Participatory Narrative Inquiry (PNI) Online - can MIRO help?

  • 4 August 2020
  • 5 replies

Hi I’m a Knowledge Manager at ORIAS in Canada where i specialise in  participatory working with clients using Participatory Narrative Inquiry developed by Cynthia Kurtz and the Future-Backward timeline method developed by Kurtz and Snowden at Cognitive Edge.

FB works by creating a story timeline using tesselating hexes place first to describe the present, then working backwards into the past before describing a state of  ‘heaven’ which partciapants then work towards in a step-wise fashion. The process can be sued for both sensemaking and action planning.

Normally and ideally this is best done round a table, but in the age of COVID im looking to develop online options. MIRO seems a great platform to do this with. If anyone has any experience of designing templates or knows of something similar which can be adapted it would be great to hear from you.

5 replies

Userlevel 7
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I’ve worked with clients in a similar position- who have a framework for facilitated group processes. The steps are essentially the same each session -- but the outcomes vary by group and topics discussed.  Your process sounds pretty interesting :)  

Good news ! 

Miro templates are: 

  1. 100% going to be helpful for you
  2. Easy to use. 
  3. Easy to create your own: all things template instructions here
  4. Optionally publishable in a branded fashion, in combination with your workflow and facilitator instructions, on the ‘Miroverse” -- Miro’s workflow marketplace.   

Note: Hexagons

To get to hexagons you’ll need to click: left toolbar: shape > ‘all shapes’ at bottom: 



Thanks Max I already started playing around and came up with this:

I didn’t use Miroverse but ill explore the links. I’m new to the platform and have been put off going to far because currently using it for community and academic work so funds are tight!


Thanks again for the pointers though.



Userlevel 7
Badge +5

@Jim Jones  -- once you get the look/style set the way you like it, and build up the key set of starter/placeholder objects, titling, instructions, decoration, etc. you can save it as a template - which you can load up any time you run one of your sessions.  



Find your saved templates under this tool: 

….Under: Custom Templates > Personal


Userlevel 4

Thats exciting stuff above for many reasons (one being @Max Harper sharing yet more links to resources of interest - thnx)

I didn’t know Dave’s workshop tool. I have used a different technique called “Back-Casting” since last century (!) It uses imaginary hindsight to plot the minimum necessary path to a desired outcome. Its primarily from Alan Fowler - I introduced Alan and Dave to each other some time ago.

In backcasting we ask a sponsor to describe the visual evidence of a desired world which we also date and socialise for challenge. Next we ask the socializing group “what two to four pre-reqs are necessary for the end-state’s build of momentum to be unstoppable (tipping points)?”. These are also socialised and matched to strategy and value and private agendas then the question is repeated “what 2-4 pre-reqs enable the tipping points (Milestones)?” Finally challenge the sponsor and community that will deliver what adjustments to resource allocations and authorities are needed if the date is to be realistic. Now we have milestones that can be ‘given’ to operational managers and project managers to create behaviours and assets that enable the tipping points and thus the result(s)

I’ve created one board with a backcasting tool on it but now see (thanx again Max that I should mature it and add to miroverse!)

NOTE backcasting as I’ve used it is purely from the future to today; its a project or change management tool

I believe there is an NLP technique of walking forward, turning and imagining the steps of a journey to achievement

Also Jim, theres a tool out there I’ve just dabbled with called IBIS by Horst Rittle and more described by Jeff Conklin as ridal - see and illustrations in that is about describing arguments exploring solution spaces to ‘wicked problems’ - (wikipedia has a decent description of wicked problems!)

Userlevel 1

Hi all, I work at at the institute of development studies in the UK where we have been working on developing participatory methods over some decades. Some of us also have a strong systems/ complexity orientation to our work. We have started to use Miro - recently for a series of strategy workshops. But I would like to explore further with others who are interested in participatory research and inquiry processes. Perhaps we could create a small inquiry group?