• Submitted by Dave on Mar 15, 2022

    On March 15, 2022, we migrated the Group Works site from Drupal to Backdrop, and are now using Shopify as our embedded e-commerce platform. Prices remain unchanged. Should you have any questions about the migration, or experience any problems with ordering decks, please email .

  • Submitted by Kavana Tree on Jan 6, 2021

    We are pleased to announce that anyone who's registered as a user on our Group Works website community can now DRAFT NEW PATTERNS.  This functionality is long overdue, and any work completed here may someday be included in an "expansion" set or future edition of the Group Works deck.  If you are inspired to add patterns you believe are missing from the current set of 91 cards, i invite you to:

    1. Register as a user at the website if you're not already (upper right corner of website homepage )
    2. Read the Template for pattern writing at
    3. Get started at

    This is a new functionality, so please let us know of any barriers or bugs you encounter.

    In addition as has been the case for a long time, you are also invited to add further details to existing patterns, using fields that don't fit onto the printed cards but are available online.  Someday that content may become the basis for a book version.  To do that, once you're logged in, simply go to the page for the pattern you want to supplement and click Edit.  Have fun!

  • Submitted by Dave on Apr 17, 2020

    Dear Group Works enthusiasts,

    While so much in the world is akilter and askew, we have been
    noticing that people keep quietly joining the Group Works emails
    lists.  If the pattern cards are useful to you in making sense of and
    responding to what's happening at this time, we are very glad for that.

    We are inviting anyone who wants to connect around the deck to share
    stories of how you are using it or ask questions to join us for a
    live Zoom call Tuesday, April 28, at 11:00am PDT (that's 2pm EDT,
    19:00 BST and 20:00 CEST). 

    If you'd like to attend, please register in advance at
    so we can plan appropriately, and we will send you the call link and
    password.  The session will be moderated by Dave Pollard & Tree
    Bressen, long-time Group Pattern Language Project core team
    collaborators.  We look forward to sharing this time with you to
    connect and explore.

    We hope every person reading this message is as well as can be in
    current times.

    --Tree & Dave

  • Submitted by Dave on Dec 12, 2019

    We're delighted to announce than an independent courseware company called the unMBA Institute has just released an introductory two-hour course on Group Works

    Russell Giesbrecht's course straightforwardly describes the contents of the deck package, gives his version of what purposeful group conversations are and what pattern languages are all about, and steps users through each card in the deck, category by category. He reads each card aloud and adds his own commentary. The course concludes with a brief description of some uses of the deck. We see how this may be especially useful to any user who prefers to learn by audio (or to share the concepts in the deck with anyone who has a sight impairment). 

    The professionally-made course costs about US$12.

    Our thanks to Russell for this initiative. When we created Group Works we deliberately chose to use a very open Creative Commons license, one that allows anyone to create their own spin-offs. So we're happy to see that coming to fruition through someone new stepping up with an independent creation! It's clear that Russell shares our belief in the power of groups and the importance of democratic deliberation.

  • Submitted by Kavana Tree on Nov 27, 2019

    We're pleased to report that the 3rd printing of Group Works is now complete and the new shipment of decks has arrived. We've cleared last month's small number of back orders and are now again promptly shipping decks as orders come in. Thanks for your patience during the changeover.

    Changes to the deck from the 2nd printing are minimal.  The most visible updates are: The card numbers are a bit larger and easier to read, the box color is darker for better contrast, and the booklet accompanying the deck has been fully updated with a more contemporary list of "how to use the deck" activities. The price remains unchanged.

    This might be a good time to think about buying a deck for your favourite facilitator as a holiday gift. We provide a gift card option at time of order.

    And thanks to all those who suggested ideas for changes for this printing. While we decided to go with very few changes this time (partly due to receiving some large orders right as stock was running low), we did consider each idea, and may reconsider some next time around. In the meantime, we plan to re-open potential pattern proposal drafting on the website; we'll make a separate announcement when that functionality has been activated.

    Cheers to the thousands of people that have downloaded or bought a deck and are using it in their practices and organizations. We hear stories of the deck's use that come from all over the world, and we're delighted to be helping people with the challenging and vitally important work of group process facilitation. We'd love to hear your story; contact us via the website or any of us personally.

