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Virtual Facilitation at Siemens

By Anja Ebers, International Association of Facilitators


One Young World is a non-profit organization that gathers together young leaders from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change. It stages an annual summit where young talent from global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other forward-thinking organisations are joined by world leaders – some call it the World Economic Forum of the Youth.

Siemens encourages its young talent to contribute to global change and energize their corporate environment by creating change from within. They sent a delegation of 125 aspiring leaders across all sectors and regions of its global organization to take part in the One Young World (OYW) Summit 2015 in Bangkok. There, they met with their fellow delegates for the first time.

The task

The Employer Branding team asked me to facilitate the involvement of OYW alumni and delegates in preparing the summit. Another task was to give input as an expert for participation, interaction and engagement. Siemens wanted to enable their young talent to network, lead meeting formats and interaction and ruled out external facilitation during the summit. An entirely virtual project for me!

What we did

We kicked off the involvement of OYW delegates with a group of OYW alumni. In a virtual ideastorm (powered by Stormboard) we collected input for the use of a ‘Siemens branded space’ during the summit.

Soon a metaphor emerged – the space serves as an embassy or lounge, a platform for delegates to be visible as a member of Siemens, a place to represent, host and connect.

We aimed to turn delegates into ambassadors before the summit and get them to fill their role quickly and effortlessly. We used a group on Siemens internal social network (powered by Socialcast) for virtual community-building. As a first step, we invited all members of the delegation to join the group accompanied by a crowdsourcing challenge: What should be the identification sign of the delegation?

Group members could post their ideas, comment and vote. The participatory approach boosted membership and engagement within the group and helped us to confidently produce the winning idea.

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