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Convergent Facilitation, intro and skill-building in Chicago

November 11, 2017 - November 13, 2017

*** Extended Registration Deadline of November 1 ***

Have you ever dreaded going to a meeting or watched in dismay as a group collapses into conflict?

If you work with groups that struggle to make decisions or collaborate effectively, this workshop is for you. You’ll receive intensive training in Convergent Facilitation, a unique decision-making process developed by Miki Kashtan based on the principles of Nonviolent Communication.

Convergent Facilitation taps into a group’s shared purpose and leads to decisions that everyone truly supports – without sacrificing productivity, efficiency, and forward momentum.

The method is versatile: use it for fast emergency response, breaking through bottlenecks, or collaboration throughout the life cycle of a long-term project. It gives you tools to address power differences so everyone at the table can speak frankly about what really matters to them. It even works with highly polarized groups, like the longtime political enemies who recently used Convergent Facilitation to pass landmark legislation in Minnesota.

Who it’s for

  • Team leaders: Reap the benefits of whole-hearted collaboration: buy-in at all levels, a more cohesive team, and better decisions informed by stakeholder needs.
  • Community organizers and activists: Learn to surface people’s core concerns and reach consensus decisions where no one is marginalized, while avoiding long, draining, divisive meetings.
  • Facilitators: Zoom in on the source of conflicts, and learn transformative, practical options that work even when your group seems completely stuck.
  • Mediators: Get new tools to help any number of parties work towards breakthrough solutions, using a process that is transparent to all.

What you can take away

  • A practical, step-by-step process for discovering breakthrough solutions to problems that seemed unsolvable
  • A strategy that helps people transcend conflicts, stretch beyond their initial positions, and embrace a decision that attends to everyone’s needs
  • Many ways to keep a meeting moving forward without leaving anyone behind
  • Opportunities for ongoing coaching and development. Miki is passionate about cultivating a community of practice around Convergent Facilitation. She is hoping soon to offer coaching calls and/or other forms of support for people who are practicing and developing these facilitation skills.

Want more details? Read this case study for a start-to-finish view of the Convergent Facilitation process and its transformative results.

About the trainer

Miki Kashtan is Lead Collaboration Consultant at the Center for Efficient Collaboration. She has helped hundreds of people work together better in nonprofits, corporations, community groups, and government agencies, among others. Miki’s teaching focuses on hands-on practice and examples from participants’ real lives, so you’re prepared to use the Convergent Facilitation framework as soon as you return to work.

Check out this New York Times article to learn more about Miki’s work and the principles and techniques she teaches.


November 11 – 13, 2017
10:00am – 6:00pm, with optional evening activities

Daily schedule: Arrival and registration, 9:30am to 10:00am, training from 10:00am to 5:00pm with morning, afternoon, and lunch breaks.

Part 1: Introduction to Convergent Facilitation

Saturday, November 11 | Open to all

Learn a three-stage model of collaborative decision-making and the key facilitation skills for each step. Bring your own examples of real-life group decisions or conflicts to explore how Convergent Facilitation could work in your situation.

Part 2: Building Your Convergent Facilitation Skills

Sunday, November 12 and Monday, November 13 | Prerequisite: Part 1 or a previous Convergent Facilitation training.

Practice the Convergent Facilitation framework and develop skills for transparency, efficiency, handling power differences, and increasing trust at every stage of the process. Our exercises and role-plays will be guided by the needs and interests that you and others bring to the training.

Tuition – Gift Economy

For tuition, we ask for an initial deposit of $50 upon registration. Past that, we are implementing a gift economy, which means there is no set price for tuition. It is very important to us that this training can be accessed by all those who are drawn to attend, so if the amount of money requested is beyond your means, please let us know and contribute only what you can. There will be time at the end of the first day to explore what would be a meaningful contribution for you to make, or for you to adjust the amount you contributed if you did so ahead of time, after discussing the financial request and what has been pledged so far. For those attending just the first day introduction, we will ask for your payment by the end of that day (unfortunately, you will be unable to see what the total contribution ends up being or to adjust your contribution).

