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Organizing a discussion group

Recruiting participants

  • Bringing together a diverse group of people will make the vision you create more powerful. Think about whose perspectives might be important according to your specific goals, and consider inviting people of different ages, backgrounds, ideologies, and racial, ethnic, and cultural groups.
  • If you have a few people already interested in participating, have them each invite one or two more people.
  • Consider whether there are specific individuals you’d like to invite, such as a relevant elected official or organizations from which you’d like to recruit a representative. If you don’t already have a connection with these individuals, a simple email invitation stating why you think their participation is important could work to get them involved. Don’t be afraid to follow up if you don’t hear from them immediately. Personal invitations are typically the most effective.
  • If you would like to host this discussion with a group you are already involved with, such as a church, you could make an announcement at a meeting, hang up flyers, send emails, talk with people face-to-face, or utilize whatever methods you know work well for the group.
  • Below are some promotional tools to help you recruit participants.


Tools for promoting your discussion group

Flyer for full-length version - Enter your name, phone, and email in the white box

Flyer for abridged version - Enter your name, phone, and email in the white box

Newsletter article template - Tailor this for your organization's newsletter or listserv

Logistical matters

  • Choose a site that participants can get to easily and provides a comfortable space for a two-hour discussion.
  • Find a day and time that will work well for everyone.
  • Find ways to make participation as easy as possible. Consider providing refreshments, childcare (if applicable), and carpools.
  • Generate an email list of participants for group communication.
  • Never facilitated before? Here's a short video with tips on facilitating, produced by the Nortwest Earth Institute


Discussion materials

  • Snacks
  • Flipchart or other large pieces of paper for recording group notes and for a doodle pad
  • Markers 
  • Post-its or small scraps of paper 
  • Pens and paper for individual note-taking
  • Copies of the participant discussion guide and specific handouts where noted
  • The Yahara 2070 stories, audio-stories, and graphics, which are available on this website


*Important: Everyone in your discussion group must read the Yahara 2070 scenarios or listen to the audio-stories (coming soon!) before you begin!

Register your group

Let us know about your discussion group, so we can keep track of how the guides are being used. Register here.

Evaluate the discussion guide

When your discussion group is over, let us know how it went by filling out this short evaluation. Your feedback is valuable for helping us ensure the discussion guides are effective.