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Perspective Carousel

Posted by Jutta Goldammer from Visionautik Akademie


Group size

3 – 500

Subgroup size


Is participant experience relevant?

It's okay if participants haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years.

Physical trust needed

Mental trust needed


Material Description

-For each perspective space, a paper or workshop card with the name of the space (Around 7 or 8)
-ropes, yarn or chalk to mark the border of a perspective space
-2 stacks of post-its and 2 felt-tip pens for each perspective space
-1 pinboard or pinboard paper or whiteboard for each 6 persons in the group

Create materials quick and dirty

5 min

Create materials with love and care

20 min



60 minutes – 2 hours

Experience level of the facilitator

taken part OR some facilitation experience

Number of facilitators


Location requirements

Enough space so the subgroups of 3 have each their own space without hearing the talking of the neighbouring subgroup.


Level of activation


Hidden curriculum

-The participants get used to naturally including other people's/beings' perspectives in their thinking.
-The participants allow themselves a wider range of things that are possible and allowed. It minimizes taboos and supports an atmosphere where everything is allowed and worthy of expression.
-The different roles support each other -- the exercise naturally invites people to serve each other.

Woo-Woo Level – How touchy-feely is this method?

From 1.Rationalist-Materialist “No feelings here, folks.” to 5.Esoteric-Shamanic Bleeding Heart:

Innovation Phases:

3 Fostering New Perspectives & Ways of Thinking
4 Idea Generation
5 Grounding the Idea

Method Category:

Awareness raising
Collective Intelligence
Idea generator
Problem Solving
Understanding complexity


This fun and contemplative ideation technique helps generate ideas with depth. The Perspective Carousel is a holistic ideation approach that uses the power of constellation work, role play, and intuition to generate ideas from very different points of view.



Many ideation approaches are mainly cognitive and we easily disregard the silent voices of the heart and the foggy not-yets of something that is only about to emerge. This ideation approach invites us to deeply connect with different perspectives within and around us and generate ideas from those places. It allows us to step into different roles and to generate ideas from multiple perspectives we would not automatically include (like the future generations, a tree, a person we dislike, Buddha).


Visionautik Akademie, taking aspects and inspiration from Improvisation Theatre, Joanna Macy, Brainstorming and Constellation Work.



The clearer the question/challenge is defined, the easier and more fruitful this ideation process will be. Methods that help to clarify the question: Shoe Shuffle, Dyade, Clustering.

All kind of exercises that help connect with your inner voice and raise empathy are a good pre-exercise, too, for example, Metta meditation and eye-gazing meditation.

https://www.hostingtransformation.eu/methode/dyade/, https://www.hostingtransformation.eu/methode/metta/, Shoeshuffle (entry yet to be created), https://www.hostingtransformation.eu/methode/eye-gazing-portraits/

PREPARATION (excluding materials)

-Adapt the list of perspectives (example list see below) to your target group, purpose and group size. There should be at least 2 or 3 more spaces than trios in your group.
-Arrange a space of about a square meter for each perspective from your list with a clear border (e.g. chalk circle or a rope) and name it. Make sure the spaces are wide apart from one another. Depending on the preferences of your group, you can put one chair inside the circle and two chairs outside the circle, or cushions to sit on the floor. If you want the exercise to be more dynamic, don't use chairs or cushions.
-Place two stacks of post-its and two pens next to each circle.

1 Clarification of the purpose for the ideation process

Make sure there is a clear purpose and intention for your ideation process. What do you want to gain ideas for? What outcome are you looking for? Is this clear to everybody in your group? Take some time to clarify purpose and aims.

2 Explain and showcase the exercise

You will do this exercise in trios. There are perspective spaces all over the place (show what perspectives there are and where they can find them). You can choose any perspective space you feel attracted to as a group. Each group can visit several perspective spaces. There is no need to visit all the spaces. Stay as long as you feel inspired by a perspective space.
Each of the 3 has a different role. Change roles for each perspective space so everyone has the chance to be in each role at least once.

