The Davos Lab: Dialogue Toolkit An Initiative of the Global Shapers Community

Are you interested in hosting a dialogue to help advance the mission of the Global Shapers Community's Davos Lab?

If yes, welcome and read on! Whether you're a Global Shaper, or an interested individual or organization, this toolkit has been created to support you every step of the way – from designing to delivering your dialogue, to sharing your outcomes in our upcoming youth-driven recovery plan.

This toolkit uses the RECODE Cube (which stands for recursion, collaboration and design) created for us by our friends at the Value Web. Each side of the RECODE Cube is explored in this toolkit, along with guiding questions to help get you started, as well as best practices for further inspiration. This toolkit is a living framework, upload your best practices to the Davos Lab Library to be featured here.

We thank you in advance for contributing to The Davos Lab: Building our Future.


  • PurposeWhat change are we trying to make?
  • Players: Who do we need to make this change?
  • Structure: What is the right time, place and planning to make this change?
  • Process: What is the best design and sequence of interactions?
  • Facilitation: How do we best facilitate and support the work?
  • Sharing: How should the results of the work be shared further?

Defining up front the change you hope to achieve is the first step to designing a meaningful local dialogue.

To get started, first define your dialogue's objectives and desired outcomes. Think critically about how hosting a dialogue can help your hub to create impact in the future. Second, select one or more of 10 Pillars to concentrate your work and contribute to our desired outcomes. Remember, the end goal of The Davos Lab is not the dialogues themselves. Instead, by capturing and aggregating the insights, ideas and concerns of citizens and stakeholders, The Davos Lab will culminate in a youth-driven recovery plan featuring tangible actions to create a better future. By hosting a dialogue, we hope to inspire action, build collaborations and create change in our communities and the world.

  • Objectives refer to the ultimate results of the Davos Lab. They are aspirations and may only be achieved months after the report has been presented. They are usually described as verbs.
  • Outcomes refer to the tangible deliverables of a local dialogue. They are used as a checklist once a local dialogue is over to determine its success. They are usually described as nouns.

What are the objectives of your local dialogue?

  • To invite all interested citizens to contribute ideas and ensure that all voices are heard
  • To explore current challenges and potential solutions across different systems and topics
  • To synthesize recommendations to world leaders that must be heard and acted upon
  • To create a movement rooted in self awareness and fueled by the power of young people

What are the desired outcomes of a local dialogue?

While the objectives of The Davos Lab Dialogues stay the same, clarify your local dialogue's desired outcomes. They should be measurable through a post-dialogue survey. Here is a list of suggestions:

  • Develop shared language and an approach to a common problem among stakeholders
  • Generate a list of tangible ideas and recommendations through an exchange of information
  • Build new relationships for future collaboration among citizens and stakeholders
  • Work together to establish or reinforce a group that shares commitment
  • Collaborate to define roles and responsibilities for moving the work beyond the dialogue
  • Develop priorities and possible solutions in a collaborative process to share in the final report

Which topic(s) should we focus on?

While each hub is free to explore the topic of their choosing, interested individuals and organizations are encouraged to host a dialogue on one or more of The Davos Lab's 10 Pillars. These pillars have been proposed by Klaus Schwab and key World Economic Forum platforms. They are relevant to a large group of partners and coalitions, and require our generation's urgent thought leadership. Each pillar has a list of guiding questions that should be explored in local dialogues focused on this area. Pillars include: Inclusive Jobs, Next Generation Impact and Ethics, Digital Access, Digital Literacy, Net ZeroConscious Consumerism, Future of Politics, Public Safety, Public Health and Mental Health.

How should we select one or more of the 10 Pillars?

We recommend choosing the Pillar (one or more) that best connects to the challenges facing your community. Spend time as a hub exploring the issues, and ensure you're clear about your desired outcomes. In the long-term, the outcomes of your dialogue may evolve into a hub project. Therefore, keep in mind what you want to work on moving forward. Read the Best Practices below for more.

Where can we learn more about the 10 Pillars?

For a full description of each pillar, download The Davos Lab 10 Pillars Explained PDF. You can also connect with experts on the Davos Lab Taskforce or join a Pillar Working Group on TopLink.

Does hosting a dialogue count as a hub project?

No. In line with our hub project criteria, only initiatives that are aimed at meeting the immediate needs of a community and have an outcome of at least one life improved outside of the hub, can be considered as a hub project and uploaded to Toplink. Dialogues should instead be considered as a preparatory step for initiating or strengthening a hub project. A project idea or partnership may spark from your local dialogue, or it may help you to apply a systems lens to an existing project and find a new way to address the root causes of pressing issues. While your dialogue will not be accepted as a hub project, your hub will be recognized for its efforts with acknowledgement in the recovery plan.

Can we pick multiple Pillars?

Yes. If your hub has capacity and willingness to work on multiple Pillars and submit your relevant insights, we welcome your enthusiasm! Our only condition is that this work cannot paralyze ongoing hub projects and governance because all hub members are contributing to The Davos Lab.

Can hubs opt out of the Davos Lab?

