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Warning: This page has been automatically translated from french and needs to be reviewed

Each facilitator will run the workshop in their own way of course, but here is the framework for Climate Fresk facilitation.



It can be useful to start with an introduction that relaxes the atmosphere: do a first name round, introduce yourself briefly, ask players to name their favourite animal, etc.

Briefing and start-up

Briefing the teams is quick as you only need to explain that you need to put the cards back in the order of cause and effect. Also emphasis the importance of team collaboration: everyone must participate (it is up to you to make sure this is the case, too). Finally, give them some timing elements. To start with, it is advisable to shuffle the cards of batch 1 on the table (otherwise they are almost in order) and not to give instructions to read the back of the cards. This way, teams will more easily fall into the trap of the ice pack not raising the water level. Once all the cards in set 1 are placed (usually in a row), and not before, tell them to read the back. Getting it wrong and correcting yourself is very effective for learning, that's why there is a trap at the beginning.

Intellectual part

The first phase consists of placing all 42 cards and drawing the arrows between the cards. Distribute the lots as the cards of the previous lot are correctly positioned. From batch 3 or 4 onward, start drawing the arrows. In order to have a reference point, the "line" composed of cards 21 (temperature), 17 (water temperature), 16 (glaciers) 18 (ice pack) and 19 (ice caps) should be about half the length of the table. If this is not the case, the team will have difficulty putting all the other cards downstream. It is therefore time, around batch 3 or 4, to suggest that they compact the cards on the front of the mural.

It is advisable to intervene as little as possible during this phase. All the information is on the back of the cards, so they have something to work with. All the information is on the back of the cards, so they have plenty to work with. You may want to suggest that participants read a card again when you guess that they obviously haven't and read it out loud so that everyone in the group can hear the explanation. Important: spend as little time as possible on each table. Quickly identify where things go wrong, offer to read one to three cards again and move on to the next table.

A tip if they get bogged down: "read the back of the cards and see if you can find the headings on another card. If you do, there is a link. "

If some participants get bored with the game, suggest that they start the next game.

Creative part


At one third of the time limit (you have room to slip to half time), it is time for the artistic phase. This phase is important in the learning process because it allows you to take ownership of the work you have done, to make another part of your brain work, to let other profiles express themselves (some are more at ease in this exercise than in the previous one). It is therefore up to you to motivate them and make them take this stage seriously.



To motivate the participants to play the game of the creative phase, a good solution is to put them in competition and to make a contest between the tables. It is up to the table to make the most beautiful Climate Fresk (the theory, in this case, is irrelevant). The jury can be the facilitator(s) or the participants themselves. In the latter case, ask them to draw a frame on their mural so that the other participants can vote with a cross. Each person has only one vote and you cannot vote for your own mural.

Tips to make the vote real: everyone puts their hand on a mural and you count (this prevents cheating!). The winners get the right to... make a pitch in front of everyone!


It is sometimes objected that it is not congruent to use the competitive mode to animate the mural when, on the other hand, we advocate collaboration and mutual aid to try to save the world. The association has no position on this point. One can be against the idea of using the competitive mode, but one can also consider that the competition is a strong emulation between the teams and that it serves the playful character. When it takes place in a playful or sporting context, it has nothing to do with the competition we are talking about in the economic field. To conclude, and to be consistent with the 'Swarmwise' organization, it is up to the facilitator to decide on the mode of facilitation. In the case of an event with several facilitators, the coordinator's opinion prevails. He/she can decide to impose the contest, to forbid it or to let each moderator choose.

Choice of title

The choice of title is a crucial moment in the development of the Climate Fresk. It comes during the creative phase, but it is important to remember to tell the participants from the beginning so that they leave a free space to write it. The choice of the title is often the moment when participants will put into words for the first time what they felt when they learned about the climate. The first ideas for titles are often very dark ("the end of the world", "the destruction of Man by Man", etc.). Don't discourage them, it's important that everyone expresses their feelings at this point. The team will surely decide on its own, in collective intelligence, to choose a more "positive" title.


The pitch consists of making a presentation on climate change using the freshly painted mural hanging on a wall. If there is a competition between the teams, the winners make the pitch. Otherwise, the team should do it. Avoid having each team make a pitch, otherwise it will be long and boring as it may be the same thing N times. If all the teams really want to participate, then ask them to talk about one card/link that stood out for them more than the others, or about their title.



The debriefing is the most important part of the facilitation. In the end, the beginning was just to make sure that the debate that follows takes place, that it is interesting, that the participants have the right information and that they are in a good mood.

It is complicated to give advice on how to facilitate the debate, because it is the talent of the facilitator who will do everything, his knowledge, sensitivity and experience of facilitation on these subjects. Here are a few elements, however:

  • Do not intervene too much and let the participants speak. The debate must not become a question and answer session with the expert. If we are heading towards that, why not for 10 minutes, but then we need to go around the table so that participants become more active and speak in turn.
  • Circulate the floor and pay attention to who has raised their hand and in what order. If the facilitator simply distributes the floor, that is already very good. Eventually, rules of non-verbal communication should be established, as shown in the image below.

hand signals image from the Occupy movement wikipage


Some players express the regret of not addressing the solutions after such a heavy, even depressing report. It is a conscious choice of the author not to propose a solution in the Climate Fresk. There are many reasons for this:

The first is that the solutions are not of the same nature as the scientific findings. All the data in the Climate Fresk come from the IPCC reports and are indisputable. The solutions, on the other hand, are political, subjective and must be debated. It would be completely artificial to add solution maps and it would undermine the credibility of the tool, whose highest praise is that it is "non-partisan".

The second is that the solutions that come to mind depend very much on our level of awareness of environmental issues. First we think of renewable energies, then we read Philippe Bihouix and realise that there won't be enough minerals to make wind turbines and photovoltaic panels to replace fossil fuels. So we understand that we will have to invest in energy efficiency instead. But here again, if you read William Stanley Jevons (Jevons' Paradox or the Rebound Effect) or François Roddier (Thermodynamics of Evolution), you will understand that all the gains in efficiency will only speed up the economy and will not prevent us from going into the wall. And above all, we have only gained 1% per year in energy efficiency for decades and this is not up to the challenge. We then start to question economic growth, the notion of GDP, and even the growth of the world population. Finally, when you have read the report to the Club of Rome or the books of Pablo Servigne, you are ready to talk about collapse.

Here, in a few steps, is the path taken by many climate activists. It's an individual journey and it's important to respect each person's pace. Talking about de-growth to someone who is only at the beginning of their awareness is premature and counterproductive. It can trigger reactions of rejection. It is therefore up to the facilitator to guide the participants during the debriefing, adapting to their level of awareness and their sensitivities.

Tip for starting the debate

Most of the time, the hardest part is to start the debate. After that, the participants respond to each other. Here are some methods to get the debate going:

  • Ask which card made the biggest impression on them, and why.
  • Ask what information they got from it and what their next action should be
  • Assess the group's optimism on the climate issue by raising their hands higher or lower, and then ask some of the extremes to present their idea.