About ICA/ToP

ABOUT our approach and ToP Methods

While we tap a variety of approaches, tools and methods, our core practice utilizes the time-tested methods called the Technology of Participation. This world renowned approach enables strong participation in large as well as small groups and fosters building on common ground, reducing the polarization, conflicts and strife that often occur in group life.

This broadly applicable methodology was developed by The Institute of Cultural Affairs, a leader over the past four decades in promoting lasting positive change in organizations and communities.


The Technology of Participation (ToP) Facilitation Methods are practical tools that enable groups to have highly energized, productive, inclusive and meaningful participation. This kind of participation leads to commitment to follow-through and quality outcomes, as well as more effective team work.

The paradox of these methods is that they provide a structured approach to participation that enables greater freedom of expression and voice. It allows group members to have more opportunity to share perspectives and insights and to support emergence of group insights and wisdom. These methods are ideal for engaging teams, organizations and communities to identify, clarify, plan for and implement change projects.

Without effective methods like ToP, it is easy for meetings to fall into a lot of cross-talk that gets nowhere or to have a few dominate the conversation while others feel bored or excluded. More long term and complex organization or community change projects often flounder because there is no consistent and authentic engagement of members and they do not feel ownership or commitment to the desired change.

Let CSF introduce you to the power of ToP through our training, facilitation and consulting services.


People only support what they create. Life insists on its freedon to participate and can never be sold on or bossed into accepting someone else’s plans.
—Margaret Wheatley and Myron Kellener-Rogers


We promote effective communication in business meetings.

We promote effective dialogue in meetings.


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