Tools and methods

SWOT workshop

When it is useful

The SWOT method is used to define the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organisation. In cultural mapping, we can use it to get to know the neighbourhood. We collect information and opinions from the residents during the workshops. By carefully compiling the materials, we can make workshops more interesting and structured. During the workshop, we can divide the group into smaller teams working on different issues concerning the neighbourhood, e.g. culture, local social activities, investments. We organise the collected materials and on this basis we can define the key issues for our cultural planning project: what we want to tackle and what can help us.

SWOT workshop

Step by step instruction

  • Organise an open meeting in the neighbourhood. The room should be big enough for several groups to work simultaneously. If you don't have such a room, organise several smaller meetings on specific subjects.
  • Prepare the materials: large paper charts, sheets for writing down strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, writing utensils. Set up the tables.
  • Introduce the SWOT method, the plan of the workshop and the issues you want to focus on.
  • Let the participants divide into groups based on the proposed topics – so that everyone discusses the topic they are most interested in and know most about. Assign a facilitator to each group. If there are fewer people at the workshop, you can all work together.
  • Starting from one of the categories, e.g. strengths, each participant writes down on small sheets of paper (marked with an appropriate symbol) what they think fits into the category of the topic their group is working on.
  • After a few minutes everyone puts their sheets on the group table and collectively chooses the three that they think are most relevant. You can use a group discussion supported by voting with dots (each person has three dots they can put on the sheets they choose as the most important).
  • Move on to the next SWOT category and similarly select the most important issues.
  • At the end, each group presents its SWOT analysis and justifies the choice of specific elements. After the presentation, it is useful to remind participants how you will use the outcomes of the workshop and what are the next steps in your project.

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