It’s been 10 years since we launched Ketso as a social business. We now have a wealth of experience to share on running effective workshops. Since 2009, Ketso has been used to create effective change by more than 26,000 people in 66 countries. It’s fair to say, we have learned a lot ourselves as an organisation. That’s why the Ketso team has launched a new website, and developed our services to benefit existing Ketso users and encourage new customers to transform their organisations.

Ketso has been embraced around the world, in countries as diverse as Iceland, New Zealand, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, the USA and Barbados. It has now been used in more countries than the Ketso team has travelled to, and we thought we were well travelled!

Joanne has travelled around the world facilitating Ketso sessions.

Everyone contributes

We can verify one particular benefit from our own experiences facilitating with Ketso and through feedback from Ketso customers. When people use Ketso, they get to hear from everyone in the room. When that happens, people gain new insights and new ways of thinking about the issues they are facing.

Even just having a Ketso out on the table without planning to use it can help people’s voices to be heard, as one PhD researcher found in her fieldwork. In a cultural setting where men tend to dominate decision-making, she had brought a Ketso and laid it on the table to explain how it worked. The chairperson of the community group (male) decided they wouldn’t use the kit, instead opting to communicate in the conventional way. As he and the other men carried on talking, several of the women in the room picked up leaves and pens and started adding their ideas to the felt. Whilst we recommend using Ketso with guidance so everyone is actively involved, it is a great illustration of how the kit intuitively draws out collaboration.

Easier to access free resources

The Ketso team has run events with over 7,000 people. We have distilled the lessons learned through this experience, plus feedback from hundreds of other people using Ketso, into key principles for planning and facilitating an effective workshop.

Ketso suits small and large groups. It has universal appeal for improving communication for projects or learning.

Since the beginning, we have been making this information freely available to help people get the most out of their Ketso kits, but we discovered that people weren’t finding the resources. Indeed, after one conversation with a customer about analysing Ketso data, when we recommended the data analysis spreadsheet we created for this purpose, she exclaimed – ‘Why didn’t I know about this years ago?!’ This made us pause for thought – Whoops! Why was this so hard to find on our website?

In addressing this problem, we’ve since taken on board feedback from many Ketso users. With the help of our own Ketso, we designed this new website so that everything you might need is easier to find and use.

For example, our new How To section has a wealth of free resources. There is guidance on all aspects of running workshops and using Ketso, along with a library of workshop plans and slides to introduce the kit, which you can download and adapt to suit your needs.

Over the past decade, we have also entered and analysed at least 30,000 ideas from Ketso leaves. We have learned a lot about how to get a quick report from the data, pulling out the key points, and how to unearth the more in-depth themes and ideas from across multiple groups. The How To: ‘Recording & using results’ summarises this learning.

Ketso resources and training

As well as making the free resources more accessible, we wanted to highlight the services we offer to help people get the most from their Ketso. We have run at least 50 training sessions over the years, which have helped forge new partnerships and bring teams together in new ways of working. We have trained teams of facilitators who have gone on to do a huge amount of stakeholder engagement with community members and service users, such as in transforming health and wellbeing services.

We have also facilitated events on behalf of customers, including large scale events for 200+ people, so that the hosts can listen to what is being said. We take care of the process for them, gathering input from hundreds of participants contributing at once, and helping to make sense of the ideas.

“We have also facilitated events on behalf of customers, including large scale events for 200+ people”

Another thing we learned from running all of these workshops was that we needed a better way to clean and dry the leaves. We are proud to launch our new wash bags along with this new website. These are now included as standard in all group Ketso kits. They are also available to buy separately if you already own a kit.

It’s been the greatest adventure working with so many diverse organisations. We have enjoyed every minute of seeing Ketso kits steer development and grow ideas from all those people, whose opinions are so vital for informed and effective action.

We value the experience of the hundreds of Ketso customers we have talked to over the years. Please explore our new website to see the value that Ketso has brought to so many organisations, and find out how it can transform your group meetings, as well as the actions that come from them.