  • Submitted by Dave on Oct 29, 2018

    Tree and I (Dave) spent Thursday afternoon and Friday at a joint conference of two organizations, Pattern Languages of Programs (PLOP) and Portland Urban Architecture Research Lab (PUARL), held in side by side at the Portland campus of the University of Oregon.

    We learned about major pattern language initiatives overseas, including 10 pattern languages developed by Wolfgang Stark and his team in Germany (the same folks who translated Group Works into German), and 60(!) pattern languages developed by Takashi Iba and his team at Keio University in Japan (who brought 25 attendees from the Iba Lab to the conference — wow).

    We are pleased that Group Works seems to be recognized as an exemplary pattern language, and has been the inspiration for some others.

    Tree appreciated connecting with the diverse international community of people working in this area, and the underlying intention of social change motivating many of them. She was surprised and delighted to learn of the pattern language antecedents to the creation of both wiki (the first wiki was created to hold and modify software patterns) and agile. She especially enjoyed talking with wiki innovator Ward Cunningham, whose new Federated Wiki project shows great potential for use in connection with Group Works, and with Ross Chapin who works on “pocket neighbourhoods.” All in all, she found the conference more lively and fulfilling than she expected.

    A highlight for me was Takashi’...

  • Submitted by Dave on Aug 30, 2018

    Thanks to Alexander von Below for upgrading our iPhone app to work with the latest version of iOS. We're leaving it as free at least for now, to allow time for everyone who bought the old version to upgrade. You can find it here.

    If anyone's up for creating an Android version, please let us know.

  • Submitted by Dave on May 22, 2017

    Robert Best has kindly developed a method of incorporating the selection of a random Group Works card within any Slack application. Here's his video that explains how to add a slackbot with that functionality to your Slack team, and here's a link to his Google Doc file of shortened URLs for all of the Group Works cards (you'll need that file because of the length limit for URLs in the Slackbot).

    Once it's in place, all you have to do is type the magic phrase ("Group Works card please" in Robert's example, or whatever phrase you choose to set) and the bot will retrieve and display a random card from the Group Works deck.

    Thanks so much to Robert for developing this cool add-on for Slack users, and to Ferananda Ibarra and Jeff Clearwater for showing it to us.

  • Submitted by Sue on Oct 29, 2016

    Cynthia Kurtz and Sue Woehrin led a workshop on cross method mapping using the Group Works pattern cards at the October 2016 NCDD (National Coalition for Dialog & Deliberation) conference. Cross method mapping, developed by Cynthia, is a protocol for comparing and contrasting two different facilitation methodologies in a systematic way using the Group Works pattern cards as a common language. At the NCDD workshop one group compared Open Space Technology and Reflective Structured Dialogue; another group compared Structured Dialogic Design and Non-Violent Communication. All participants came away not only with new openness to another method but with greater insight into their own familiar one! Try this for yourself. You might surprise yourself by uncovering hidden connections and distinctions, and you’ll discover new ways to bridge divides across varying methodologies. Cynthia's workbook can be found on our resources page under workshop handouts (and can be adapted for your own use).

  • Submitted by Sue on Feb 1, 2016

    Group Works est disponible maintenant en précommande en français! Merci à Juan Carlos Londono à Montreal, Christine Koehler à Paris, and Jeremie Schaeli à Lausanne, Suisse pour avoir traduit Group Works en français comme Les Clés des Dynamiques de Groupe.

    L'équipe Group Works est très fière d'accueillir cette nouvelle version de notre outil pour la facilitation de groupe efficace!


    Check out the new website for French deck users!

    Kudos to Juan Carlos Londono in Montreal, Christine Koehler in Paris, and Jeremie Schaeli in Lausanne, Switzerland for their great team work transforming Group Works into "Les clés des dynamiques de groupe"

  • Submitted by Sue on Dec 10, 2015

    We're excited to pass along the great news from the team of Christine Koehler, Juan C Londono and Jérémie Schaeli that the French translation of the Group Works deck has gone to press! The decks are expected to be ready for sale in March 2016. A hearty congratulations to this dedicated team who persisted across an ocean in their collaboration. Check out their budding website and watch for a list serve in French to appear soon.

