The FabBlog

The FabBlog contains posts about learnings we’ve made through our work.


Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve run over one hundred virtual sessions, and dozens of virtual events, interacting with thousands of participants. Here are six things I’ve learned along the way. Three things I’ve learned about tech: Keep the tech simple. Only use the tools you need. For example, […]

Six things I’ve learned about virtual sessions


First weeknotes of 2021 (Don’t worry, you haven’t missed any!), and in case you missed our roundup of what happened in 2020, it’s here (spoiler alert – no airplane journeys). Here’s what I accomplished this week: Completed my 20th interview of data literacy practitioners working in the Red Cross Red […]

Weeknotes for January 29th, 2021


Before diving into 2021, I’m taking a moment to reflect and capture what happened in the world of FabRiders in 2020. What I did In 2020, I supported over 80 virtual convenings, collaborating with more than a dozen organisations in 2020. I led over 60 of those, meaning I designed […]

FabRiders’ 2020



Here’s what I accomplished this week: Hosted discussions with researchers on improving methodologies for collecting Egyptian Social Progress Indicators Facilitated CESR’s Annual Board Meeting Designed and facilitated a workshop on Building Data Culture in Grantmaking Institutions for 360Giving’s Data Champion’s Programme Started interviewing stakeholders of IFRC’s Data Playbook (Beta) to build a baseline to understand the […]

Weeknotes for December 11th, 2020


Use of the royal “we.” I use the royal “we” a lot. Not because I want to point out my importance, quite the opposite. I’ve also never taken to the idea that FabRiders is something I do on my own. I have lots of blog posts titled “What we’ve learned […]

Weeknotes for December 4th, 2020


To have a successful convening, you need to stay focused on how the outcomes will serve your long-term goals, and on the most critical element, your participants. It’s the experience that participants have and how they contribute their expertise and perspectives. Your event design must serve them, and the content […]

Weeknotes for November 27th, 2020



Refrains I find myself repeating. Your virtual convening must have purpose Since barriers to joining a virtual event are lower, you have a greater chance of gathering a diverse group of participants. People don’t need to travel, get on aeroplanes, deal with visa issues, etc. However, because the barrier is […]

Weeknotes for November 13th, 2020


Articulating the Big Picture In my rich fantasy life, everyone who works for a social change organisation can map every task in front of them on a journey to achieving a vision of success. This implies that every social change has a vision of success, and their strategies and tactics […]

Weeknotes for November 6th, 2020


Seeding a Network of Practice We’re helping the Institute for Economic Justice plan a convening to be a first step towards building a network of practice that strengthens the connection between economic policy and human rights. We’ve started interviewing potential participants on what they want to get out of such […]

Weeknotes for October 23rd, 2020



I’m enjoying reading “The Book of Trespass” by Nick Davies. I had picked it up after reading this article and because my husband and I spend a lot of time walking across the British countryside with our dog, Ada. I am quite interested in the tradition of rambling and how […]

Weeknotes for October 16th, 2020


“I think we need to lose the parenthesis around Virtual” – I was getting some feedback from Colleagues on a new resource called The (Virtual) Session Design Canvas when Tin Geber threw that one out. I had started using the virtual with parenthesis last March when I shifted my first […]

Weeknotes for October 9th, 2020


Caught up with online discussion outputs, prepped for upcoming workshops, ran another (Virtual) lab and announced a new lab offering. Right before getting stuck into the Climate:Red summit, we ran a Network-Centric Resources Online Discussion where a group of knowledge-asset resource designers co-created a best practices list on co-creation. This […]

Weeknotes for Sept 25th, 2020



Lot’s of conversations this week with people planning upcoming virtual events and meetings. Pieces of advice that I keep finding myself giving: Focus on the participant experience and articulate the value of attending. Most people don’t go to conferences for the sessions, but for the opportunity to meet funders and […]

Weeknotes for Sept 18th, 2020


Some truths about running virtual events were very evident this week. Know your goals Focus on the participant experience Test the tech in any way you think might be relevant Rehearse if you have a team that needs to work together to deliver different pieces of a session And a […]

Weeknotes for September 11, 2020


I have this vague recollection that August is supposed to be quiet as everyone goes on holiday. Lots happened this week and am bracing for a busy September. Working as part of The Solferino Academy team, along with Virtually Amazing, we’ve been running a series of online coaching sessions for […]

