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July 2016
| Issue #4

Focus: Facilitation boom in Asia

Julia Goga-Cooke spoke with Ajit Kamath, IAF Asia Regional Director. 

What has triggered the recent boom in facilitation in Asia?

The IAF Asia Region is growing at a fast rate for a number of reasons:

  1. Awareness of the work that IAF is doing across the globe through social media – Asia’s population are big users of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and regular posts of Chapter activities have helped.
  2. Asia has a mix of developed countries and developing countries. The special membership fee for developing countries makes it affordable for many facilitators.
  3. Asia Conferences are seen as a confluence of cultures. The open sharing by presenters of various facilitation methods has helped attendees to use the power of facilitation back in their work spaces.
  4. New chapters like India, Vietnam, Shanghai (China) have all contributed to growing members in the region. India has grown from about 10 members 4 years ago to more than 100 today.
  5. Asia has been in the forefront of organising events during International Facilitation Week (since 2013) that has helped to create an awareness of facilitation in the region

In such a big region, what differences do you see from one country to another?

Asia is a meltingpot of cultures, every country and thus the chapters are diverse, complex but interesting. We have many languages, traditions & festivals. Approaches to facilitation have to be customized to the language, understanding and tradition of the place. In my regular calls with the Regional Leadership Team and calls with the Chapter Leads, I have realised that an approach to grow membership in one chapter doesn’t necessarily work in another chapter.

We do have a lot of sharing/activities happening in the region; however, relying only on English as the common language can have its limitations. Mandarin has been introduced in CPF Assessments this year thanks to the amazing work done by the Certification team. Hopefully soon more languages will be covered.

What stories of facilitation impact in Asia can you share with us?

Last year’s Facilitation Impact Gold Awardee Himi City of Japan uses facilitation & dialogue in city administration in an interesting story.

Another story that is on-going this year is Hong Kong chapter’s facilitation work with Shaw College, where the team has made college students into facilitators.

We are expecting more stories as the year goes by.


The next IAF Asia Conference is taking place from September 1-4 in Hualien, Taiwan.