Yes. Participation in The Davos Lab is not mandatory. While we hope that all hubs will host a minimum of one small local dialogue, we understand that many hubs operate in challenging contexts that may prevent them from participating in community campaigns and global initiatives.

1. Run co-design meetings with your hub on "purpose".

What is a co-design meeting?

When creating a hub project or hosting a local dialogue, we encourage hubs to involve all members in an co-design process. By involving all members, at least at the beginning, this will help to build hub coherence, create common understanding, maximize engagement and devise a collective plan for action. To ensure impactful activities, hub curators or small groups cannot operate alone.

We recommend following the RECODE cube throughout your co-design process. Schedule as many meetings, either in person or virtually depending on your local context, to cover each side of the RECODE cube and the corresponding helpful definitions, guiding questions and best practices.

How often should they take place?

We suggest running a minimum of four co-design meetings with your hub. Each meeting should last a minimum of 90-120 minutes. In the first meeting, we suggest you explore purpose and players, and define hub roles and responsibilities. In the second meeting, we suggest diving deep into the topics and selecting those that are most relevant to your local context. In the third meeting, with your topics in mind, we suggest you explore structure and process. And in the fourth meeting, explore facilitation and sharing, including debriefing your dialogue to see if you achieved your desired outcomes.

What should we do in our first meeting?

Below is an example of what you can do during your first co-design meeting as a hub focused on purpose and players. You can also explore the Global Shapers virtual session toolkit as inspiration.

We recommend hosting this session in February 2021.


  • Connect as a hub, recognizing the unique role each member has to play in this initiative
  • Share context about the Davos Lab and align on the overall Davos Lab objectives (see above)
  • Brainstorm potential topics and define the desired outcomes of your local dialogue
  • Agree on roles and responsibilities, and map out your timeline and next steps

Session Flow:

  • Start with a check-in: allow each member to introduce themselves or share an update on their current activities or wellbeing, either by sharing in person or writing in the Zoom chat (10 mins)
  • Do an energizing activity: whether playing an up-beat song, trying the counting game or practicing meditation, complete a ritual each time you meet as a hub to set the tone (15 mins)
  • Share the session's objectives:  frame the session and share with hub members why you are here and what you hope to achieve throughout the co-design process (5 mins)
  • Provide an overview of the Davos Lab: share the Davos Lab's objectives, guiding principles and topics; you may wish to circulate the Concept Note and Toolkit before the session (15 mins)
  • Facilitate a discussion about the topics: consider which topic(s) resonate most with your hub given the local context; invite participants to consider the various perspectives and experiences; you may wish to start with a reflection exercise; ensure that everyone gets to speak (20 mins)
  • Get immediate feedback: introduce a poll (if on Zoom) or vote on flipcharts (if in-person) to get immediate feedback and select the top 2-3 topics that the hub want's to explore further (5 mins)
  • Do a round of work: create breakout for the 2-3 top topics; ask participants to select the topic that resonates the most with them; invite each group to develop a list of key questions that need to be addresses or further explored in that specific area; ensure breakouts have a maximum of 5-6 participants, otherwise double-up on topics to maximize participant engagement (25 mins)
  • Invite members to share back: ask each group to share their results and invite members to listen for key trends and ideas; what patterns emerge; can we narrow down or be more specific about the topics or subdimensions that we want to choose for our local dialogue (10 mins)
  • Provide an overview of different players: see “players” session of this document, including roles and responsibilities; let members sign-up if there are outstanding positions (10mins)
  • Share next steps and timeline: start to think about a potential date and venue, if you plan to meet in person; identify your major milestones and dates of deliverables (20 mins)
  • Take time to check-out: provide participants the opportunity to share their reflections on the session; encourage them to share their commitments, emotions and reactions (10 mins)

Create space for all interested citizens and stakeholders to reimagine the Pillar(s) your hub or organization selected.

Hubs and other hosts are encouraged to create space for all interested citizens and stakeholders to share insights, opinions and recommendations on how to achieve more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous communities. Local dialogues bring together organizers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, city officials and most importantly, young people, to shape local issues and reimagine solutions.

When considering what "players" to include in your co-design process and dialogue, don't forget hub members, as well as speakers, beneficiaries, experts, partners and more. Consider the definitions, guiding questions and best practices below on how to engage your hub and others in your work.

  • Co-design team: 3-5 hub or organization members who are responsible for the design of your dialogue, engaging stakeholders and intentionally using all the six sides of the RECODE cube.
  • Facilitation team: 5-10 hub or organization members who are responsible for the delivery of your dialogue (this is bigger than a co-design team and depends on the size of your dialogue).
  • Participant group: People that you want to convene (their experience starts with an invitation and shouldn't stop when your dialogue ends. They may support your work in the long-term too).

What makes a well-functioning co-design and facilitation team?