For transparency, we are hoping that this training brings in at least $12,000. This will support the direct costs of holding this particular training (including the costs for the trainer, travel, venue, and administration of the event), as well as supporting in a broader context the entire organization and the many projects they support. With this in mind, if we have 50 participants, we hope to receive at least an average of $240 per person. We’re offering this information to support you in making an informed decision, based on your own financial reality and our hopes for the retreat. Because we are welcoming members of community organizations who are likely to be challenged financially, we are also hoping many others will contribute more than the average.

If you are clear about what you want to contribute and you are able to give that amount upon registration, please do so. This is not a requirement, however, as there is time to contribute your tuition during the training, as described above.


Item (all optional)Cost
Printed 80-page handout$8
On-site parking$7.50 per day
On-site lodging$30 per night
Breakfast$8 per day
Lunch$10 per day
Dinner$12 per day
Snacks with coffee, tea$5 per day

The fees for the optional lodging, food, and printed handout (we will send a digital copy to everyone) are due by the end of the day on November 1 (new deadline). The fee (not including tuition) will be between $0 and $203, depending on what options you select when you register. We will send you a confirmation of what you owe.


The options we see for lodging are: local dorm-style accommodations, participant-organized room share, airbnb, hostel, and hotel.

Local dorm-style: We have dorm-style accommodations available in the same building as the training. Generally, it is 2 to 8 people to a room, bathroom down the hall, separated by gender as requested. To request this dorm-style accommodation, you can note it on the registration form. The cost is $30 per person per night. If we get 25 or more people staying there, then the cost drops to $25 per person per night.

Room share: If you want to offer or request to share a room at someone’s house, hotel, etc., we will send a link to a shared editable document when you register.

Hostel: The HI Chicago Family Hostel is located in downtown Chicago, very close to the Red Line that will take you to the venue. You can find more info on HI Chicago at http://hichicago.org/

Hotel: We have a block of rooms at a discount rate with City Suites Chicago. It is 20 minutes by public transit to the venue. To reserve your room in the block, call the hotel at 773-404-3400 and reference “Convergent Facilitation Training” or book through the hotel website www.chicagocitysuites.com using the Group Code: COFT or via the direct link. To receive the special pricing, you must reserve by Wednesday, October 11. The cost, including taxes, is as follows:

Room TypeFri, Nov 10Sat, Nov 11Sun, Nov 12Mon, Nov 13
Standard Queen$198.41$198.41$127.97$127.97
Two Double Suite$210.15$210.15$139.71$139.71


Optional breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are prepared fresh each day by the in-house cook, Alice, with many items organic and local, with accommodation for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free (you can request other needs on the registration form).


Institute of Cultural Affairs
4750 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640
(Map and contact information below.)

Accessible by Chicago’s public transit system.


If driving, there is a parking lot across the street that belongs to the venue. It costs $7.50 per day, payable at the front desk.

If taking any kind of public transit, the venue is two blocks away from the CTA Red Line train (Lawrence stop), which runs about every 10 minutes, 24 hours per day.

If you want to offer or request to share a ride, we will send you a link to a shared editable document when you register.



To register:

  1. Please pay a $50 deposit (to be applied to fees and/or tuition). If this deposit creates a barrier to your attendance, skip this step and note this on the registration form.

  2. Fill out the online registration form .

  3. When you receive our confirmation email with the total fees owed, come back here and pay the balance as soon as possible and no later than November 1 (new deadline), so that we have time to plan accordingly.

Questions/Concerns/Other Needs

Contact the event Organizing Team.




November 11, 2017
November 13, 2017
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Institute of Cultural Affairs – Chicago, IL
4750 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60640 United States
(773) 769-6363
View Venue Website