Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from customers.


If you have any other questions, please Contact Us.

  • What is Ketso and how does it work?

    Ketso is a portable kit you can lay out on a table at group meetings and in workshops. Participants are asked key questions, and write their ideas on specially made ‘leaves’, before placing them on a central felt to create clusters of ideas.

    It’s proved to be more effective than having a few people simply talking through a meeting, as everyone can work on their ideas in parallel and no one is left out. The results are more structured and relevant. Using Ketso has greater impact compared to having a meeting based on discussion alone.

  • Why should I use Ketso instead of stick-on notes (e.g. Post-its®)?

    What makes Ketso so different is that it is more colourful and tactile than stick-on notes. It is also reusable.

    To some extent stick-on notes can be moved around and clustered like the leaves on a Ketso, but people respond better to sharing their thoughts using the interactive and hands-on tools in a Ketso than bits of paper. They feel more strongly that their ideas are being valued.

    The different colours and shapes of a Ketso make it easier to build a group picture with layers of information. They structure the information and make it easy to see the key ideas and links between them. For example, the different coloured leaves for different stages of the workshop helps you to clearly see the different types of answers in relationship to each other.

    The shape of the leaves has been designed so that they fit together easily, allowing you to put a lot of ideas together in a small space, and show the links between them – the leaves can point at the branches and at each other to create clusters, so you can see patterns more easily than with square Post-it ® notes.

    The fact that all of the individual ideas come together on the felt builds a picture of the group’s thinking, often revealing insights and new ideas from the patterns of leaves and icons.

    Ketso is easier to transport than paper based tools – the ideas don’t fall off or crinkle in the same way. The felts are designed to fit in a bag with the ideas in place, making it easier to write up a report afterwards.

  • How is Ketso different to mind mapping?

    Ketso is similar to mind mapping in many ways, as there are themes helping participants to organise their thinking around a central focus. A key difference between mind mapping and Ketso is that the pieces of a Ketso are moveable; participants can move their ideas around to create different clusters and themes.

    The fact that everyone has some leaves and a pen means that everyone’s voice is heard on an equal basis, which is not always the case with creating a mind map in a group, where it is likely that just one or two people will have a pen and act as scribe. The quieter members of the group may find their ideas are not included (depending on the listening skills of the scribe!).

    We have had comments from customers that participants need less training to be able to jump in and use a Ketso straight away, rather than being taught how to do a mind map. They found that they often generate more information in a workshop using a Ketso than with paper-based mind maps.

  • Who is using Ketso already?

    As of 2019, we know that at least 26,000 people have used Ketso in a workshop, in 66 countries (see map here).

    There is a huge range of customers in the public, voluntary and private sectors. These range from the NHS, to the Scottish Government, to small NGOs working with bereaved children and NGOs looking at ecological development in countries across Africa, and includes more than half of the Universities in the UK. Several large companies, including Airbus and Tesco, and SMEs have found Ketso a powerful tool for business planning and engagement with staff and customers.

    To get a feel for the range of customers and what they are doing with Ketso, browse our Case Studies.

  • Is there evidence that Ketso works?

    In an independent survey carried out by a PhD Student at Lancaster University, 88% of Ketso customers agreed that they had experienced substantive benefits from using Ketso. Download a report of this survey here (pdf).

    Since then, hundreds of Ketso customers have used Ketso to great effect – you can see our Case Studies to learn more.

    We decided to launch Ketso as a social business based on the evidence that it works. During Joanne’s PhD research at The University of Manchester, the hands-on approach she used to engage with community members was shown to help people to communicate with each other and to be confident in creating a vision for themselves. She found herself being asked by more and more people to run workshops with her hand-made tool. It was this demand that brought her to the realisation that Ketso could be used to enliven any workshop, and eventually led her to found Ketso as a social business.

  • Are there any academic journal articles about Ketso?

    10 academic articles have been written about Ketso as of March 2019 (that we know of so far!).

    You can see a full list in the Research & Data Gathering section of this How To, as well as a list of the 7 successful PhDs we are aware of that have used Ketso.

    If you know of any articles or PhD projects that we have missed, or are thinking of writing an article yourself, do get in touch! We would love to shout about your work.

  • How do I know how many Ketso kits I need?

    A Ketso 24 is designed for workshops with up to 24 people (3 tables of maximum of 8 people). It has three sets of three different felt sizes to allow for a range of exercises in a full workshop experience. If you are planning a workshop for more than 24 people, you would need to purchase (or rent) extra kits.

    A Ketso 8 has the same set of felt sizes as a Ketso 24, but is designed for one table of a maximum of 8 people (hence the names). This is a great kit for work with a team or when you know you will only be doing small workshops of focus groups with less than 8 people.