Curators or one individual alone cannot deliver a successful local dialogue. Instead, local dialogues require commitment, collaboration and distributed leadership among a hub or an organization. From our experience, well functioning co-design and facilitation teams display the follow attributes:

  • Common vision: all contributing members understand the objectives and desired outcomes.
  • Mutual trust: trust is developed and maintained among the team and responsibilities are shared.
  • Shared responsibility: all members are willing to contribute to the dialogue's design and delivery.
  • Live our code of conduct: all members help create a safe space and provide honest feedback.
  • Ground rules: roles, goals and expectations are understood and agreed upon by all members.
  • Inclusive communication: team culture promotes free expression of ideas, thoughts and feelings.
  • Collective decision-making: when divides emerge, hub members strive to achieve consensus.
  • Fun: when hub members encounter complexity or challenges, they maintain a sense of humour.

How should we organize our co-design team?

Diverse experiences lead to powerful insights. To deliver your dialogue, collaboration is key. Consider establishing the following roles in your co-design team (if your dialogue is small, one person may fill multiple co-design team roles whereas if your dialogue is large, you may wish to have each).

  • Programme lead: responsible for facilitating the co-design process, engaging all team members, to deliver the local dialogue. This is also the primary point of contact to the Davos Lab Taskforce.
  • Logistics lead: responsible for determining the location (either securing a sustainable venue or determining what digital platform and tools to use). This requires strong attention to detail.
  • Participants lead: responsible for inviting, coordinating and interacting with participants. They share updates, track registrations and strive to make your local dialogue as inclusive as possible.
  • Partnerships lead: responsible for integrating external partners and/or local stakeholders into the event, including as speakers and participants alike. They should coordinate all speakers.
  • Communications lead: responsible for developing a website, media materials and social media activities. They also contribute ideas and insights to the Davos Lab's TopLink working groups.
  • Finance lead: responsible for fundraising, grant management, budget preparation and reporting, if required. This may only be relevant if you are planning a large in-person gathering.

What role do Curators play in the Davos Lab?

Hubs are governed by a Curatorship. Together, the Curator, Vice-Curator and Outgoing-Curator ensure hub members are united by a shared sense of purpose and work together to improve their local community. When it comes to the Davos Lab, the Curatorship should create space for all hub members to contribute to the initiative, including collectively selecting the topic(s) that resonates most in their local context. Curators do not need to lead the organization of their Local Dialogue. Instead, they should delegate Great Reset Lab responsibilities to a hub member or committee.

Can Alumni help lead Davos Lab-related activities?

Yes. If your hub has active Alumni members that would like to contribute their expertise to the initiative, this should be made possible given that all hub members support this idea.

Who should we invite as participants to maximize our impact?

Staying true to our design principles of intergenerational allyship and systems leadership, consider inviting participants from all walks of life, from inside and outside the system you're trying to shape. Participants should represent different generations, experiences and perspectives, including those that are critical or different to yours. Remember, representation and meaningful inclusion, including engaging those with lived experience, matters. Consider inviting organizers, activists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, city officials and young people, to influence local issues and reimagine solutions.

Can the Forum introduce me to government officials or business executives in my city?

Yes. While we cannot make one-on-one introductions for all hubs, we encourage Global Shapers to leverage the World Economic Forum's Great Reset experts network, as well as members of our sister communities, Young Global Leaders and Social Innovators. Search members by geography (country or city), area of expertise and send members messages/invitations directly on TopLink.

Working on the World Economic Forum's Great Reset Initiative on behalf of the Global Shapers Community, we hope will bring a unique opportunity for your hub to open its doors to community leaders across business, government and civil society to collectively shape our future. HQ will provide outreach templates to all participating hubs to make introductions easier.

How many participants should we aim to invite?

There is no right or wrong number of participants. Whether it's five friends around a dining table or a virtual town hall with 200 or more citizens, the quality of a dialogue is more important the quantity of participants. Remember, to take the number of participants into consideration when determining the length of time you will need for your dialogue. The more people, the more time you will need.

Depending on the number and level of participants you wish to invite, aim to send invitations at least 4-6 weeks in advance of your dialogue. Encourage participants to rsvp at their earliest convenience.

What type of local dialogue should we run? Is it a safe space or open space?

This is where “Players” connects back to “Purpose” and “Process” in an iterative way. You may choose to host a formal session with high-profile participants and media. In this case, consider putting in place specific guidelines and a structured agenda to set the tone for your dialogue. On the other hand, you may prefer to run an informal dialogue that allows for ideas to emerge. In this case, its important to create a safe space upfront and to align on ground rules together to make this a worthwhile and inclusive experience for all. Consider applying the Chatham House Rule.

What story are we trying to tell? Why should participants engage in dialogue?

Our goal as Global Shapers is to drive dialogue, action and change. By hosting a dialogue in your city, you help to advance this mission. We hope that by hosting a dialogue, you will create space to engage with your community, listen to the needs of stakeholders and understand what type of change is required to create a more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future in your context.

By participating in a dialogue, citizens will hopefully:

  • Advance their knowledge on a local issue and/or a pressing challenge in your city
  • Connect with other citizens across stakeholder groups, generations and perspectives
  • Shape the principles, policies and partnerships needed to drive a robust recovery locally
  • Influence the action taken and/or impact created by young people through local projects

2. Run a co-design meeting on "players and structure."

Now that you have clarity on what you want to achieve and what topics you want to focus on, use the second co-design team meeting to dive deeper into who you need to be part of the dialogue. Again, use at least 2 hour for this co-design team meeting, and don't forget to have fun.