  • Submitted by Dave on Oct 15, 2015

    I spent a delightful day on Monday with Delvin Solkinson (from and Kym Chi, along with 14 others in Heart Gardens and Elphinstone Park in Roberts Creek BC, learning about the principles of permaculture. They use the Group Works deck as part of their toolkit, and now it's being used by 'permies' all over the world, such as Looby Macnamara in the UK. The banner photo on our Facebook Community page was taken at one of Del's workshops in New York (that photo is by Gene Stull). Awesome! Thanks Del and Kym!

  • Submitted by Sue on Jul 13, 2015

    Congrats to Ulises and Marta on the publication of the Spanish translation of Group Works!!  

    "Nos sentimos muy felices de anunciar que ya están disponibles en español las cartas de la facilitación, un paquete de 91 cartas en color con diferentes patrones grupales necesarios para reuniones efectivas y armoniosas, creado por Group Works y traducido al español por Ulises y Marta, miembros fundadores del Instituto Internacional de Facilitación y Cambio Europa, IIFACe.”

    “We are happy to announce the ‘facilitation cards’ are already available in Spanish, a deck of 91 colorful cards explaining different group patterns present in effective meetings, created by Group Works and translated into Spanish by Ulises & Marta, both founding members of the International Institute for Facilitation and Change Europa, IIFACe”.

    Un abrazo,

    José Luis Escorihuela 'Ulises' * Facilitador de grupos
    Facebook: ulyselba    Twitter: #!/ulyselba

    You can download a free copy of the Spanish translation in a pdf file from, or order a printed version from the Ecohabitar online shop at

    If you'd like to connect directly with Ulises and Marta, here are their emails:

    This is an exciting...

  • Submitted by Sue on Jun 3, 2015

    The core team is fresh off a fabulous session on Bowen Island (a short ferry ride from Vancouver, B.C).  Very nourishing to return to Dave’s gracious hosting and home, the site where many of the patterns were born, and where inspiration crystallized to publish the group pattern language as a deck of cards!

    A core purpose of this session was to ‘go meta’, to reflect on—and celebrate! —all that has been achieved in the past six and a half years since Tree founded the project in 2008.  The project has never really truly paused to take a deep breath together, especially since the first Group Works printing at the end of 2011, so this gathering was special. 

    With Nancy White’s artful facilitation we gained new perspective on our overall trajectory, and discerned ways to simplify back to essentials.   Clarity about the minimum work required to keep decks moving out into the world opens up space for rest and renewal for core team members.  Deleting tired old task/to do lists (along with the guilty consciences that went with never getting to them!) frees energy to focus on emergent initiatives such as nurturing the quickly expanding community of Group Works enthusiasts—that would be all of you reading these posts! ;-) 

    While we have decided to take a break from organizing Group Works workshops for the coming year, we are putting out a call for any of you to organize one yourself in your home community!  For ideas on how to construct an experiential workshop of your own, check out the “workshop segment compilation” handout on our resources page.  Feel free to ask for our consultation if need be, and/or invite us to come design and facilitate a custom...

  • Submitted by Wesley on Apr 22, 2015

    Hi there, my name is Wesley – I’m a Masters student in Nonprofit Management and Conflict Resolution at the University of Oregon. For the last few months, I’ve been working with the core team as the first-ever intern for the Group Pattern Language Project.

    I’ve helped out with several projects; including working with the team as we found a new distributor, and Distilling a master list of workshop segments. I also have been sitting in on meetings of the core team - mostly Listening, but I also share some thoughts on nonprofit life stages. My final official role as intern was helping out at the recent workshop in Seattle, and co-facilitating during the games night there. Overall it’s been a great experience, and you can read more on my internship blog at

    I’ve been very impressed with the core team and the wider Group Works community – you all have my Appreciation for what you’ve done to bring this awesome deck into the world! And, if there's anyone else who might be interested in doing an internship with the project, feel free to reach out to me or to one of the members of the core team - there's always lots of work to be done!

    Best Wishes,



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