Pyramid (also known as “Building the Pyramid”) is a workshop process that was invented in 2001-2002 as a way to accelerate learning and planning for sustainable development … and anything else that has “the good of the whole” as its core purpose. Schools and universities use Pyramid for classroom education. Companies and organizations use it to create new initiatives or plans. Communities have used it to find new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, recover after a disaster, and more.
We created Pyramid based on long experience in bringing groups together, getting them to think collaboratively and systemically about sustainability, and then providing them a pathway for going from reflection to action. Pyramid combines two simple process tools:
A classic Pyramid workshop uses both of these tools, and mirrors a group’s learning or planning process on a three-dimensional pyramid model (see photo).
A “Pyramid Lite” workshop simplifies this process even more. It strips out words like “indicator” or “system,” and simply leads groups through a series of questions, focused around a “Central Challenge” that the group is interested in learning more (and/or doing something) about. What is happening? Why is it happening? What can be done to change the situation? How can those changes be implemented? The building of a physical pyramid also helps the group focus on this thinking process (though the physical pyramid is not strictly necessary).
The Pyramid Lite manual is free to download and use. If you are an experienced facilitator, workshop leader or teacher, you might prefer to get familiar with the full “Building the Pyramid” toolkit, which includes a much more detailed manual, presentation slides, etc. To get licensed, you’ll need to attend one of our ISIS Academy training workshops.
But for Pyramid 2012, the global workshop, Pyramid Lite is all you need … plus a group of people, and a desire to make a difference!