  • Reconnect as a team and share the main takeaways and outcomes of your last meeting
  • Revisit your overall objectives and discuss how this should inform your targeted audience
  • Develop a list of participants (remember representation and meaningful inclusion matters)
  • Approach and invite participants (including those with lived experience on the issue selected)
  • Select a date for your dialogue (including a venue, if it is safe and you plan to meet in person)
  • Align on next steps and connect back to the Davos Lab Taskforce, if you have any questions

Session Flow:

  • Start with a check-in: allow each member to introduce themselves or share an update on their current activities or wellbeing, either by sharing in person or writing in the Zoom chat (10 mins)
  • Do an energizing activity: whether playing an up-beat song, trying the counting game or practicing meditation, complete a ritual each time you meet as a hub to set the tone (15 mins)
  • Share the session's objectives: frame the session and share with hub members why you are here and what you hope to achieve throughout the co-design process (5 mins)
  • Review your work: share the outcomes of your last meeting and discuss if anything has changed with regards to your selected Pillar and your dialogue's desired outcomes (15 mins)
  • Run a stakeholder mapping exercise: identify all stakeholders and citizens involved in shaping the pillar you selected practicing intergenerational allyship and systems leadership (45 mins)
  • Invite each hub or co-design team member to individually brainstorm potential stakeholders (this can be various categories or specific names); write them down on (virtual or physical) post-it notes and invite each participant to share ideas, clustering alike ideas into common buckets
  • Prioritize your buckets of stakeholders into essential, important and interesting, and decide as a group which ones to focus on (this may depend on how many participants you wish to engage)
  • Once priorities are clear, brainstorm specific names, if you have not yet already done so (identify who in the hub or co-design team already has a connection or draft a general invitation)
  • Share next steps and timeline: finalize the date and venue of your dialogue, if you plan to meet in person; revisit your major milestones and develop a list of logistical to-do's (20 mins)
  • Take time to check-out: provide participants the opportunity to share their reflections on the session; encourage them to share their commitments, emotions and reactions (10 mins)

Determine the right time, place and planning to support your participants towards achieving your desired outcomes.

Structure involves the critical elements of planning, securing and scheduling your local dialogue. For example, this is where you decide if your local dialogue should take place virtually or in-person. This is where you also consider potential funding or resource needs, if you do plan to meet in person.

  • Virtual meeting: gather your participants online through the use of a video conferencing tool.
  • In-person event: if it is safe to do so in your city, meet with dialogue participants face-to-face.

How should we decide if our dialogue should be in-person or virtual?

Consider the health and safety guidelines in your community first. Given the current circumstances, meeting virtually might be your best option. If guidelines allow, consider having a small group meet in person who then all connect virtually. In addition, consider internet bandwidth if you plan to host a virtual dialogue: is it strong enough for everyone to join via video? Will all participants be able to use a computer or phone to join the session? If not, what other ways exist for them to join?

What virtual platform do you suggest using?

We recommend using Zoom Meetings to host your dialogue, as we believe the solution offers the best video, audio, screen-sharing, in-app messaging and breakout experience possible. In the free plan, Zoom Meetings you can convene up to 100 participants. You can also try Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Run the World, or Hopin (remember, most platforms offer a 14-day free trial).

When should our dialogue take place?

Your local dialogue should take place between 25 January and 25 April 2021.

How long should our dialogue be?

The length of your dialogue should depend on the complexity of the Pillar you selected, the number of participants you invited and the format you prioritized (for example, virtual or in-person). If your dialogue is virtual, consider 2 to 4 hours maximum, including regular breaks throughout the session. If your dialogue is in-person and depending on the number of participants invited, consider a half-day or full-day workshop. Either way, integrate a variety of activities to keep participants engaged.

If we want to run it in person, what is the most appropriate venue?

To select a venue that is sustainable and inclusive, consider the following questions:

  • Does the venue allow a large plenary space that brings all participants together and breakout rooms for smaller discussions (this is also an important question for selecting a virtual platform)?
  • Is the venue accessible for participants of all abilities (for example is it wheelchair accessible, does it have visible signage or is it easily accessible via public transportation, etc.?)
  • Does the venue have sustainability practices in place (for example waste diversion or energy and water conversation, or does the venue work with conscious suppliers and caterers, etc.?)
  • What kind of furniture does the venue have to help participants collaborate? What kind of seating does it have: high stools, moveable chairs or no seating at all? Does it have tables?
  • What tools are available at the venue for your use? Are there whiteboards and flip charts to capture notes and ideas or low-consumption screens and projectors?
  • Finally, what kind of ambience is there? Does it have natural light? Is there a sound system to keep participants engaged? Does noise from the outside risk affecting your dialogue? Will the environment overheat or be too cold? Can you set the temperature or avoid air-conditioning?

What branding considerations should we make?

Apply your hub's logo to branded materials that are either printed or digital. Ask Global Shapers HQ or your Community Manager for a high-resolution logo of your hub. Remember, use of the Global Shapers Community and World Economic Forum’s logos are not permitted in your local dialogue.

Can we use the World Economic Forum's logo?

