THE ALCHEMICAL WORKSHOP

The Alchemical Workshop is an innovative format that helps participants to make sense of complex issues or overhwelming amounts of material.
It has been used both with small groups and in the setting of a large international conference.
Alchemarium can adapt the format to your own needs.

Target groups

  • Stakeholders
  • Policy makers
  • Adult citizens
  • Students
  • Teenagers 15-18

Purpose

  • To engage
  • To expose and stimulate thinking
  • To foster dialogue

Preparations.

  • Step 1 – identify the “coarse material” to work with. This might be pre-existing material (eg all the reports from a project) or generated specifically for the workshop (eg through a simple questionnaire). More material is often better than less material!
  • Step 2 – make sure that the material is available to the participants. Presenting this as short pieces of information or quotes on cards works well, but don’t worry if this is not possible (eg students have found it helpful as a revision workshop with their course material as the “coarse” material)
  • Step 3 – The workshop will apply different “alchemical” processes to this material to turn it into something more valuable.
  • Step 4 – A workshop with a large number of participants can be split into groups with each group carrying out one process. With a smaller workshop the processes can be carried out in sequence
  • Step 5 – Facilitators can help guide the processes and act as rapporteurs.
  • Step 6 – The “Chemical Wedding” is a final plenary stage which combines the work from each process.

The key to success is to focus on the process at hand. In a more free flowing discussion it is easy to be doing too many things at the same time.

The idea is to transform the original “coarse” material into something that is more valuable for the participants.

What counts as valuable should be the outcome for the Chemical Wedding.