The Hague ‘Liberating Structures Festival’

Let’s transform our interactions and take a crack at our most complex problems with seriously playful curiosity!

October 7-9, 2019

Are you one of us?

Wondering about the world? Join hands, join us (image credit: Nadia von Holzen)

Do you work in/with social purpose organisations and believe something more is possible? Do you also think that unleashing people’s intelligence, imagination, and creativity requires a subtle-yet-radical change in how we collaborate?

If you are like most people we have worked with around the world, you chronically experience some of the following symptoms:   

Unproductive meetings and stale group work

Rigid organizations expressing a desire for change but little movement

Power and hierarchy getting in the way of freedom and responsibility

Exclusion, mistrust and disengaged people

Difficult conversations routinely avoided

(image credit: Liberating Structures)

Whether you work in an NGO, a foundation, a community group or a social movement – these realities block most people’s ability to work together.

Come to the ‘Liberating Structures Festival’ to discover and practice alternate ways of tapping multiple intelligences, and peoples’ creative imaginations to achieve results for issues that really matter. Witness the power we unleash when we make simple shifts in our interactions.

What are Liberating Structures?

Liberating Structures are deceptively simple, subtle and powerful microstructures (33 at the moment) that specify a set of minimum rules in order to engage everyone – no matter hierarchical positions or group size. Each Liberating Structure is designed to produce immediate results that can transform a meeting, a class, or a conversation. When using many of them together, it becomes possible to reliably work with more difference, persistent ambiguity, and higher orders of complexity. As Liberating Structures become a habitual way of interacting, the potential to transform an organisation, a community or system-wide initiative becomes tangible, practical, and familiar!

(image credit: Liberating Structures)

About the Festival

After a very successful two-day ‘Liberating Structures Social Immersion Workshop’ last year, we are now offering a one- or three-day Liberating Structures Festival.

Attend only day 1 or the whole three-day festival, as per your needs:

Repetition is a form of change

A one-day ‘Social Immersion’ workshop (Monday 7) for those new to Liberating Structures or those wanting to renew their practice. Immersion Workshops are designed in such a way that participants rapidly experience an extended number of Structures, and learn them by doing. They are purposefully intense, fun and inspiring.

Beyond the Basics

A two-day clinic (Tuesday / Wednesday) for those who have attended an Immersion workshop (including the one offered above) or have some experience using Liberating Structures in another setting. This is a deeper dive into Liberating Structures and your own practice, needs and challenges. It’s about how to make Liberating Structures work for you. We will address writing powerful invitations, building your repertoire, making strings, amongst other topics. This will also be an excellent opportunity to delve deeper into some of the more complex Structures, and crucially to get you set up to using Liberating Structures back in your own context!

For whom?

(image credit: Vancouver LS user group)

This multi-event is for everyone leading, supporting or engaging in social purpose work, in health, education, sustainability, human rights and/or global development.

It’s definitely up your street if…

a)    The term “Liberating Structures” may not resonate with you. But collaborating is your focus, and getting people to do it better is your everyday concern…

b)     You have attended a Liberating Structures ‘Immersion Workshop’ and wish to get better, starting with your own challenges and issues. You’re not afraid to get a bit technical…

c)     You have a wealth of collaboration and facilitation experience, and would love to creatively and irreverently explore new ways of making complexity work for you..

d) You have a hunch that something magnificent, impossibly beautiful, and purposefully awesome is just out of reach and you desperately want to find something that gets you a tiny bit closer to realizing the fuller power of a group’s collective capability…

e) You believe that we need to STOP flattening, neglecting, ignoring, and diminishing people’s intelligence, imaginations, and creativity AND you are ready to take a tiny step towards resisting/subverting/transgressing those habitual ways of working together…

f) You are a hard-headed pragmatist who wants efficient ways to include people in shaping the future together… because you know you’re not smart enough to get there alone.

This multi-event is the first of its kind and we are ourselves SUPER EXCITED to bring it forth!

Meet the Design Team

The Design Team consists of LS pioneers Fisher Qua and Anna Jackson, and local Design Team members Nadia von Holzen and Ewen Le Borgne.

Fisher S Qua

Fisher Qua

With a background in history, modern dance, health improvement, learning & development, and higher education management Fisher brings eclectic skills to his consulting work. He is primarily interested in taking obscure or ridiculous ideas and making them rigorously friendly and seriously playful. He is intrigued by the potential for organising and structuring interactions that invite people to contribute more of their imagination, creativity, an intelligence to the challenges-at-hand. Fisher appreciates being lovingly provoked, so bring your most skeptical-selves, your strangest hunches, or your most oblique ideas to the workshop.

Anna Jackson

Anna Jackson

Anna first started working with Liberating Structures in 2011 and now works with individuals and groups as they integrate LS into their everyday and strategic practices. She incorporates a social justice framework in her practice and has worked in youth engagement, leadership development, experiential education, healthcare services and systems change, and international domestic violence and human trafficking prevention and intervention. She has an MA in Social Anthropology from the University of California, Davis, and an MS in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin.

Nadia von Holzen

Nadia von Holzen

Nadia has worked with the Swiss government, NGOs, foundations and training institutions, she is specialized in organizational learning, network development and building of facilitative capacities in the context of development cooperation and social change initiatives. Over the last 20 years, Nadia has designed and facilitated many learning processes and has supported network-based collaboration. Her focus is on creating collaborative spaces for others to engage, think and work together. She brings creativity into learning settings and since she got in touch with Liberating Structures in 2012, is weaving the mini-structures and thinking behind it into her work. In 2016 she set up Learning Moments with the intent to inspire and motivate people to be curious and to explore new ways of working and thinking.

Ewen Le Borgne

Ewen Le Borgne

Ewen had a revelation about helping people become ‘process literate’ so they could realise and use the value of collaboration processes in their work and life. A knowledge management and learning specialist with a strong footing in global development, he has put group facilitation skills and his learning expertise to practice with over 150 groups in the past 15 years. Ewen is happy to support any group inclined to explore their potential for changing their work, and the(ir) world. He is working in association with Community At Work and has been using Liberating Structures in his work since 2012, inspired by the complex simplicity of the Structures and their natural ability to scale from the get-go. Follow his work: Follow his blogs: and

Get your tickets!


The Liberating Structures Festival will take place at Igluu Den Haag, as last year’s ‘Social Immersion Workshop’.

Contact & queries

If you have questions about this ‘Festival’ please email Nadia von Holzen at:

Read more about this festival

Waltzing with the complexity of collaboration in three simple dances – a Liberating Structures festival… How this festival offers three different entry points to engage with the complexity of the work we are grappling with everyday, and helps us find options to deal with it.

What does Liberating Structures mean to us (organizers)?

Video interviews: reflections in relation to LS,

What have Liberating Structures and Improv Theater in common? How subtle elements of design structure incredibly creative conversations both in improv theater and in Liberating Structures.

Zooming in on specific Liberating Structures