What are LGIs?
 When LGI?
 Future Search
 Open Space
 World Café
 More LGIs

The Toolbox choosing a Large Group Intervention method comprises a
mindmap with an overview and 9 charts for LGI methods, with a summary of characteristics, applications and conditions for success.


download the Toolbox choosing an LGI method


What are Large Group Interventions?      The term Large Group Interventions (LGIs) cover a wide range of methods, from the very structured (Future Search, Conference Model®, Search Conference) to those that are almost open (Open Space) and everything in between (such as Real Time Strategic Change, World Café, Participative Design, Simu Real). 

The guidelines for applying a specific method vary quite a lot, depending on the author. Our motto is: "Cook with the principles and take advantage of the recipes". After taking stock of several sources we made a mind map which you can use for choosing a suitable Large Group Intervention method (click on figure to enlarge). Some LGI methods can be used in small groups as well as large groups.

An LGI compared to a conventional conference:

Large Group Intervention

Conventional conference

Preparation by a cross-section of the system, preferably including parties from outside to the organisation

Preparation by a group of managers in consultation with the facilitator/adviser, or by the facilitator/adviser

Everybody’s truth is true. Learning from each other’s vision and perspective through dialogue. Differences are seen as enriching.

Discussion and debate are the main modes. There are right and wrong viewpoints. Differences are seen as a problem.

Change in the here and now

Participants talk about change

Everybody involved in the problem or issue is invited. There is a lot of knowledge and wisdom of the shop-floor.

Co-workers of the shop-floor are often not invited. Managers deal with strategic questions.

The (emotional) meaning of the issue is as important as its contents. Focus is on jointly giving meaning to a knowledge system with regard to its past, present and future and searching for a path to that future.

Focus is on the content of the issue, on problem solving and on drawing up plans that are to be implemented later by others.

A facilitator facilitates the conference and provides the conditions for efficient, effective and creative group work.

The conference is led by a powerful chairman, who can – consciously or unconsciously - control and dominate the process.

Learning from each other, developing a common knowledge system, is fruitful in itself and has an energising effect. Games and other interventions are used only to support the primary learning process.

Incentives, games and various kinds of trimmings are often used in order to ensure that the participants enjoy the conference, but distract from the primary learning process.

The conference is an integral part of a whole process, which is clear to everybody and based on various principles.

The conference is an isolated event. The main objective is “to have a good discussion” and to produce a list of intentions

Based on Rob de Wilde & Geverink, De Large Scale Intervention



For good descriptions of LGI methods see:


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