Each summer, I co-lead workshops at Knoll Farm on leadership, story, civic dialogue and facilitation.

Please join us and be part of our learning community.


Upcoming Workshops

Facilitating Civic Dialogue: Building Skills and Possibility in a New Era 

Facilitated by: Deb Bicknell and Peter Forbes

August 16-18, 2017

Knoll Farm Fayston, Vermont

Politicians say it’s getting harder and harder to talk with one another, sociologists say our nation is going through “the big sort” that divides us by race, class, education and ideology.  There are many ways to respond to these powerful times - one of them is engaging in and practicing the skills of civic dialogue. Civic dialogue seeks insight and empathy in divided places through actively understanding difference and fostering dialogue on matters of consequence to our lives. Whether you are change-maker advocating for an issue, an elected official seeking durable public policy, or anyone trying to advance an idea you care about this workshop will be a space to explore, connect, grow through learning how to make space for difficult conversations that can transform situations. 

This workshop will offer opportunities to gain personal awareness, enhance practical facilitation skills and explore real application of learning.  Participants will learn basic facilitation skills and have opportunities to enhance others, while exploring how to create safer, more welcoming environments for people to have brave and honest conversations about issues that often separate us. We will explore how our identities play a role in our facilitation and how they affect group dynamics and Knoll farm will be used as a beautiful setting in which to learn as well as a tool for understanding the role of place in facilitation.

Please join two veteran cross-cultural facilitators, Peter Forbes and Deb Bicknell, for a skill-building professional development workshop on process facilitation techniques that seek dialogue, awareness and new possibility among groups and communities.  We begin with a belief that how we talk and listen with one another is the foundation of how we live together and that these times require challenging assumptions, creating space for new awareness, and bridging polarities.

Deb Bicknell is a seasoned international educator, curriculum designer and facilitator. She works in organizations and communities near and far, focusing on leadership development, cross-cultural communication and engagement, critical thinking and creativity, conflict transformation and youth empowerment.  She believes deeply in the power, creativity and resourcefulness of people and communities and is a global citizen, who hangs her hat in (and is from) the great state of Maine.

Peter is a northern New Englander with more than 20 years of experience as a process facilitator for dozens of communities and coalitions from Alaska to Maine.  He also has many years of experience in organizational development, having founded or led 3 social profit organizations. Peter draws on other life experience as a writer, photographer, community healer, father and farmer. 

Full workshop cost:

Lodging and meals: at Knoll Farm $250.00
Tuition: sliding scale from $300-$650

Register HERE through Knoll Farm Web site. 

The Long Now

Facilitated by Peter Forbes

September 11-14, 2017

Knoll Farm Fayston, Vermont

What is your long work, the purpose of your life that spans time, organizations and careers? How does this moment in our nation’s history ask you to engage?   How does your long work present itself in your life now? What does it ask of you and provide to you?  How do you hope to develop it into the future?  

The purpose of the Long Now is to create space to consider what must be faced in order to reveal and sustain the path of one’s life.  The Long Now retreat is a peer learning experience. It offers a rare opportunity to sustain a conversation that matters among peers regarding the work that you care most about, and exploring where your skills and life experience overlap with what the world needs.

Peter’s role as facilitator and guide is to sustain the inquiry among a group of peers who can help to transform each other’s awareness and to provide individual coaching and support..

Full workshop cost:

Lodging and meals: at Knoll Farm $375
Tuition: sliding scale from $350-$600

Register HERE through Knoll Farm Web site.