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Online Circle of Objects

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This method introduces participants to each other in a nonconventional way, creating an atmosphere of unity in diversity


One feature of online meetings is that participants are often calling in from their homes. This method uses this situation by inviting participants to find a nearby personal object to introduce themselves, or to respond to different prompts or Warm Up Questions. Objects have a great evocative and aesthetic power; they enable people to communicate tactically and metaphorically. Through this process, participants also learn something personal about each other and connect as a group.


For introductions:

  1. Give the participants 1-2 minutes to find a nearby object that represents a specific aspect of themselves (e.g. their hobby, an interest , or their intention for joining this meeting or workshop)
  2. Invite participants to introduce themselves by sharing their name, showing the object and briefly explaining why they choose this object. To set the tone and make sure participants keep their introductions brief, start as the host, set expectations (e.g. ‘in one sentence explain why you chose this object) and then designate someone to go next. 
  3. With large groups: break up in smaller groups in break-out rooms
  4. Optional: after everyone has presented themselves, take a screenshot of everyone showing their object and share the picture in the harvest afterwards.


This method can be used in different phases of the workshop, by inviting participants to find an object related to a prompt or Warm Up Question. E.g. 'find an object that represents your desired outcome for this project'. In the ‘Harvesting’ phase, participants can find an object to reflect on how their perceptions have changed throughout the event.

Place on U
5-15 minutes
Materials Needed


Sense of Place
Online Engagement
Values & Worldviews
Surfacing Hidden Dynamics
Tip and Experiences

If people are calling in from their office or a third place and have difficulty finding an object, invite them to search their bag or pockets and be creative. As a last resort, you can ask them to find an image (of an object) online.

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