The phygital world is calling

a digital toolkit for remote co-design services

The world of work, because of the Coronavirus, is witnessing an unprecedented epochal new digital age. All the restrictions in place to curb the problem are causing new habits to take over, including drastically decreasing contact between people. Here comes a new culture that aims to enhance the concept of virtual and promotes digital activities. But we know that the digital world is like an abyss at the bottom of the sea, causing uncertainty and bewilderment, especially for those who are not used to this new condition. The market must th erefore adopt changes, find new solutions to transform this difficul t moment into an opportunity for growth.

Dare, Digital Awareness for Resilience Experience, is a project that proposes the creation of an open-source toolkit for the development of creative collaborative projects online, whose purpose is to train in the use of virtual tools and methodologies for online education. It is a digital toolkit for remote co-design services, essentially divided into two phases: phase 1 of learning and phase 2 of implementation task. The toolkit, which will be made available for f ree and downloadable f rom the project website, will also contain guidelines on how to replicate the entire online and offline training and cooperation experience. It is intended as a complete tool and self-explanatory that can be used by anyone independently and possibly m odified or improved.


If it was first necessary to get together in a room in front of a blackboard and communicate all the ideas in a big brainstorming group, now digitalization allows you to do much more. It’s not a trend, but the way the whole world is heading. In this historical moment, marked by“the new norms”, familiarity with the use of digital and online collaboration tools becomes absolutely fundamental. But what really sets you apart f rom others, is how you are familiarized with a digital mindset.

Digital mindset

The digital mindset is the term for the new way of seeing things with the assistance of technology. But keep in mind that having every single software available, without having the digital mindset on how to take advantage of it, that’s of little value. It’s like handing a Supercar to a person that does not know how to drive. The person will still be able to enjoy the car but won’t be able to have the best experience out of it. Have digital mindset is about thinking outside the box and being more efficient.

Why this toolkit?

The goal of this toolkit is to strengthen your digital skills, for the development of online creative collaborative projects, improving your digital mindset.

Who needs it?

Workers and non-workers who not only want to strengthen their connection to digital, but also improve their experience with these tools.


Implementation and case studies

This second section is useful for the planning of a workshop and the development of potential useful tools. It also contains advice on activities to be done and the time to dedicate to each of them ; tips on how to complete tasks and what to focus on for optimal results; tools for collecting feedback and communication of results.


Workshop organization


A workshop is a gathering in which a group of people with interests, expertise or professional experience in a particular field is actively involved in intensive discussion and/or research on a specific topic or project. The main objective is for each individual to attend the event to develop new skills and learn new methods related to group work.


1. Encourage Dialogue

Workshops are led by someone acting as a facilitator. This allows for earing about other ideas on the topic in a setting that encourages conversation.

2. Get new perscpectives

Participants can share their insights and thoughts on how to resolve the problem, offering a different perspective on how to deal with it.

3. Develop new ideas

As you listen to other people’s views, you realise how to handle things differently or come up with new ideas never considered before.

4. Improve your skills

Workshops can help you develop new skills by learning new methods or new approaches to problems.


1. Define the goal

Every workshop must have an objective which is clear, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

2. Decide who will attend

Choosing participants earlier makes it easier to develop effective materials and approaches.

3. Choose the right location

Thinking about the logistics and practical details of the workshop when choosing the venue is useful to make it accessible and comfortable for everyone.

4. Create your agenda

Let participants know what they will be doing at each step. Make sure you have the key points, visual aids and activities lined up for everyone to see during the session. In this way they will know what to expect and be able to manage their time and energy when working.

5. Develop a Follow-up plan

Prepare an evaluation form and invite partici-pants to fill it in at the end of the meeting. Give them enough time to comment and consi-der the questions carefully. Immediate feedback will help you refine the workshop and also enable partici-pants to gain new knowledge.


Writing down the agenda of a meeting is very important. Participants and speakers will know what is going to be discussed and, above all, time can be better organised without the risk of missing something.

The agenda of a meeting is a program which shows:

  • the start and end times of the meeting;
  • the people who will speak;
  • the interventions that will be made
  • the breaks

Phases of the agenda

1. When to do it?

It is recommended to start writing the agenda when you are sure how the meeting will go: how many speakers will speak, what time the event will start and what time it should end. It is also advisable to send the agenda to all participants so that they have a clear idea of what will happen.

2. What to write?

First of all the agenda, as well as the meeting, must have a title that immediately clarifies what is to be discussed. Furthermore, these questions should be answered:

  • Who organizes the event?
  • Where will the event take place?
  • When will the event take place?

