Monthly Liberating Structures Community of Practice Launching this Fall!

Hi everyone,
Hope you are all doing well and staying safe in COVID! We’re excited to launch a monthly Liberating Structures Community of Practice starting this fall, in collaboration with Fernando and Carolina from Aprendix Global / VirtualFacilitation.com fame! We may even have Keith McCandless as our guest a few of these times!
What it is: A series of 3 monthly open gatherings led by Vancouver User Group, open for Practitioners from all over BC and any other region.

Who: Anyone with an interest in facilitation and Liberating Structures


  • Share stories & spread new practices more widely across BC
  • Support people in getting started with & renewing their use of LS


Sep 24, 2020 5:00 PM – 6:30pm
Oct 22, 2020 5:00 PM – 6:30pm
Nov 26, 2020 5:00 PM – 6:30pm
Where:  Zoom Meeting Online
Register here: 


Hope to see you out there!

Barish & Leva

Events, Resources

Recording for Facilitating Collaborative Online Engagement using LS

Hi everyone,

We had an amazing workshop last week with Zsuzsi, Oral and Barish facilitating a fun string of Liberating Structures on Zoom! We went through Impromptu Networking, Mad Tea Zoom Style, 1-2-4-All combined with Conversation Cafe, and more! Check out the video and slides here:

Zoom Webinar using LS

Recording: Zoom Webinar

Slides:  Facilitating Collaborative Online Engagement using Liberating Structures



Liberating Structures Cards

Facilitating Collaborative Online Engagement using Liberating Structures

Hi everyone,

We wanted to let you know about an Online Liberating Structures Workshop coming up. Details below. Stay safe!

Vancouver LS User Group Team


Workshop Details

Title: Facilitating Collaborative Online Engagement using Liberating Structures

Date: May 22nd, 2020, Friday

Time: 11:00am-12:30pm

Location: Zoom Meeting

To register: check UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology for more details: https://events.ctlt.ubc.ca/events/facilitating-collaborative-online-engagement-using-liberating-structures/

If you don’t have a UBC CWL and would like to attend, please email barish.golland(at)ubc.ca.

Workshop description:

“In this workshop we’ll explore the amazing facilitation world of Liberating Structures, “a collection of simple, inclusive and fun interaction templates designed to facilitate generative engagement”. In transitioning to a remote environment have you felt exhausted, disengaged or isolated by constant sitting, screen time and passive listening? In this workshop, you’ll engage in engaging and interactive facilitation activities and strategies designed to be used in remote teaching environments that are easily replicated in your context whether you run big lectures, small seminars/tutorials, staff meetings, community events, and so on!”


  • Barish Golland, Training Lead, UBC Integrated Renewal Program
  • Zsuzsi Fodor, Engagement Strategist, Community Engagement | External Relations
  • Oral Robinson, Ph.D., Lecturer, Faculty of Arts, Department of Sociology
  • Emily Van Halem, Masters in Education Student, Faculty of Education
Updates, Virtual LS

Learning Liberating Structures Online

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Hello Everyone,

Fisher Qua and Anna Jackson who we know from the LS Global Community are running some sessions on Liberating Structures online. Here’s some info and more below when you go to the event link.

Also, stay tuned for our own plans for LS Online play and practice.

Cheers, Leva and Barish


In this weekly series, we will focus on a single Liberating Structure at a time and explore its purposes & uses in different contexts.

About this Event

Building on other efforts to help people creatively adapt to the new situations, scenarios, and conditions they find themselves in, we will begin offering something called Liberating Structures S/Lowdown.

In these 2-hour sessions, we will dig into individual Liberating Structures, together.

S l o w l y .

In each session, will explore the purposes and design considerations, imaginative invitations, contextual uses, and creative variations of one structure.

For more info: https://bit.ly/3bDlv2T


Liberating Structures Immersion Workshop May 22-23, 2020

LSThere is an opportunity this Spring to attend a Liberating Structures  Immersion Workshop in Vancouver, Friday May 22nd and Saturday May 23rd. Offered by Aprendix.Global, the workshop will be held at the Granville Island Hotel. Checkout all the details and register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-surprising-power-of-liberating-structures-2-day-immersion-vancouver-tickets-92955880541

Prior to the workshop on Thursday, plans are underway for a meetup of the Vancouver Liberating Structures User Group, so stay tuned for more information on that as we finalize details.


VLSUG Survey: Results Summary

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Hello and Happy New Year!

Last fall we posted a summary of the activities, we have conducted as facilitators of the Vancouver Liberating Structures User Group over the past three years. With that context in mind, we wanted user group members and LS practitioners to help us with ideas on next steps and how we can help everyone to more forward in their practice. 12 people responded to our survey. The summary of responses is as follows:

  • Majority identified themselves as from the post-secondary sector with some as independent consultants and from health care.
  • Most respondents noted that they were ready to “boldly fall forward and add more, new, lesser used structures to my repertoire”
  • Majority of respondents were most wanting to meet and practice with a few willing to co-facilitate. As well, four individuals offered their workplace as potential venues for a meetup.
  • The preferred times were quarterly meetings, occurring during the week from Monday-Friday  5 pm -7pm, or online.
  • There was marked interest in meeting online and in finding out local success stories, sharing case studies, and connecting and receiving support from fellow practitioners.

Based on this feedback, we plan to offer one online meetup and one face-to-face meetup for Spring 2020.