No. As per our branding guidelines, the World Economic Forum's logo is reserved for its own events, activities and initiatives. While we understand hubs would like to include the World Economic Forum in their promotional materials, we ask that you respect the relationship we have with the Forum. Additionally, the Global Shapers Community logo is reserved for activities that are led by HQ.

What inputs for our dialogue do we need to prepare?

Defining a list of thought-provoking questions for participants to explore is the easiest way to prepare for a meaningful dialogue. Consider the key questions developed by the Davos Lab Taskforce on each of the 10 Pillars. These questions should inform the overall design of your local dialogue.

There is no need to prepare detailed input material, though you may wish to share the discussion questions and briefing materials created by the Davos Lab Taskforce with participants before your dialogue. You may wish to also invite relevant experts to share insights at the start of session, even potentially opposing points of views. Yet be aware that too much input from experts upfront may limit the creative idea generation of participants. Most important is leaving time for true discussion.

Next, design your dialogue and the specific sequence of interactions that will achieve your objectives and outcomes.

Process refers to your dialogue's programme and the series of interactions that will help you to achieve your objectives and desired outcomes. Remember, you're designing for participants of all ages and stakeholder backgrounds: they should be diverse in terms of expertise, education, income and race – but should be united by a desire to create positive change. Your design should reflect this.

  • Design refers to the participant journey that you are putting together. You could also call it the agenda, programme or session flow for your local dialogue.
  • Modules are a different rounds of work or a short sequences of interactions that are combined into the overall design. They take participants' learning styles into consideration, such as listening, seeing and doing. As participants work together on different modules, provide guidance through written assignments; that way groups can easily facilitate themselves.

What is an example design for a virtual dialogue?

If you're convening your dialogue virtually, design a programme that is interactive and fun, countering the usual Zoom fatigue. Build in energizers, music and movement. Prioritize virtual breakout groups rather than a webinar set-up, where participants can actively contribute to the conversation. Refer to the draft agenda/ programme in the Global Shapers Virtual Session Toolkit, which you can adapt and tweak to meet the objectives and desired outcomes of your local dialogue.

What is an example design for an in-person dialogue?

If you're convening your dialogue in-person, consider the space you're hosting it in and how this impacts the design of your dialogue as everything speaks. For example, ensure a large enough space where participants can be all together and can breakout separately for smaller discussions. Provide materials for participants to capture their work and share insights for the recovery plan. Design a programme that is interactive and fun. For example, consider this high-level flow:

  • Start with an networking activity: allow participants to introduce themselves and get to know the others in the room to ultimately identify common interest and potential action (25 mins)
  • Give brief introductory remarks: introduce The Davos Lab concept and share how your dialogue connects to other dialogues taking place in 150 countries around the world. Explain what you hope to achieve in today's dialogue and what participant's can expect. Refer to this overview to help you prepare your speaking notes and consider using hand-drawn slides with key information, rather than a full power-point presentation to maximize engagement (15mins)
  • Run a module on creating shared-language: split participants up into groups of 5-6 who work in front of a flipchart and invite the groups to reflect about the Pillar(s) you've selected; give the groups a written assignment to dive deep into the issue, why it is an issue and what happens if we don´t do anything about it? Remember, this is not yet about identifying solutions (and depending on the desired outcomes that you have defined from the start, maybe your local dialogue will in fact not come up with any solutions at alI). Rather, its about facilitating an open conversation and creating a shared definition of the problem between stakeholders (45 mins)
  • Gathers groups and share key takeaways: come back together and invite each group to report back and share their understanding of the problem and the urgency or importance of collective action; facilitate a discussion to identify commonalities between groups (25 mins)
  • Run a second module on the guiding questions: first run an individual exercise to give each participant an opportunity to formulate their own insights; share the guiding questions on The Davos Lab Pillar(s) that you've selected (you may wish to prioritize 2-3 questions or task each participant a different question); give each person a stack of post-it notes and ask them to write down their answers or ideas on the guiding questions – one insight per post-it note (15 mins)
  • Facilitate a domino report back: invite participants to share one post-it note at a time, clustering alike ideas from all participants on a central wall; the report back should be quick and to the point; the first participant sets the pattern, making sure that its energetic from the start (one participant starts by sharing one post-it note; before they continue, ask if the others have a similar idea; if they do, invite them step forward and place their post-it note next to the first one; if there are no more alike post-it notes, move on to the next one; continue until there are no more post-it notes left); avoid long read outs and ensure everyone gets the chance to speak (45 mins)
  • Build in ample break time: invite participants to get fresh air to maintain the energy of the group; this is your time to huddle with the facilitation team and discuss how the session is going and if any changes need to be made to your agenda/programme by reading the room (10 mins)
  • Run a fishbowl conversation: as the final exercise, set chairs in concentric circles with an inner circle of 5-6 chairs; the facilitator sits in the inner circle and shares the rules of a fishbowl which are that only the inner circle can speak, however every participant can join the inner circle by simply tapping the shoulder of someone in the inner circle; the conversation starts with focused reflection on the common clusters of ideas identified on the wall and moves into what it takes to bring about change; ideally a member of the facilitation team captures this discussion, either as a hand-drawn mind-map on a large flipchart or directly as text on a computer (45 mins)
  • Close the session and share next steps: acknowledge the contributions of participants and thank them for their time and thoughtfulness; outline what comes next for The Davos Lab including that their insights will contribute to a youth-driven recovery plan featuring tangible actions to create a better future and may also influence your hub's upcoming projects (10 mins)
  • Invite participants to share takeaways: create space for participants to share their feedback on the session and how they may apply their learnings in their individual context (15 mins)

Is one dialogue sufficient, and how should we follow-up afterwards?