3. What are the objectives

The workshop may have different objectives, therefore specifying them in the agenda is a good starting point for achieving them. Using the agenda to inform participants about the reason of their selection is very important: it allows them to decide whether or not to participate according to the extent to which the objective is shared, but also to know what to expect.

4. Write down all interventions and manage time

The agenda also serves to clarify which intervention will take place during the event and how long they will last. You need to know who the speakers are and then write down:

  • name, surname and position/profession of the supervisor;
  • title of the intervention;
  • start time of the intervention;
  • end time of the intervention.


Keep group size small

Create diverse groups in terms of expertise

Use icebreakers

Use cases, visual management and storytelling to illustrate your topics

Get people to be comfortable

Designate note-takers/facilitators

Workshop online

Useful tools:

  • communication and collaboration tools;
  • videoconferencing tools;
  • shared interactive whiteboards;
  • digital notebooks for notes;
  • presentation tools;
  • surveys tools.

1. Plan the time

Providing basic informa-tion and the agenda in the invitation and asking people to confirm their availability in advance will also help to plan how much time to devote to each activity.

2. Anticipate the problems

Anticipate technical problems and solve them in advance: there will always be someone whose internet connection is not fast enough, whose camera is not working properly or who cannot access the software you have asked them to use.

3. Teach new tools

If you are using a specific software, such as Miro, and you know that there are new people, you can send a small tutorial or do an introductory activity to get participants used to the new software.

4. Be concentrate

Ask another person to manage the organisation of participants, keep time, organise rooms or send links, so that you can better concentrate on your work.


Icebreaking activities


Feedback session

// Icebreaking Activities


Icebreakers play an important role in events where communication and the comfort level of the partici-pants are determining factors. These are activities that try to break down the barriers that exist in a workplace (hierarchies, job titles,...). and aim to increase the competence of individuals on the material related to group work. Icebreakers, besides being useful when participants do not know each other, can also work very well for people you already know. They get people talking, generate laughter and help participants start with an initial comfort level.

1. Fun to play

They are fun to play with, which makes them a welcome break from normal work activities.

2. Break down barries

They break down barriers that may exist between established groups of people.

3. Help the kick-start

Fun icebreaker can help kick-start important meetin-gs or long training sessions.

4. Facilitate communication

They make it easier for parteci-pants to commu-nicate openly with each another.

5. Encourage interactions

They encourage interactions that wouldn't normally take place in the context of a regular working day.

// Questions for icebraking


Icebreaker questions are a fun, easy way to get to know people and lighten the mood. They are similar to icebreaker activities but usually do not require much or any preparation at all. Here some examples:

  • What is your proudest accomplishment?
  • If you could write a book, what would it be about?
  • What is the happiest moment in your life? What made it so special?
  • What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done for fun?
  • What is the best gift you’ve ever given/received?
  • What is your dream job?
  • What is something you were known for in college/high school?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
  • Where is one place you’d love to travel to?
  • What does your ideal day look like?

Icebreakers usually last between 5 minutes and 20 minutes. Long enough for people to feel comfortable and relaxed to discuss more important topics during the meeting.

You can create a team bulletin board on a digital whiteboard app like Miro.

You could create a music playlist so you can relax or energize the group.

Show and tell

Ask your remote team members to pick up an object nearby. Take turns sharing your item and the story or personal encounter behind it.



Pictionary is basically a word game where one player chooses a randomly selected word and draws it while the other players guess what the word is.


Draw your mood

Ask participants to draw how they are. It is much more fun and you will stimulate creativity among your colleagues.


The last photo you took

Ask your colleagues to go to their phones, and dig out the last photo that they took. Ask them to either post it to your Slack channel or other platforms. Then, ask them to share a story behind the picture.


Home scavanger hunt

This icebreaker is fun and you’ll all get a chance to move around a little. Get your collegues up and give them a little task such as: “You have 25 seconds to fetch something yellow,” or “Get the weirdest thing in your apartment, then bring it back to show us”.


Two truths and one lie

Start by asking each person to make up two facts about themselves and a believable lie. Next, they all share their three claims, and the group votes or discusses their guess for the lie. For example, here are three statements about me.



Icebreaking activities


Feedback session

// Decompression


Breaks help to revitalise meetings and to make participants assimilate the information and expe-riences gained during the training session. It may be useful to summarise what happened during the session just before giving a break and again just after the participants have returned.


Revitalize meeting

A facilitator may decide, depen-ding on the circumstances, to schedule a 10-minute break for each hour of training. The time of the break must be clear so that participants will return on time.

