Kenyersel: Case Studies

Thoughts can change the world
Facilitating Groups 2003-2008
We have developed our method and tested it by facilitating a wide variety of meetings involving professional scientists (at the University of Edinburgh), users of mental health services (Media Metters group), S4 students as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students (in Edinburgh and Glasgow), community education proffesionals and participants (Adult Learning Project, Fort Cummunity Centre, IDEAS, and the Outlook project, among others), and members of the public attending public lectures (with Jubilee Scotland).
2006-2007 - Nuclear Peace
We ran the Nuclear Peace Blog, and developed argument mapping technology using this as a case study. The resulting argument map we created provides a way of understanding and structuring the discussion on the Nuclear Peace Blog.
2005-2006 - The Debt Audit
2004-2005 - Tools for the Community
As a result of an enjoyable seminar we ran on Tuesday, 8th November on Information Technology for community groups, we hosted a Wiki for the sharing of information on the use of ITC for communities. We also introduced the Philosophical Inquiry method to The International Development Education Association of Scotland (IDEAS).
2004 - Smoking Consultation
We facilitated groups in 2004 with Fort Community Centre, Adult Learning project, and the Outlook project and developed our initial version of argument maps and the discussion method. We recorded discussions on the Smoking Consultation and created initial. These are early prototypes and are not easy to read, we recommend seeing the more recent argument maps listed above, but it is interesting to see these for historical reasons:
2003 - Democratic Discussion of Policy
In this case study, Ken Yersel combined existing projects of democratic renewal in an innovative way. In particular, we built on:
The project consisted of three parts:
  • Formation of community groups coming together to discuss issues using a semi-formal discussion game. Discussion games, such as Philosophical Inquiry, help people to listen to each other, and break down the hidden power-dynamics which often lead to groups being dominated by personalities.
        Discussion games have been demonstrated to be excellent ways of encouraging critical thinking and building community. At present these games tend to be played primarily for the enjoyment of exploring ideas as a group. Striking Propositions proposes that by recording their outcomes, discussion games could be a valuable tool for promoting debate of public policy - and many other things. The second part of the project addresses this.
  • Graphical representation of arguments to record the results of discussion games. The rules of discussion games tend to encourage participants to be clearer about what they say and how it relates to other comments. This often makes the outcomes of these discussions very easy to record. Laying out the results in a graphical form, resembling a "map" of the discussion, clarifies what was said, and allows people to find their way around the discussion more easily. (Link to a discussion map will be added shortly)
        The resulting "map" of discussion games can provide an empowering conclusion to a group's discussion. These maps can also be a useful stimulus for other groups discussing related topics. The third part of the project addresses how these argument "maps" could be shared with other community groups.
  • A dynamic website to store the results of the discussions and share them with other groups. The database-driven website will allow groups to create, manipulate and process their own discussion "maps". The website, database, and methodologies for designing discussion maps, are being developed in conjunction with the Elenchos team in Edinburgh University Philosophy Department.

For more information...

If you would like to more information or to get involved please contact us!
We look forward to hearing from you!