Host and participate in deeper, more valuable conversations that lead to meaningful results.

Schedule flex-time, online conversations where people can participate on their own schedules.
Use a hosting method that best achieves the purpose of the conversation.
Use the power of Trusted Networks to reach your target audience, increase relevance, and to protect privacy.

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Supports many hosting methods and purposes that most facilitators are already using.
Group pages keep all your group’s conversations and resources in one place.
Easy-to-use design tools and templates help you create effective conversations.
Scheduling is easier; people can participate in flexible time chunks, so more people can participate.
'Flex-time' enhances 'same-time' collaborations. Flex-time can be used to get people contributing ideas before a same-time event, and to keep people focused on the work in-between and after an event.
More time to reflect before responding can improve the quality and depth of the conversation.
Multiple Privacy Options: Conversations can be Public, Private, or spread via trusted networks.
A complete written record and harvesting tools make it easier to review, search and harvest the conversation

These Components can be Configured to Meet Your Needs:

Host Posts – are used to structure a conversation into distinct sessions, questions, agenda items or sub-topics to address.
Easy-to-Use Collaboration Design Tools - include use of conversation Templates and design guides for specific purposes and hosting methods.Templates also make it easy to replicate and re-use successful collaborations for new purposes or new groups.
Small Groups – can be used to break a large online group into small groups, and bring them back together again. Hosts can set group size and group assignment method to increase diversity or similarity, sharing ideas and insights.
Group Pages – Groups and organizations can create their own branded Group Page as a single container for all of their Trusted Sharing collaborations, plus easy links to their external resources, such as Google Docs, Dropbox, and calendars. Group pages can be private or open to the public.
Innovative and Scalable Harvesting Methods - make it easier to elevate best ideas, create summaries, and discover patterns for more effective sense-making and follow-up.
Use of Trusted Networks and Shared Interests – to widely spread participation in conversations, and to filter content of very large conversations for greater relevance.
Ratings and Data Analytics – can be used to drive content filters, to measure and encourage listening and cross-perspective dialogue; and to assist in harvesting ideas and solutions that have the most widespread support.

Two Ways to Make Same-time Events More Effective

 
  1. Start a Trusted Sharing conversation before a same-time event

    Start the collaboration with a Trusted Sharing conversation to get people to contribute ideas and to share their answers to key questions. This is a great way to jumpstart the same-time event by getting people thinking together in advance. Starting with a Trusted Sharing conversation also makes it possible to collect ideas from a bigger group in cases where not all stake holders will be able to attend the same-time event.


  2. Use Trusted Sharing Conversations to continue the discussion after or between same-time events.

    Very often attendees of an intense same-time meeting are excited about the results of the meeting (knowledge gained, contacts made, ideas generated). However, after people get back home the energy and momentum from the event starts to fade. Using a Trusted Sharing conversation after or between same-time events can help keep the conversations going. Structure the Trusted Sharing conversation to help the group go deeper into ideas and plans that have been generated, and to generate better follow-up.


 

Six Great Examples for Using Trusted Sharing:

Click on a example below to see more.

  1. A meeting ends before all the work is done
    Our meeting time is up, everyone has to leave and we haven’t finished getting everyone’s input on all the issues and there are still decisions to be made. It will take quite a while to get everyone together at the same time again.
    Solution
    Start a new Trusted Sharing conversation to finish this meeting. Each specific issue or agenda item can have its own Host Post. And there are no scheduling problems.
  2. People in the meeting have different interests and expertise
    We have a lot of issues for discussion and feedback. But some of us know or care a lot more about some items than others. We want to respect people’s time and interests by letting them choose which items to weigh in on.
    Solution
    Start a conversation with multiple simultaneous ‘sessions’ (Host Posts), one for each issue. Now members can come in and spend the most time on the issues that they care about. A summary of data, concerns, and recommendations can be written up for each issue so it will be easy for others to review. (No more sitting through long meetings to be present for a single agenda item.)
  3. We want to extend an in-person conference
    We’re planning a half-day in-person event with 6 speakers having about 30 minutes each. There will be limited time for Q & A with the speaker and networking with other participants. We want a way to keep the conversations going, and the knowledge exchange and networking going.
    Solution
    Plan a 2 day follow-up flex-time conversation on Trusted Sharing. Each session will have its own Host Post, hosted by the original speaker, so it will be easy to participate in the follow-up sessions you’re interested in. Each speaker or someone else can post a summary of the original talk, or complete text and slides, Q&A and discussion with the speaker can continue. At the end of the time, the conversation can be frozen, but the entire text will remain available for a month for people to search and review.