Help the assimilation

During this time, the facilitator could organi-ze ice-breaking activities, or they could ask partici-pants for feedback on the session before the break.


Icebreaking activities


Feedback session

// Feedback session


Feedback is extremely valuable as it allows the facilitator to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the meeting so that they can improve the workshop, both during and for future sessions. Feedback can be provided at the end of the work-shop, but the response rate might be small and the feedback not very complete if some of the partici-pants have to leave or do not return it, so it is recom-mended to give a feedback also during the workshop.

Stand in a circle - each participant briefly tells what they liked and what they did not like. A ball can be thrown to the person who then starts. This person gives feedback and throws the ball to someone else, who in turn gives feedback. Don't start a discussion, just take the input. If you want more details about an answer, ask the person afterwards. This is also a good warm-up exercise after a break.


1. Like / Dislike

Stand in a circle - each participant briefly tells what they liked and what they did not like. A ball can be thrown to the person who then starts. This person gives feedback and throws the ball to someone else, who in turn gives feedback. Don't start a discussion, just take the input. If you want more details about an answer, ask the person afterwards. This is also a good warm-up exercise after a break.

2. Agree / Disagree

Make some statements and let the participants rate them on a short scale ("I disagree" to "I fully agree") with a pen or sticky dots.

3. Positive / Negative

Hand out post-its and ask participants to write down positive feedback (set a timer for one minute). Then ask participants to write down what they would like to improve. Even if time is short, you will get what was most important for the participants.


Facilitate group work


Facilitating a working group means promoting the constructive outcome of communicative-relational processes. The facilitator accompanies the group(s) in the pursuit of the planned results and their action is oriented towards the growth of the potential of the individuals. It is necessary to take care of the organi-sation down to the smallest detail in order to achie-ve the objective. This includes clarity of theme, participants and timing.


1. Clear goal

It helps to have clearer ideas that facilitate the reasoning process.

2. Organization

It is convenient to respect deadlines to optimise time, by learning to make use of every moment, from work to break.

3. Stimulationg atmosphere

Continuous dialogue and group discussions genera-te new sources of inspira-tion, ideas and perspecti-ves. Socialisation avoids embarrassment and limitations.

4. Productivity

Establishing objectives, timeframes and roles allows each participant to express themselves and give their best, enhancing the skills of each team member.

5. Growth

When the facilitator coor-dinates group members, They encourage inclusion, growth and participation, so that every aspect can be dealt with in the best possible way.

6. Feedback

Knowing the opinion of the team members helps to understand how to work in optimal conditions and if it is necessary to improve certain aspects.


1. Define the agenda

Defining the agenda in the session is useful for clarifying the work topic in all aspects and for knowing the goal to be achieved. In addition, the tools to be used must be defined and rules established to manage time, shifts and methods of intervention.

2. Stimulate initial knwoledge

To create a stimulating and positive atmosphere, more or less infor-mal activities can be useful to introduce team members.

3. Lead the discussion

Leading the discussion means applying some rules to manage time and leave space to all participants to express their thoughts.

4. Collect feedback

It is useful for participants to express their thoughts throu-gh surveys, forms, comments, etc. This allows the work to be improved by taking into account the opinions of team members.

5. Share the final report

At the end of the session it is useful to send a short report to the participants summarising the points discussed, the decisions made and the objectives achieved or not achieved.

The ideal facilitator profile

Possess emotional intelligence

Comunicate effectively

Ability to pursue the goal in such a way as not to stray from it

Ability to make decisions

Relate to each team member

Ability to synthesize

Bring out the strenghts of each person

Problem solving ability


The facilitator can use a colla-borator to write down the points addressed during the session, so that they can fully concentrate on the group and the work.

The use of collaborative whiteboards such as Miro or Google Jambo-ard can facilitate discussion and time optimisation.

Feedback can be collected through forms or surveys via Google Form or Typeform

If the working group consists of many members, it may be useful to create groups of 5-6 people to work more efficiently.

Timing and partecipants

  • Agenda presentation: 10’
  • Presentation of the members: 3’-5’ each
  • Presentation of the topic and relatend discussion: 45
  • Break: 10’
  • Further discussion and clarification of doubts: 20’
  • Collecting feeback: 10’

Recommended number of participants: 15-20

Advantages & disadvantages

Virtual meetings

The advantages are:

  • usually relatively cheap to run;
  • increase productivity by saving travel time;
  • allow immediate decision making even from distant geographical areas;
  • possibility to collaborate not only during the workshop but also before and after it.