One dialogue is sufficient, but you may wish to consider inviting all participants back together to share the young-driven recovery plan and millennial manifesto in June/July 2021. Here, you can present the key findings from all local dialogues and share your hub's next steps and projects. Don't forget to share a short summary of your dialogue with participants ideally 3-4 days after the session. You may also wish to share a post-dialogue survey to capture participant feedback or other ideas..

Can we share The Davos Lab Survey in our dialogue?

Yes. Invite participants in your session to take The Davos Lab Survey via wef.ch/gsc-davos-lab-survey either before, during or after the session, to capture relevant insights for the youth-driven recovery plan and millennial manifesto. This survey is open to all citizens and we aim to reach as many people as possible. You can share it on your hub's social media pages or in your invitations.

Do we have to host a virtual or in-person session? Or what other formats can we select?

No. The opportunities for contributing to The Davos Agenda are endless. Rather than hosting a virtual or in-person dialogue, your hub can consider: hosting a podcast featuring diverse community voices; convening a conversation between neighbours around the dining table; or conducting a series of interviews with relevant stakeholders on one or more of the 10 Pillars. Your dialogue can be as big or small, formal or informal, planned or spontaneous, structured or creative as you'd like. Be as imaginative as possible and remember, it's about creating space to talk about the issues that matter.

3. Run a co-design meeting on "process".

Now that you have clarity on your purpose, which stakeholders should join and how you will organize the logistics of your local dialogue, your third co-design meeting should focus on designing the participant journey and experience. Set aside at least 2 hours for this co-design team meeting.


  • Reconnect as a team and share the main takeaways and outcomes of your last meeting
  • Revisit your overall objectives and discuss how this should inform your dialogue's design
  • Check the status of invitations and registrations and plan your session accordingly
  • Co-design the most appropriate design and facilitation approach, including all interactions
  • Identify who will be in the facilitation team (both internal and potentially external facilitators)
  • Align on next steps and connect back to The Davos Lab Taskforce if you have any questions

Session Flow:

  • Start with a check-in: allow each member to introduce themselves or share an update on their current activities or wellbeing, either by sharing in person or writing in the Zoom chat (10 mins)
  • Do an energizing activity: whether playing an up-beat song, trying the counting game or practicing meditation, complete a ritual each time you meet as a hub to set the tone (10 mins)
  • Share the session's objectives: frame the session and share with hub members why you are here and what you hope to achieve throughout the co-design process (5 mins)
  • Review your work: share the outcomes of your last meeting and discuss if anything has changed with regards to your selected Pillar and your dialogue's desired outcomes (10 mins)
  • Co-design the best participant journey: first, identify your design constraints, i.e. how much time you have; what the venue is like; whether its in-person or virtual, etc.; second, explore the overarching journey that participants need to go on in order to achieve the desired outcomes that your hub defined from the start and begin to develop a design that has three elements – 1) scan: a phase where participants get to know each other and create a shared language; 2) focus: a phase where participants dive into the Pillar and explore the guiding questions; and 3) act: a phase where all participants come to conclusions, create a synthesis of key ideas for the recovery plan, and feel part of the change we are trying to create locally and globally; finally, brainstorm different activities that you could run in each of these three phases, encouraging team members to share past experiences or activities that they've enjoyed; be as creative as possible (60 mins)
  • Identify who will facilitate the session: select a front-of-zoom or a front-of-room facilitator and identify how every member of the facilitation team will support the participant journey (15 mins)
  • Take time to check-out: cover any remaining to-do's and provide participants the opportunity to share their reflections on the session; encourage them to share their commitments (10 mins)

Reflect on the ways your facilitation team can deliver the best possible participant experience.

Facilitation refers to the delivery of your local dialogue, including how you organize yourself as the facilitation team to create the best possible participant experience. The facilitation team must embody the behaviours you want to see in participants. The way each member of the team focuses, collaborates, listens, responds, engages and speaks will be copied by participants. Therefore, be aware of your own behaviors and the patterns you set for the group. Practice co-creation, collaboration and creativity. This is a facilitation approach, not just a moderation approach.

  • A facilitator is a person who is deeply embedded in the participants´ experience. They sense the group´s energy and do not shy away from adjusting the programme in the moment to meet what the group needs. They have great listening skills and knows how to work with emergence.
  • A moderator is a person who runs a panel discussion with guest speakers. They are able to guide the conversation and synthesize the dialogue's outcomes at the end of the session.

Who is part of a virtual facilitation team?

