New School of Participatory Change

participatory facilitation

8-Week, Synchronous Course

The Participatory Facilitation course provides participants with the training and space to develop their own practical approach to facilitating participatory conversations, whether they are facilitating a virtual or in-person meeting. This course is experiential and community-based, allowing participants to learn alongside their peers, support one another’s learning and growth, and practice their facilitation skills with feedback from fellow participants.

Grounded in participatory change and our Participatory Changemaking Framework, this 8-week course offers participants the training, techniques, and tools that will equip them to:

  • create welcoming, inclusive spaces;
  • empower meeting participants to take an active role in the group's work;
  • facilitate trust- and relationship-building;
  • design participant-driven agendas and meetings; and
  • carry out collective work toward clear outcomes.

Participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of how to navigate our ever-changing contexts and lead equitable collaborations to do collective impact work even with the complexities of change work. Throughout the course, participants will gain exclusive access to tools and resources that grew out of over 40 years of our experience in participatory facilitation, as well as access to our Community of Practice housed in Mighty Networks

Our course is designed not just to teach but to transform. It is ideal for managers, community leaders, activists, and anyone committed to making a difference through equitable, participatory practices. This is an opportunity to join a network of changemakers dedicated to creating sustainable, participatory change in their communities and organizations.

Informational Webinar

We periodically host interactive informational webinars where participants can learn more about the course, share their meeting challenges and experiences with others, and learn about some of the course's foundational materials. Watch the recording below and stay tuned for future webinars to learn more and see if our Participatory Facilitation course is right for you.


When: Participants meet twice a week from 12-1:30pm EST for a "lecture" session and a "practice lab" session.

The Spring '24 session is underway. Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page to be notified about our Fall '24 session.

Where: Course meetings are held via Zoom and content is held in our host platform, Mighty Networks

Cost: $899

A portion of full-price cohort enrollments supports our Scholarship Fund

We will announce when enrollment opens for the Fall '24 session via our newsletter.

Past Participants' experiences

"When I think about what is needed to grow my facilitation, listening, and changemaking skills, the New School checked all the boxes and then some! It has been inspiring and impactful to learn from peers and established leaders in the field that make me feel at home and encourage me to stand firm in my own competencies too."

Kelsey A.Kelsey A.Fall '23 Participant

"The Participatory Facilitation course equipped me with a new set of tools for facilitation and gave me a completely new perspective on leadership. The values they build the foundation of participatory facilitation with align well with my own values which makes this style of facilitation feel more genuine. This course has not only helped me be a more equitable and engaging leader, but it has also helped me improve my listening skills on a personal level which is just invaluable to me."

Kayla N.Kayla N.Fall '23 Participant

This is one of the best programs I’ve gone through about participatory facilitation in a long time. The materials inspired me to reflect on my practice. But more than that, the cohort gave us a community of learning to push the bounds of what it means to be facilitators for and holders of change!

V K.V K.Fall '23 Participant

[The course] was an amazing opportunity that I would recommend to any person ready to hone their skills as an empowered participant and/or facilitator of change in their communities. The training provided models and language for behaviors that I use regularly in my work, but I was able to expand their use and effectiveness due to the well-developed curriculum. I was able to turn around and practice with other facilitators, reflect on the impact, and re-sharpen the tool, so that when I delivered it and provided that support, I was able to cultivate the results my community needed.

Dani E.Dani E.Fall '23 Participant
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The New School of Participatory Change is an extension of Rural Support Partners

Rural Support Partners equips changemakers, organizations, and networks to cultivate lasting, equitable, participatory change in rural areas.

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