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Online Harvest with Dixit Cards

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This method helps participate to distill key learnings and insights from the workshop, using non-linear and metaphorical thinking triggered by the surrealist art on the cards


At the end of a workshop or an event, it is important to give people the opportunity to share final impressions. In this exercise, a card deck of interesting artworks is shared with the group in order to spark creative reflections. Some of our favourite cards are designed for Dixit (the board game), but you can also use others cards, botanical illustrations or classic art, for example. This practice supports a connected group atmosphere, and gives everyone an equal voice in the room. Moreover, it enables people’s creative thinking, as the cards can suggest connections and insights that they were not fully or consciously aware of, encouraging people to break out of formulaic responses.This method also works well in the Convening phase of a workshop or meeting, to brainstorm around a specific topic or set expectations with the help of a guiding question.


Variation 1: Many cards, many insights

Prior to the workshop, take a picture of a selection of Dixit (or other) cards and save it on a PDF or JPEG file. For convenience, you can write a number next to each card, so that is easier to refer to them in an online setting. Include the file in your PPT presentation, so that it is ready for use when you need it.

  1. Show the selection of cards to the participants;
  2. Ask them to observe each card carefully, and mentally pick a card that can help them address the following question: “What is one golden nugget that you will take home from today’s workshop?”
  3. Ask participants to take a few minutes to write in the chat both the number of the card they have chosen and a short sentence that responds to the question;
  4. To create a ‘wow’ effect, and give everyone the time to think, ask participants to press the ‘send’ button all at once, so that the responses appear on the chat at the same time; 
  5. You can then summarize the responses out loud, or have the participants share their thoughts verbally, depending on the amount of people and the time available;
  6. If the workshop involves a large number of participants (e.g. more than 20 people), you can also ask them to share their cards and reflections in separate break-out rooms. 

Variation 2: One card, different insights

An alternative to Variation 1, is to pull a card from the deck and show it to participants directly on the screen. Similarly to the instructions above, you can give participants a few minutes to share any words, phrases, impressions, and feelings that were sparked by the card. 

Place on U
10-20 minutes
Materials Needed

Dixit cards, or any other creative card deck.

Sense of Place
Online Engagement
Metaphorical Thinking
Surfacing Hidden Dynamics
Tip and Experiences

Select the kind of cards that are most likely to link to the topic of the workshop, and that can trigger a variety of different perspectives. 

It can be a nice gesture  to collect all the answers from the harvest, add them to a separate slide, and send them to the participants after the event.

Relevant References & Resources

Rafaeli and Vilnai-Yavetz 2004. “Emotion as a Connection of Physical Artifacts and Organizations” https://www.jstor.org/stable/30034769?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

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