If you run your session virtually, you usually need 2-3 roles: a front-of-zoom facilitator, a process facilitator (Zoom host), and a content owner who manages the chat and synthesizes the outcomes afterwards. Learn more about virtual facilitation roles in The Global Shapers Virtual Session Toolkit.

Who is part of an in-person facilitation team?

If you run your local dialogue in person as a larger session with 60 or more participants, consider the following roles in addition to the lead facilitator (some roles can also be combined):

  • Process facilitator: responsible for coordinating the facilitation team, scheduling regular check-ins, maintaining team energy and focus; and staying on step-ahead in the participant journey.
  • Logistics lead: responsible for time-keeping to ensure all activities and sessions run on-time, including the arrival of transportation, participants, catering or materials used in the live session.
  • Registration lead: responsible for coordinating participant registration and arrival, including distributing name badges and welcome packs, and collecting payments if applicable.
  • Environment lead: responsible for room setup and the overall look and feel of your dialogue, coordinating the team to design and refresh spaces as needed throughout the session.
  • Production lead: responsible for creating and sharing knowledge objects and assignments when needed and capturing participants' ideas to share after in the recovery plan and manifesto.
  • Speakers manager: responsible for ensuring speakers arrive on time, are properly briefed and reminding them of the audience and specific features of the session agenda/programme.
  • Music: responsible for selecting and playing music that fits the theme and tone of the session.
  • Photography: responsible for capturing photos of participants or work, if desired.

How does the facilitation team support the local dialogue and work together as a team?

24 hours before your local dialogue takes place, walk through the programme minute-by-minute with your facilitation team. Ensure every team member knows their responsibilities and – if you're meeting in person – visit the venue together to bring the event to life. Once your dialogue begins, organise regular check-ins to revisit the agenda, coordinate set-up, ask for help or share highlights on the day.

How can you best prepare as a facilitator?

It all starts with your own self-awareness. What is most present with you as you embark into the participant journey and dialogue? What is your intention for yourself and for the group? How do you model the behaviour that you want to see in the facilitation team and the participants themselves? Review the session agenda in detail and don't be nervous, everyone wants you to succeed!

How do you facilitate difficult conversations when we face opposing views?

Conflict is going to be a part of your life — as long as you have relationships or a job. Bracing yourself against it won’t make it go away, but if you approach it consciously, you can navigate it in a way that not only honors everyone involved but makes it a source of deep insight as well. If you are interested, refer to Diane Hamilton´s work on a “Zen approach to conflict resolution”. She teaches us how to:

  • Cultivate the mirror-like quality of attention as your base for navigating difficult conversations
  • Identify three personal conflict styles and determine which ones you fall into and when
  • Recognize three fundamental perspectives in any conflict situation and learn to inhabit each one
  • Turn conflicts in families, at work, and in every kind of interpersonal situation into a win-win

Can we team-up with an external facilitator?

Yes. External facilitators can help guide your dialogue or build the capacity of your hub members. Yet, remember that your hub owns the desired outcomes. Ensure that you have a hand in creating the path towards those outcomes. In addition, why don't you embrace the incredible learning opportunity that stepping into the facilitator role poses for the first time and when you have a whole facilitation team to support you? Do you really need someone outside the hub to jump in?

Sharpening your skills as a facilitator comes along with cultivating different abilities. Here is an overview of the skills a facilitator must possess to create a positive experience for participants:

  • Practice deep listening: facilitating requires not only that you deeply listen to participants but also that participants deeply listen to each other. Read Otto Scharmer´s four levels of listening.
  • Be aware of differences: read the HBR articles To Build an Inclusive Culture, Start with an Inclusive Meeting or Run Meetings That Are Fair to Introverts, Women and Remote Attendees.
  • Build trust: establish group norms at the beginning of your session, especially expectations on how the group will work together, practice confidentiality and handle conflict, should it emerge.
  • Sense energy and flow: cultivate awareness of self through meditation and awareness of others. Meditation also helps to embrace silence. If you ask a question and no one answers, avoid answering the question yourself. Set an expectation for a lively dialogue, not monologue.
  • Move toward conflict (not away from it): in almost every discussion, disagreements are inevitable. Experienced facilitators expect disagreement — and even welcome it — for an authentic conversation. If conflict however arises, revisiting the group norms is often helpful.
  • Invite (but don't force) participation: it’s common for a few people to speak more than others in the group and this is ok! Watch for eye-contact, facial expressions, or subtle motions that quieter people might make when they're ready to talk — and ensure that have a chance to do so. Giving people space to contribute at the right time for them will result in a much richer dialogue.
  • Focus on questions, not answers: facilitators are there to help participants advance on both their individual and collective goals. Although you may have extensive knowledge on the topic, the goal of facilitation is to help the group move forward, not to convey your knowledge (that’s training). Focus your preparation time on questions to ask rather than answers to provide. For help, read the SSIR article Creating a Better World Means Asking Better Questions.

Share the insights and outcomes of your dialogue and contribute to the youth-driven recovery plan.

The Davos Lab will culminate in a youth-driven recovery plan featuring tangible actions to create a better future. The recovery plan (crowdsourced though local dialogues and surveys held around the world) will be launched at the World Economic Forum's Special Annual Meeting 2021 and will focus on ten big recovery efforts to reset economic, social and environment systems. It will also outline a new vision for youth activism and collective action for the current decade and beyond.