    There will also be a place where people can introduce themselves, find interesting connections, and get to know each other.
  4. We want to support specific hosting methods in flex-time
    We want to use a specific facilitation method for exploration, dialogue, consensus building, or decision-making. We may start the process with an in-person or video meeting to set the context and get the conversations going. But we also want to give people time to reflect and go deeper than could happen in an intense same-time event.

    Solution
    Trusted Sharing enables use of any one of many different facilitation methods which can be used in preparation and follow-up of same-time conversations, or as a standalone process extended in flex-time over a day to several weeks. Support for more facilitation methods or components will be added over the coming months.

    Some of the methods already supported by Trusted Sharing include: Appreciative Inquiry; World Café; Open Space; ToP Focused Conversations; Strategic Planning; Dialogue; SWOT; and more.
  5. A thought-leader wants to replace comments with a coherent conversation
    A popular blogger or writer for a Web publication gets hundreds of comments on almost every post or article. But a bag of disconnected comments is a chaotic and disappointing alternative to a coherent conversation. The writer would love to have a way to host a deeper and more coherent conversation about the issue he or she has just written about.
    Solution
    Use Trusted Sharing to host a conversation using an especially well-suited hosting method – for example, a Focused Conversation, Appreciative Inquiry, or a café type conversation that uses small groups, etc. Everyone will get more out of the process.
  6. Spreading Dialogue and Collaboration
    Social fragmentation and intergroup hostility is a critical problem because it prevents us from agreeing on and applying solutions to enormous problems that threaten us all. Dialogue and related collaborative methods have been proven to increase mutual understanding and coherent collaboration among previously isolated and hostile groups. But the question is: How do you make these methods scale to engage potentially millions of people and groups in constructive dialogue and collaboration?
    Solution
    Use Trusted Sharing to host a conversation using an especially well-suited hosting method – for example, a Focused Conversation, Appreciative Inquiry, or a café type conversation that uses small groups, etc. Everyone will get more out of the process.

    Trusted Sharing makes this possible by its support for effective hosting methods, use of trusted networks and shared interests to spread the conversations, use of small groups to increase engagement and scale, and special harvesting methods that can elevate best ideas supported across multiple perspective groups. This is a major innovation frontier for Trusted Sharing, and our most ambitious vision.
  7. Creating an Online Community of Practice for a Network of Professionals
    A network of geographically dispersed professionals wants to create an online community of practice to make it easier to share news and ideas, get feedback on plans and projects, and share answers and solutions to important questions.
    Solution
    Create a Trusted Sharing Group Page and invite members of the network to join it. A Trusted Sharing Group page is a branded container for group-related conversations started by organizers and members of the group.
    For example, group organizers and members can start conversations that will be interesting and useful for all members of the group, including conversations that enable the group to collectively explore and interpret relevant news, trends and new developments. Individual group members can also start conversations describing their work and current projects, and requesting ideas and feedback.
    Trusted Sharing Group pages also have spaces for sharing documents, events, relevant external links, etc. Group pages can be public or private for authenticated members only. Group pages are also a great value-adding resource for groups that meet regularly in person or via audio or video conferencing.
    Our advisor Nancy White has co-authored an excellent book about using technology to create and host successful communities of practice: Digital Habits: Stewarding Technology for Communities. See also Nancy's invaluable short article about designing and hosting asynchronous conversations.

Case Studies

Expanding a Short Course at NYU through Trusted Sharing
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Adding Trusted Sharing Conversations to a Consulting Process
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Facilitated Strategic Planning Workshop with TS Conversations Before and After
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Trusted Sharing Conversations Enhance Learning from Blogs
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