The disadvantages are:

  • limited duration of interaction;
  • limited opportunities for relationship building;
  • limited opportunities for one-to-one;
  • high-speed Internet is an important requirement.

Face to face meetings

The advantages are:

  • relationship building;
  • shared context;
  • access to non verbal cues like expressions and body language.

The disadvantages are:

  • costs of preparing the working environment;
  • distractions may occur;
  • finding a suitable place (capacity);
  • not easily accessible to all.




Brainstorming is a group creativity technique that is often used to find a solution to a specific problem. This is done by collecting and recording new ideas from team members in a free way. Brainstorming sessions are usually composed of a few members of the core team, and are typically led by a facilitator.


1. Think freely

It allows people to think freely, without fear of judgment.

2. Collaborate

It encourages open and continuous colla-boration to solve problems and generate innovative ideas.

3. Think together

It helps teams to quickly generate a large number of ideas, which can be refined and combined to create the ideal solution.

4. Productivity

It helps to promote stronger teams.


1. Quantity over quality

The idea is that quantity will even-tually generate quality as ideas are refined, merged and further developed.

2. Withhold Criticism

Team members should be free to introduce any and all ideas that come into their heads. Save feedback until the idea collection phase so that “blocking” does not occur.

3. Welcome the crazy ideas

Encouraging your team members to think outside of the box and introducing original and innovative techniques that may be your ticket for success.

4. Combine, refine and improve ideas

Build on ideas and draw connections between different suggestions to strengthen the problem solving process.


1. Talk about the topic

Specify the topic of the project

2. Lets partecipate

The group members participate by saying as many ideas as they can think of during a certain time and suggest how the project can be carried out.

3. Write down the suggestion

The facilitator organises ice-breaking activities among the participants and then they write down all the suggestions that people make.

4. Read the proposal

When there are no more ideas or when time is over, then all the proposals are read out.

5. Choose the best ones

The group discusses these proposals and chooses the best ones, along with all the information that will be useful for carrying out the project.


1. Mind mapping

A 'mind map' takes shape from the problem you are trying to solve. After writing the objective in the centre of the sheet, circle it and create branches around it to write sub-ideas or categories related to the problem until you start to see a solution. If you are working in a group, it is advisable to make a mind map in a larger space such as a blackboard or poster board. Do not start a discussion, just take the input and allow team members to contribute with their opinions. If you want more details about an answer, ask the person afterwards. This is a good warm-up exercise after a break.

2. Reverse brainstorming

The best way to imagine the process of "reverse brainstorming" is to compare it with the classical one. Normally one strives for the success of the project, whereas in this exercise one asks how to ensure its complete failure. This will provide the group with useful information about what is wrong and, at this point, they will have the necessary tools to plan for success.

3. Swot analysis

SWOT analysis determines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to the problem you are facing so that you can identify the direction to take by minimising the threats, maximising the strengths, identifying the weaknesses and embracing the oppor-tunities. This process is often represented by dividing a sheet (or board) into four boxes, each containing one of the four words. Most often it is used to determine whether a potential project is worth undertaking and this will provide the group with useful infor-mation about what is wrong.

During online sessions it's very useful to use a suitable tool, such as Miro.

4. The five why

In the "five whys" method, the facilitator repeatedly asks the question "why did this happen?" to get to the root cause of the problem. It may be that five whys are enough to frame a solution but, at other times, the answer may require more or fewer questions. Eventually the team will be able to identify the cause of the problem. It is important to note that the 'five whys' method is a structured process to identify the problem and not to identify its resolution. This means that once the cause has been identified, a solution must be developed.

5. Rolestorming

Participants will be asked to write down their ideas on a sheet in a few minutes; then, each participant will pass his sheet to another participant who will read it and then add new ideas. The process is repeated several times and after 10-15 minutes the sheets are collected and discussed together.

6. Brainwriting

Participants have to imagine themselves in the role of another person. This allows them to look at the problem or opportunity from a diffe-rent perspective and come up with new and creative ideas. It is a useful, stimulating and entertaining method. Participants can identify with different types of "personas", such as:

  • a difficult or demanding customer;
  • a company executive;
  • character with a solid reputation for a particular kind of thinking

// Online brainstorming


Online brainstorming sessions can be even more effective than traditional ones, with the added advantage of greater convenience and lower cost.

1. Spend extra time

Help anyone who needs support in the team with tools or moments of dialogue. This helps members to feel more comfortable.

2. Define the problem

Team members need to know the objectives in detail in order to be well focused and more effective.

3. Give timing

Team members feel motivated and can con-centrate better when they have clearly defined time frames.

4. Summarize in a document

In online meetings it is important that everyone always has a written reference to avoid confu-sion.

