Tool "Welcome Space"

Language: English


  • To set a positive participatory tone for the Training course and make participants feel welcome.

This tool can be used for starting any seminar or training course. Objectives

  • To introduce key stakeholders and concepts of the training course
  • To introduce the educational approach and ethos of the training course
  • To provide space for pax to get to know each other
  • To introduce the flow of the programme
  • To provide the space for pax to express their expectations
Time 2 hours
Approximate number of participants 20 to 30
Age not relevant
Date published 23 Feb 2010, 17:09


*Videocamera *Paper *Post-Its *Markers *Laptop with quiz *Flipchart paper


A space with different ‘corners’ so that the different spaces can be visited by different people at different times.

Step-by-step instructions

Participants enter the “Welcome Space”. There are chairs and tables in the room, but they are arranged either to suit a ‘space’ or chaotically distributed. The team members are all at their ‘space’ ready to help and/or explain or facilitate. Soft, silent music is playing.

In the middle of the room is a ‘Info-Point’ with two flip charts hanging back to back, explaining what happens and where participants can go. It says: “This is the Welcome Space! We trust in your curiousness and don’t want to bore you with presentations. You can find out what will happen in the next week in many different spaces: The Programme Flow space can give you more information about the objectives of the Study Session and how we plan to achieve them. Visit the Portrait Space with a person you never met before in your life! Find out more and comment on the Stakeholders and Concepts of this Study Session. Leave a message for the future in the Video Space! Test your knowledge about where you are in the Council of Europe Quiz! Share your Expectations! The team is here to help you. But it’s all up to you and your initiative! Enjoy!

Space I: Programme Flow The programme is displayed in a ‘non-table’ way on a part of the wall. It could be a river, a volcano or something completely different (that, however, makes sense and symbolizes a flow). The display should also include the training course’s objectives and indicate how different programme elements are designed to support achieving those objectives. A team member is at this ‘space’ to explain to participants who come there the programme flow and answer possible questions.

Space II: Biographical Portrait Participants are asked to come here in pairs. They find material to paint each other’s portraits. While they paint, they should find out more about each other and symbolise that on the painting as well. If possible, there should be no words on the final paintings.

Space III: Video Messages One team member is located in a ‘booth’, made out of tables and chairs, with a video camera. Participants are asked to say into the camera a message for the rest of the group that will be displayed on the last day. This can include expectations, wishes, statements, concerns, feelings. The team member is operating the camera and if necessary ask the participants some questions.

Space IV: Stakeholder and Concept Space This space is primarily informational. On the wall are displayed on A3 Paper the key stakeholders in this training course: The Council of Europe, IFM-SEI, Participants. Around each of the stakeholders are smaller pieces of paper, indicating that stakeholders’ interest in this training course. For the CoE this could be: supporting youth organisations in developing the quality of their work / strengthening the capacity of youth workers in sustainably constructing Europe. For IFM-SEI our objectives are listed. The pieces of paper for the participants are empty, and participants who come there should add what they think is the interest of the group of participants in this StS. Then there are also concepts: Non-Formal Education and Human Rights Education. Around the piece of NFE are smaller pieces of paper saying: voluntary and self-organised learning, participative processes, learner-centred and flexible, openness and transparency, collective and shared evaluation, the right to make mistakes, individual responsibility for learning, group support of learning, sharing of results. Around the piece of paper with HRE are smaller pieces of paper saying: a process Participants are asked to write comments and questions on post-its and attach it to it, discuss with the other participants that are at that time at the space and see if they agree, what they think is difficult, what has inherent conflicts, etc. There is a team member to facilitate this process.

Space V: Expectations Space One another part of the wall is a big tree/ boat/ other symbol for expectations. There are post its available. Participants are asked to write on post its what they expect to get and to give in this Study Session as well as their fears. One point per post it. If they want they can add their name. Then they should place the post its on the drawing. Throughout the week they should come back to the tables every once in a while and remind themselves of what they wanted to achieve. At the end of the week we can look at the drawing and review how many expectations we have been able to achieve, and which we haven’t been able to reach.

Space VI: Council of Europe Quiz Participants are asked here to come in two teams of 3–5 participants, if they come alone they are asked to drag other by the hand form their teams at the place. They will compete against each other in a council of Europe Quiz. The winner team get’s some candy.

Attached files