting point, how did it feel, about the people who were against it and told about the steps we took from so much garbage to none.

After the example we talked further how we could use this structure with teams. We discussed if this would work when they would imagine their team in like 3 years instead of 30 and do Future~Present. We (almost) all agreed that the timeframe of 30 years is important. You can talk about something knowing you probably won’t be part of and you will not only take the current improvements a little further and that’s it. When using 30 years you will make it bigger, larger, more impact. It can help you find actions or steps to improve on the short and longer run.


At 20.30 we called it a day, by expressing a one-word-checkout. The main outcome was that is was good to be back at Meetups, good to see people, it was good to take more time for only 2 structures instead of rushing through a string of 7 or 8, we liked the structures and where all inspired to use them soon in our work or home situation.

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Sandra Warmolts, Kropswolde, 19 September 2020