Weeknotes for August 28th, 2020



This week, I finished the first draft of a Session Host handbook and also started to compile safety, privacy and community participation guidelines for the Climate:Red Summit. It brought home for me how events are living organisms. The critical elements of that organism are the participants, and the focus has […]

Weeknotes for August 21st, 2020


This week I learned a hell of a lot about RightsCon, the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age. I started the week with the goal of learning about what makes an effective RightsCon session. I managed to get to 15 sessions, one side group meetup and […]

Weeknotes for July 31st, 2020


Rethinking a Festival Finished a series of four workshops to help the Institute for Economic Justice adjust the Rethinking Economics for Africa Festival online. We created stakeholder journeys – mapping out the experience before, during and after the virtual Festival. We then established the various roles and guides that would […]

WeekNotes for July 24th, 2020



This week we started a series of four workshop sessions with the Institute for Economic Justice to help them strategise on how to bring the Rethinking Economics for Africa Festival online. It’s bringing together several pieces of expertise that I’ve developed through self-funded projects like the Network-Centric Resources Project and […]

Weeknotes for July 17th, 2020


Things I was grateful for this week: RightsCon & TechChange Teams This week, I started working with the RightsCon & TechChange teams on providing support to facilitators who will be delivering virtual sessions for RightsCon‘s first online convening from July 27th to 31st. The first task was adding guidance to […]

Weeknotes for July 10th 2020


Things I was grateful for this week. Heather Leson sharing this article on teams. It’s been great to be part of The Solferino Digital Team, with Heather, Laurent Fernandez and Shaun Hazeldene. these past few months, and I wholeheartedly agree with a lot of whats in the article. When you […]

Weeknotes for July 3rd, 2020



Network Check-Ins & TEST, TEST, TEST, A first-ever Check-In meeting for the network developing around The (Virtual) Session Design Lab. An intended side effect of the Lab is for participants to start to rely on each other for inputs and feedback on their sessions, which is the perfect starting point […]

Weeknotes for June 26th, 2020


Breathing again with a focus on reflecting and planning. Reflecting Mor Rubinstein and I hosted a ‘social lunch’ for members of this 360Giving Data Champions Cohort as we wrap up this year’s programme. We also did a reflection on this year’s cohort with Mor getting us to respond to four […]

Weeknotes for June 19th, 2020


More Zoomies The primary focus this week was supporting a High-Level Convening on UN Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights on June 11th. Registration closed on the morning of the event with over 1000 registrants, and we ended up with around 600 people attending. I used the webinar module in Zoom for […]

Weeknotes for June 12th, 2020



Had a chance to catch my breath this week. Breathing is a good thing. Wrapping Up Data Champions However, I was so busy last week that I even forgot to mention a workshop I’d done in the previous weeknote. Mor Rubinstein and I had run a Data for Leadership Workshop […]

Weeknotes for June 5th, 2020


Every week I seem to push new boundaries in terms of intensity, capacities and activities. Work with IFRC’s Solferino Academy is providing lots of meaningful learning opportunities for our team, Laurent Fernandez, Shaun Hazeldene & HeatherLeson, and I’m grateful. On Wednesday, we ran a virtual event on Health Innovation & […]

Weeknotes for May 29th, 2020


This week: lots of planning, some outputs and a productive workshop for CESR Strategy Canvas for Data Champions I am working with Mor Rubinstein at 360 Giving on two workshops to wrap up this cohort of Data Champions working in UK Grantmaking Institutions. These workshops will focus on Data 4 […]

Weeknotes for May 22nd, 2020



Had a four day week this week as Friday, May 15th was my 10th Wedding Anniversary, but it still felt like a full-on week. As expected, during the ECNL virtual workshop on “The Unheard Voice of Civil Society in EU Policy on AI” we danced around the definition of AI. […]

Weeknotes for May 15th, 2020


On Monday, as part of IFRC’s Solferino Academy,  Laurent Fernandez, and I ran a ‘How to use Zoom’ Skillshare for National Societies in the Americas. We broke the participants up into small groups to discuss their challenges and generate a list of questions in a google doc. We then spent […]

Weeknotes for May 8th, 2020


Thanks to Heather Leson, I managed to join a meeting to share our experiences running large virtual workshops for IFRC’s Solferino Academy with staff from Zoom. The Zoom representatives explained how they have frozen developing features for the app for the last 90 days as they focused on improving security. […]

Weeknotes for May 1st, 2020