5. Being able to express yourself

Make sure that all participants can express themselves best by encoura-ging them to participate in discussions.

6. Define the tools

The team needs to be aware of the tools and how to use them in order to work at their best.

// Online brainstorming



Lots of information

When you want to stimulate creative thinking and new ideas.


Reverse Brainstorming

Explore the topic

When it is neces-sary to go deeper into the topic.

Swot analysis

The five why

Lots of information

The team needs to be aware of the tools and how to use them in order to work at their best.

Mind mapping


Clearly define and communicate what the output of the brainstorming session should be (solution or a list of ideas).

Make sure that all team members have access to the platforms used and help those who need support.

Creative solutions may be slow in coming, so try to create an uncritical atmosphere and grant extensions if necessary.

Interventions may raise more que-stions than answers - this is useful to investiga-te the problem more, but must be limited in time.

When many ideas are generated it is essential to con-front each other to realign the output with the objective. Organise recurring moments to guide the group.

When brainstorming online, you can also use other techniques besides the traditional one: brainwriting, reverse brainstorming and rolestorming.


Communicate the results


Communicating the outcomes of a workshop means scoring the experience both to evaluate participant growth and improve engagement rates and to measure the effectiveness of the workshop. Following up on the workshop means ensuring that participants can relive the moments of the event by using the content via blogs or their social channels


1. Mantains high commitment

2. Provides insights and new content

3. Informs about possible next editions

4. Keep the workshop community alive


1. Thank the participants

Receiving a thank you for taking part in an event is always a pleasure. Do it in the least anonymous way.

2. Ask for feedbacks

Thanks to the feedback you can understand if something went wrong or if everything went according to plan, and therefore if there is something to improve or change.

3. Engage on social media

During the event, collect video and photo material to post later. Give all the material to your contributors who will make a selection of the best ones to create interesting content for guests to comment on and interact with.

4. Update the website

The website is one of the main marketing tools for your future events and is a signal to everyone who visits it. Plan to update the website with new and inspiring content after the conclusion of the event.


If you send an email make sure it is addressed to everyone with their name. If you use social media you could post a generic message on the event page and private messaging for personalised thanks.

If you have a dedicated budget you could think about making gadgets to distribute to participants, otherwise you could make digital material such as postcards, a souvenir video or a column with all the participants.

You could use typeform or a google form to create surveys and then collect all the material produced on google drive so that every participant can access and use it.


Evaluate your workshop and lessons learned


Lessons learned represent experiences, knowledge, insights and understanding that people have gained in the course of a project. They concern both positive and negative aspects on different levels (technical and content-related, emotional and social or process-related).


1. Learn

Learn from mistakes and avoid to repeat them in future projects.

2. Collect

Collect Best practices

3. Build trust

Involving participants in the process and giving them the opportunity to share their perspectives will make them more supportive towards the management of future projects.


1. Identify comments and reccomendations for the future

2. Collect documents and share findings

3. Analyze and organize for future application

4. Store in a archive


Involving participants in the process and giving them the opportunity to share their perspectives will make them more supportive towards the management of future projects.


1. Learning

  • Did I learn something useful, wonderful and / or important?
  • Did the workshop stimulate me and the others to think?
  • Did I discover new ideas and understanding?
  • Did it help me see the things I already knew in a new light?
  • Did it provide opportunities to interact and learn from others?

2. Design and structure

  • Was the workshop engaging?
  • Were there interesting and useful exercises?
  • Were groups sized appropriately for each exercise’s purpose?

3. Structure

  • Were there exercises building on learning from previous ones?
  • Opportunities to reflect on and consolidate what I learned?

4. Pace

  • Did the workshop move along at a reasonable pace?
  • Did it keep us energised or allow boring lags?

5. Leadership

  • Was the workshop leader warm and welcoming?
  • Did he recognize everyone's strengths and allow everyone to speak?
  • Did he lead the workshop capably?
  • Did he exhibit firm but unobtrusive guidance?
  • Was he flexible and able to work with emerging ideas and participants’ energy?
  • Did the leader guide discussions and debriefs so as to facilitate learning?


  • Retrievability of results must be guaranteed: you can archive lessons learned from all projects. A file hosting service can be used to save the information.
  • If the same problems occur repeatedly, it should be used as a reason for general improvement measures.
  • The main results should be accessible to all participants.
  • Keep surveys short. Ideally they will be one page, two-sided.
  • Allow time for people to complete the surveys and tell them why their participation is important.
  • Remind people that the surveys are confidential and used to improve your workshops.