fa-cil-i-tate. verb. (1) to make easier or less difficult; to help forward (an action, a process, etc.). (2) to assist the progress of (a person).

–Random House College Dictionary Revised Edition

I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Ottawa at the annual IAF Conference. This conference brings together people from all over the world and from all sectors — public, non-profit, community, private.

The common thread is helping groups building shared awareness and sustainable agreements.

Facilitators provide process to help groups identify problems, create alternatives, surface assumptions, reach decisions.

Again this year, there was a fairly good contingent of folks who work in the software world. Yes, software.

One of the things I like about this conference is that people share *in detail* what they do that works. And there’s almost always a session on spectacular failures, so we can all learn from those experiences, too.

I did a session Project Retrospectives, and it was very fun!