Additionally, we would like to invite users to come forward if they wish to join in on or organize informal café meetups to talk about Liberating Structures. Let us know and we’ll assist in connecting folks who want to do this!

Best Wishes,

Leva Lee and Barish Golland






Fall 2019 Survey Results

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Fall 2019 Survey Results

In joining the Vancouver LS User Group I would gain (12 responses)

  • LS blog
  • Sharing what I have been doing in Brazil and Canada within Immersions and Work with groups and communities.
  • Same as above
  • Sharing my experiences with using LS
  • Run a community of practice session.
  • My experience using LS, thought-partnership on putting LS into practice, and coaching people towards their goals
  • My experience as an instructional designer.
  • Share ways I’ve used??
  • energy, enthusiasm, questions, and facilitation (as desirable)
  • …my experience using LS F2F and online, other facilitation prowess, supporting others in their LS journey.
  • positive energy, a willingness to try and reflect
  • support, feedback and ideas

How might we learn together? (8 responses)

  • Online Synchronously, Online Asynchronously, Face-to-Face in a BC Regional Gathering (why not?..;)
  • Practice online + quarterly get togethers
  • Discuss things we’re working on, e.g. questions about what LS would fit the situation, or debrief a situation that didn’t work as well as hoped
  • Hold regular zoom calls -using LS virtually / come together as community of practice
  • Get people in a room, and learn from each others’ stories, experiences and challenges. Could be structured as Troika, Fishbowl, Improv Prototyping, or Wise Crowds for example.
  • This is hard…I was one of the people who didn’t make it to any of the after work sessions. I couldn’t muster up the energy to extend my work day further when I also wanted time with family and rest.
  • newsletter to feature success stories?
  • Brainstorming, practice and feedback

Please suggest a few possible venue/location for face-to-face LS user group meetups that would be conducive to participation for people living/working in various parts of the Lower Mainland. (If it is your workplace please note that below.) (6 responses)

  • CapU (my workplace)
  • BC Children’s/BC Women’s (my workplace)
  • Library rooms across Vancouver, Adler university
  • Set up an evening event or two as “probes” (ref. Cynefin framework)
  • Doing something locally (UBC) is most convenient or as part of an existing event (ie FoL)

Is there anything else you like us to know to help in our planning of next steps for the Vancouver LS User Group? (6 responses)

  • The last email update was awesome, with a clear retrospective of the Whats! Thanks!
  • no
  • How can we link the interest in inclusion, diversity, community/stakeholder engagement, organizational culture, change, and learning and development to LS? That would open up the audience/application space.
  • I sincerely appreciate all the work you’ve done and feel crummy about not participating.
  • I was introduced to LS through the BCODN’s Sunday Cafes and I was thoroughly intrigued. However, I did not know the extent of the work you’ve done or that there were other opportunities available to meet up/practice.
  • Do you conduct virtual meetings?



Liberating Structures Events in December 2019

Session: Long Term Strategy is Dead (?!) – Adapting Planning to a Complex World!

Date: December 7, 2019

Facilitator: Catarina Moreno

Time: 10am-2pm, coffee courtesy of Vantage Point but please bring your own lunch

Location: Vantage Point Training Room, 1183 Melville St, Vancouver, BC V6E 0A3

Cost: This is a free event.

Registration: The participant cap is 15 to allow for group work, the spots will be given on a first come first serve basis. Please reserve your spot or ask further questions by emailing cmlists123@gmail.com.

Description: Let’s explore and share a community or practice learning session on the emerging practice of Strategic Knotworking. Knotworking is both a set of Liberating Structures “strung” together to support strategic planning, and it provides a set of principles and opens a new way to work in complex contexts. It helps us to understand why we feel comfortable or uncomfortable with situations or decisions. As a basis for working agreements, it supports day to day decision making and as a practice it establishes a deeper understanding of the Liberating Structure, Ecocycle. We plan to work on a real project. If you have a project you would like to offer to the workshop let Catarina know. Participants are expected to have a basic knowledge and practice of Liberating Structures. There might be an informal social gathering after the session if there is interest and energy. This is not a training but rather a peer-learning session structured around experience, debrief, connections and deconstruction.

About the community of practice host of the dayCatarina has 15+ years of experience in managing people, programs and projects and is passionate about finding better ways to work together. She believes in the power of collaboration and capacity-building and is specifically interested in organizational culture and the opportunities inherent in change.


Session: How to Facilitate Structured Engagement to Unleash Everyone

Date: December 10th, 2019

Facilitator:  Barish Golland & Zsuzsi Fodor

Time: 2:45pm-4pm

Location: UBC, Irving K Barber Learning Centre, Chilcotin Room 256

Cost: Free

Registration: Required at https://events.ctlt.ubc.ca/events/how-to-facilitate-structured-engagement-to-unleash-everyone/

Description: Often in PowerPoint driven meetings, lessons, lectures and gatherings, there comes a point when eyes glaze over, heads turn down to phones/laptops, and disengagement starts to creep in. Have you ever experienced that, or been one of those attendees bored to tears by constant sitting and passive listening?

In this workshop we’ll explore the amazing facilitation world of Liberating Structures, “a collection of simple, inclusive and fun interaction templates designed to facilitate generative engagement”. You’ll engage hands-on facilitation activities designed to be easily replicated in your context whether you run big lectures, small seminars/tutorials, staff meetings, community events, and so on!

Prepare to move around, get out of your comfort zone and be fully present!