  • Youth-driven recovery plan: this is the final output of The Davos Lab and will focus on ten big recovery efforts with tangible actions to reset economic, social and environment systems.
  • Millennial manifesto: this is another output from The Davos Lab and will outline a new vision for youth activism and collective action for the current decade and beyond, focused on self-inquiry, systems leadership, intergenerational allyship and other principles and practices.

How do we share the insights and outcomes from our local dialogue?

A dedicated taskforce of young people will collaborate in working groups to synthesize insights from local dialogues and co-author the youth-driven recovery plan and millennial manifesto. To contribute to both deliverables, dialogue hosts can upload their insights and outcomes using this form. All contributors will be acknowledged in the recovery plan presented at the Annual Meeting 2021.

How can we compare our learnings with other local dialogues?

Join a TopLink Working Group to connect with other Global Shapers and The Davos Lab Taskforce members working on one or more of the 10 Pillars. Share best practices for hosting a dialogue or the takeaways, outcomes and key findings of your dialogue to contribute to the recovery plan.

What learnings, insights or outcomes should we share?

Be sure to communicate the results of your dialogue to participants and The Davos Lab Taskforce. Take time to synthesize the outcomes together with your co-design team and reflect back on how the outcomes fit with the original purpose that we set. In addition to documenting the content and key outcomes in a deliverable, also keep on eye on what went well and the challenges you faced.

What steps should we take as a co-design/facilitation team to share?

Immediately after your dialogue ends, convene your co-design and facilitation team to look at the outcomes of the session. Either scan the participants' work on the flipcharts in the room or on the template from the virtual session. While the discussion is still fresh, write down the key take-aways as participants shared them. Try to stay away from bringing in your own point of view as we are interested in truly reflecting what matters to all stakeholders that have been part of your dialogue.

What should we share with dialogue participants?

Share a summary of your dialogue with participants, including a thank you message, ideally no later than 3-4 days after your session. Your summary can be written or it can be a graphic depiction of key insights, hand-drawn by a member of your hub. Alternatively, you may wish to create an art piece, draft a blog entry, or film a video recap. It's up to you, but don't forget to share this on TopLink too!

Can we share the outcomes of our dialogue on social media?

Yes! Depending on the confidentiality agreement you make with participants during the session, we encourage all hubs to share your dialogue's outcomes and takeaways on social media using the official hashtag #DavosLab and tagging @GlobalShapers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. If your dialogue is under Chatham House Rule, remind participants to share the information they receive on social media but do not reveal the identify of who said it.

How can we share our feedback with the taskforce?

The Davos Lab Taskforce wants to hear your feedback and ideas. Write to the taskforce on TopLink or contact a member from your region. The taskforce consists of 25 members who work together to help mobilize local dialogues and surveys, as well as synthesize key findings into a youth-driven recovery plan to be launched at the 2021 Special Annual Meeting. See taskforce members here.

4. Run a final co-design team meeting on "sharing".

Now that you have successfully completed your local dialogue, come together with your hub's co-design team and facilitation team to make sense of the outcomes creating an overall synthesis. Again, Set aside at least 2 hours for this co-design team meeting and have fun together.


  • Reconnect as a team and celebrate your delivery of a successful local dialogue
  • Revisit your overall objectives and discuss if your achieved your desired outcomes
  • Review the final outcomes of your session and develop a synthesis of key insights
  • Align on next steps and upload your outcomes via The Davos Lab Insight Form

Session Flow:

  • Start with a check-in: allow each member to say hello and share an update on their current activities or wellbeing, either by sharing in person or writing in the Zoom chat (10 mins)
  • Do an energizing activity: whether playing an up-beat song, trying the counting game or practicing meditation, complete a ritual each time you meet as a hub to set the tone (10 mins)
  • Share the session's objectives: frame the session and share with hub members why you are here and what you hope to achieve throughout the co-design process (5 mins)
  • Reflect on the insights from your dialogue: start with a short meditation that brings back memories of the session; then take turns and invite everyone to share one highlight, and one improvable; ensure that someone on the team takes notes and captures all points (30 mins)
  • Review the participants work: take time to read the flipcharts and templates, and take notes on your own notepad about what you see: what is emerging, what are key themes, where are areas of agreement, where are areas of disagreement - play music in the background (15 mins)
  • Run a facilitated debrief: highlight the key themes that are emerging and capture them on a central template; potentially prioritise key themes and put them in a particular order (60 mins)
  • Share key findings: upload your dialogue's outcomes, insights and learnings, and share your hub's feedback your experience hosting a dialogue via The Davos Lab Insight Form (20 mins)
  • Check-out with a round of gratitude: give feedback to individuals about what you appreciate about working with them during the past months to delivery your local dialogue (20 mins)
  • Take a group photo: close your session with a photo and share it on TopLink (2 mins)

THANK YOU for reading to the end. We appreciate the time, energy and effort you will put into your dialogue. If you have questions that are not addressed in this toolkit, contact us on TopLink.