Give an example by showcasing one perspective. Let's say the perspective space "Buddha".
Person 1 steps into the circle. Step over the border with the clear intent to step into Buddha's shoes now. Connect with what it feels like to be Buddha. What would he suggest to solve this problem? What would Buddha's ideas be? Person 1 can close their eyes and fully concentrate on generating ideas from that perspective. It is just a collection, a brainstorming, no need to make sense at this moment, no need to judge or to assess the ideas. Just say whatever comes up in your mind as you imagine what Buddha would suggest. Encourage each other to act out -- whatever helps to take on the specific role: use gestures, shout, talk with a low voice, sit down or stand. It is fine to exaggerate the role.

Person 2 records what she/he hears on Postits. Record only the main points, no need to transcript everything. Record also ideas, fragments, utterances you find funny or even stupid at the moment. Listen with an open heart, try to get the gist. Write down one thought/idea per post-it.
Person 3 listens to what person 1 says and uses that to trigger own ideas. Write down your ideas that pop up to your mind while you listen to person 1.

When you have had enough, Person 1 deliberately step out of the circle and the role (step over the border and shake it off to become yourself again). Person 2 can also take a few notes of ideas that might have popped up while he/she whas recording. Person 2 and 3 take your post its with you. Have a moment of break, moving, breathing, relaxing and then move to another perspective space.

3 Divide the group

Divide the groups into trios. If the number of your group cannot be divided by three, make one or two groups of four. The fourth person will have the same role as person 3.

4 The trios visit perspective spaces

(45-60 minutes)
Each group moves to one of the perspective spaces. If a perspective space a trio would like to visit is being used by another trio, the joker space can be used to avoid waiting.
Give at least 30 minutes time for this phase, so each trio has the chance to at least visit 3 different spaces. We found 45 minutes to an hour an ideal time to immerse into this ideation process from different perspectives. Each group can go at their own pace.

5 Presenting and clustering ideas

Gather the group and explain the next step:

Two trios combine to a group of 6 around a workspace (pinboard wall, big space on the wall with pinboard paper, black- or whiteboard.
They alternating sticking the post-its on the wall and read out what the idea was about. There should not be long explanations about each idea, but the others should understand what it was about. It is not necessary anymore to know which idea was generated in which perspective space.
Clustering similar ideas can help to find an overview of what there is.

6 Getting into detail

Find out which ideas could be really useful for your purpose. Tell each other what ideas attract you and why. How can those ideas be taken further? How could you refine those ideas and make them colorful and alive? Allow them to stay with an idea that caught their attention and look into how they can develop it. After having brought alive several ideas, select in your group which idea you would like to continue refining and prototyping. Offer the groups marking dots, they might be helpful to select the most promising ideas in their group.

Inexperienced groups might need a facilitator for that step. If you don't have facilitators for each subgroup of 6, you can alternately assist your group with your facilitation skills and encourage them to ask you for help if needed.


Either let each group present their ideas to the other or - better - let them prototype their ideas and present the ideas in the form of showing their prototypes.




During the Hosting Innovation Training in Italy, the participants had the following challenge: "How can we become a gift to Montegabbione (the neighbouring village)?". After a morning of empathic interviews and sensing the place, after gathering the insights from the interviews and after interpreting the insights with the method Shoeshuffle, they used the Perspective Carousel as an ideation method. The perspective spaces we used were:
- a pine tree
- a person from a future generation
- a person you don't like at all
- an enthusiast
- Buddha
- a doer
- you yourself
- the joker

The spaces were spread out in different areas of the garden around the seminar house. You saw the groups in different moods, meditative and calm to shouting and jumping around, being excited and full of rage. They clustered, selected and refined their ideas in three groups and prepared their prototypes, all in about an hour. The same afternoon we went all together to the village to test the prototypes. They ended in lively and beautiful encounters with the villagers, from children to the 94-year-old lady running the bar in the village. The children took the ideas further and made their own game. The mayor invited the participants to a private tour to the tower. It ended in a connecting and fun afternoon between the seminar group and the villagers. It showed so clearly: you don't need a lot of time and effort to create something beautiful. It was fun for the group, the process was easy, and all-in-all it was an empowering experience to know that you can come up with good ideas in no time.

Trainers for this method can be hired here:

Visionautik Akademie, Plenum, Art Monastery, Sendzimir Foundation www.visionautik.de

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