Participatory methods: Yes, and

Why should I try it?

To invite participants to act – to brainstorm on ideas in a collaborative way.

How do I apply it?

  1. In the group, identify a common question, for example: How can we make public spaces more inclusive of adult learning?
  2. Ask one person in the group to propose an idea. Explain that the next person will need to add to the idea by saying “Yes, and…”.
  3. After one-three rounds have taken place, invite participants to share their reflections about the exercise.
  4. Ask another person to start with a new question or idea to continue the exercise.

What will I need?

Just some space!

What else can I do?

Consider a written version of the exercise, in which participants are given time to reflect on a question to ask that would help solve a challenge (e.g. making public spaces more inclusive). Each participants writes down their question, which is then passed to the person next to them, who has one minute to write an idea. Each paper is then passed around, inviting participants to start their idea with “Yes, and”, following up on what has been previously written. The person who wrote the original question can then collect the ideas and summarize them.

Where can I found out more?

This method has been described in detail in “Arts-Based Methods for Transformative Engagement“, a toolkit published within the framework of the SUSPLACE Horizon 2020 project.