SLU news

Facilitation is a matter of power

Published: 06 October 2020
Portrait photo of a man, photo.

We have come to the end of the workshop. Participants are checking out by expressing how they appreciated the joint work. Then the director, who has been skeptical throughout, says that he doesn’t see the value in what we have done together: ‘we need to focus on results but we are going round in circles’. Being the facilitator I, while he speaks, consider what I should do next. I know that the way I act will influence the events to come…

Blog post written by Martin Westin.

Facilitation plays a key role in efforts to transform society. Facilitators are tasked with enabling communication across worldviews. Sustainability transformation is value-laden, yet facilitators are most often conceptualized as neutral, standing un-biased outside of power relations.  In the Mistra Environmental Communication programme we instead try to figure out what it means to view facilitation as a matter of power.

Read more about facilitators and power in this blogpost in Swedish and in the thesis: Rethinking power in participatory planning: Towards reflective practice (PhD thesis Martin Westin).


Portrait photo of a man, photo.Martin Westin

Researcher at SLU