Sam Gonçalves – Digital Reporter
The idea for an interactive feedback exercise was being thrown around since the early days of planning for the forum. Initially, we intended for a simple exercise of the ‘write something on a post it and put it on the wall’ type.
As the programme for the day and plans for the space started taking shape though, the idea of responsiveness became a big part of the day. Participants would be asked to digest, feedback and reflect regularly during the day – while moving all around the large room. So it seemed like the feedback exercise had to encompass this fluidity.
The thought to make paper planes came from that focus on fluidity, or movement. It also came from the consideration that in the middle of two days full of discussions, it might be good to do something easy and fun, something that did not feel like another form and piece of paper to fill.
The process was:
- As participants arrived we handed them a blank A4 where we asked them to write an expectation they had for the day, alongside a small guide on how to make a simple paper plane.
- At the first break ask everyone to throw their planes at a target near the front.
- Gather and display the planes nearby.
- As participants to pick up someone else’s plane and write something they took away from the day.
Overall, the steps worked out as planned. A particular highlight was seeing people have fun throwing their planes, it felt like a positive vibe shift and an opportunity to be a bit silly.
The feedback gathered at the end showed an interesting journey with the overlapping writings of early expectations vs. ending insights. Some of them would reference each other, and actually be in some kind of conversation.
The ways in which people wrote on each plane also spoke to the different styles and perspectives in the room, allowing people to create an image together by doing completely different things.
Overall, the contributions on the planes at the end pointed towards the question of ‘what’s next?’, the ways we can keep, harness, and action this energy.
Participants identified that it was helpful to reflect on the day, especially in light of someone’s writing from earlier in the event. Overall, the exercise built a picture of expectations as well as the takeaways of the day. It served as a responsive and fun way to connect with strangers in a surprisingly and meaningful level.