Where we go from here

Ufff, it has been a while since I wrote here last time. I had a rough summer, but also I felt kind of stuck with Affective Facilitation. I enjoyed writing this blog a lot but just focussing on facilitation and education made me feel caged in. I struggled to sit down and write even, so I had a long list of topics scheduled. With every week I did not write it became worse. The guilt of not posting added to the pressure. I was about to give up on Affective Facilitation…

Last week, I sat down with my flatmate, and we had a conversation about where we wanted to develop professionally. I shared my thoughts about this blog with him. My biggest issue with posting here is that how it is set up now, I am only focussing on the facilitation niche. That feels not enough!

I am not just passioned about facilitation but also about arts and crafts, politics, languages, cooking, public speaking, activism, painting, self-care, mental health, chronic illness, communication, mathematics, and and and and…

Therefore, I decided to open up Affective Facilitation to other topics as well. I will still look at them from the holistic approach that is inherent in my approach to Affective Facilitation and how these topics can contribute to a person’s life and the greater global community.

Of course, the main focus of Affective Facilitation remains on my work as Trainer, Facilitator and Visual Practitioner. These practices were the reason why started this blog and which I aim to develop into a sustainable profession for myself. There are an endless amount of topics I still want to write and discuss with you about. So this topic will remain and most likely represent the main content.

The first topic I want to add is Arts and Crafts. Who follows me on social media, knows that I am an avid Bullet and Art Journal user and I want to bring that to this blog as well. I am thinking of sharing tutorials, plan with me’s, video and so on. Currently, I am toying with the idea of creating my own journals and maybe offering them for sale.

As a third topic, I want to offer my public speaking a home at Affective Facilitation. I recently joined Toastmasters International and would like to share my journey here. As public speaking is firmly connected to facilitation work, I think it will represent a strong enrichment of my content here. I plan on sharing both my speeches and what I learn along my way with you here.

And there is think pieces. This topic is a placeholder for all the other issues that are burning on my mind. Some of them will be more political, others about books, music or films and others about living with chronic pain and mental health issues. I want to keep that open for whatever comes up and catches my interest.

So how will I do this? I plan to dedicate certain days to one topic. For now, the writing regarding facilitation will stay on Wednesday as you are used to so far. For next week, I plan to introduce the Toastmaster Tuesday additionally. This is meant to be a biweekly series in which I speak about my public speaking journey.

So, what do you think? Do you like the new approach of Affective Facilitation? Are there topics you would like me to write about?

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Do you need more Facilitation in your Life?!

What can you learn from a twenty-something who just found her purpose in life but also didn’t manage to strive in the formal education system? Quite a lot!

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I will share with you the lessons I learned through my lifelong learning and self-education. I will show you how to use the ups but more important the downs of your life as an inspiration and powerhouse to aim to fulfil your life’s purpose. With this first post, I would like to give you some insights into my life and my professional aspiration.

To start off, I do not consider myself a failure of the formal education system. More correctly, it failed me, as it does with so many. Just being in the early stages of my life I already went through enough hard times to fill at least two books. The German education as formal as it is was never able to adjust or even just address this nonlinear path I am on. These leaves me with an education to become a teacher for mathematics and arts so unfinished that it does not allow me to enter any labour market niche. I am an educational enthusiast and a progressive thinker with strong political and ethical beliefs. My life’s path and the expectations of today’s society just made me stumble and lose my very own way out of sight.

But then Mollina happened!

In September 2016, the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) invited me to their Training for Trainer to Mollina, Spain. We were a small group of political activists from all corners of the globe, not knowing what we got ourself into. BUT – as everyone who ever was in Mollina knows – Mollina does something with you! For me, it was as someone kicked open a door that was locked and hidden behind sleeping beauty like rose bushes. It introduces the world of nonformal education to IMG_9862me, which was the answer to all my struggles during studying school education at the university. It satisfied a longing of my soul for a more holistic approach to human growth and development. It put my way right back under my feets again!

After I had completed the Training of Trainers, I became one of the founding members of the IUSY Pool of Trainers together with my comrades and now friends. Ever since I conducted training sessions for IUSY, the Young European Socialist and my home organisation on a broad range of topics. In this, I found my purpose. I wanted to shift existing systems, yes, even the whole world with the measures and methods that nonformal education provides. Here my strong educational predisposition, which once led me to choose my academic career, helped me out. In short time I was able to establish an extensive knowledge of methods, approaches and so on, to adopt visual facilitation skills and become a liked and appreciated trainer, by both partners and participants.

The participants are the centre of my training philosophy. I do not aim just to transfer information and knowledge; moreover, I want to facilitate change and growth within them. I am to reach my participants not just on a cognitive level but more important on an emotional and empathic level. Therefore I call my training practice affective facilitation. In the sessions, I aim to create a sense of belonging to an extended community but also the recognition of each participant’s individuality within this network. I am for a learning process that starts with the creation of an understanding of the individual capabilities and knowledge existing in the group. After that, I choose methods to empower the participants to see connections and similarities and finally to enable them to construct independent of me a shared knowledge and abilities based on this.

These thoughts guide me in the creation of my training sessions and seminars and the choice of practices and methods. I practice for example appreciative inquiry, the circle way and include methods like open space, storytelling and other forms of creative expression. My good working knowledge of different areas allows me toIMG_0483
adapt and learn rapidly about various academic and non-academic fields. Therefore the range of my topics reaches from personal and organisational development to such as climate change, labour or human rights.

Now, with this blog, I want to reach out beyond my usual partners and create a platform to promote nonformal education. I will share my knowledge and tell my stories as trainer and facilitator but also as a lifelong learner myself here. As well I am longing for an exchange with other learners and facilitators to discover new approaches and practices. From time to time I hope to be able to give the stage to other amazing trainers I meet along my way.

But most important I want to get input and feedback from you, the reader, on my methods and practices to keep growing and to be able to write about what interests you!

Let’s facilitate change together!