    A Ketso 3 mini has one set of smaller felts, used for up to three people at a time, or in one-to-one sessions or personal work.

    A Ketso 30 is used for small group (and often shorter) sessions, or for a series of one-to-one meetings / coaching sessions. It comes only with the smaller felt sizes. It can be used with up to 30 people, in 10 groups of a maximum of 3 people.).

    A My Ketso is for personal or one-to-one use. It makes a great addition to the larger kits, to extend the ways you can use your Ketso.

    You can learn more about the contents of a kit by browsing our shop.

  • Can I try Ketso out before I buy it?

    We offer a rental option, to allow you to try Ketso before you buy. If you decide that you want to buy a kit after renting it, we will take the rental price off the purchase price.

    The rental option is also great if you need to run a workshop for lots of people but can’t purchase several kits outright.

  • Can I see Ketso in use before I buy it?

    Contact us to see if there is a workshop or event near you.

    You can also get a good idea of how Ketso works from watching these brief videos.

  • I can't pay by credit or debit card. Can I pay by BACs/bank transfer or cheque?

    Yes, you can pay by BACs/bank transfer or cheque. To do this, go to checkout, select ‘Invoice’ and click ‘Place Order’. You will receive an order confirmation email, and we will email an invoice to you separately.

  • How long does a Ketso kit last?

    To be honest, we don’t know yet – but that is only because customers have been using the kits since 2009 and we have only so far had two reports of bags wearing out due to extreme use. The few requests we have had for replacements for other parts of the kit have come from customers who have lost or damaged parts of their kit in use. We guarantee the kits against wear and tear (and of course any defects) for a year.

    You can use Ketso many, many times, and you are more likely to lose bits before they wear out. We sell replacement parts in case you lose the odd leaf or pen as people pop them in their pockets as a souvenir.

  • How much does a Ketso kit weigh, and can I take it as carry-on luggage?

    One Ketso 24 weighs under 5 kg (4.6 kg). It fits easily into a carry-on compartment. Dimensions are 53 x 40 x 14cm.

  • What resources are available to me to help me use Ketso?

    We have provided a free, open source and growing range of resources to help you make the most of your Ketso here. These include short ‘how-to videos’, which go through how to plan and run a workshop. In less than thirty minutes you can go through the basic videos and get a good idea of how Ketso works, as well as learning top hints for planning and facilitating effective workshops.

    We recommend that you look at these resources whether or not your are an experienced facilitator. If you are already experienced in running workshops, they will offer a quick overview of how Ketso has been designed to expand your capacity. If you are new to facilitation, there is a wealth of information on running and planning workshops, so you can go into more depth.

    There are also a variety of free workshop plans that you can adapt to suit your own specific needs. If you have any questions on these, or would like to discuss your workshop plans ahead of time, get in touch.

    You can join the Ketso User Group on LinkedIN to draw on the experience of other Ketso users.

  • Do I need a licence to use Ketso?

    You do not need a licence to use Ketso. It is a product that you can use any way you like. We have created a set of resources to help make the most of your Ketso. We strongly recommend that you have a look at these How Tos, which distil the lessons we have learned over the last years through running several hundred workshops.

    You can download tried and tested example workshop plans, which you can adapt, here.

  • Can I use Ketso without formal training?

    You don’t need formal training to use Ketso. We do however recommend that you prepare well for your workshop, and ideally that you do a practice session using Ketso with friends or colleagues before you use it in a pressurised situation.

    Whilst Ketso is easy to pick up and use, we strongly recommend that you review these How Tos, to learn how it works.

    We can arrange bespoke training for your organisation. Find out more about the services we offer here.

  • Do you offer training?

    We are happy to come to your organisation to train a group of people in how to make the most of your Ketso and facilitating skills. Read more about our services here.

  • Can you come and facilitate a workshop for us?

    We offer facilitation services, and have run sessions for small groups (such as future strategy sessions where all the participants wish to focus on the actual content of the workshop) to large interactive events with hundreds of participants.

    Read more about the services we offer.

  • Are you going to produce an electronic version of Ketso?

    Ketso is primarily a tool for face-to-face interaction, but there is huge potential for digital versions to enhance collaboration. We are developing an eKetso version (slowly). The first prototype will offer a front-end that looks like a Ketso for data entry.

    In the meantime, we have developed a digital tool for analysing the outcomes of Ketso workshops (a bespoke excel spreadsheet). You can download the spreadsheet & guidance about how to use it here.

    In the long-term, we aim to develop an on-line platform for curating and analysing the data from multiple Ketso workshops.