19 Best Free Workshop Resources

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Meetings and workshops are where collaborative learning happens. Whether they end up being useful or a waste of time depends a lot on how they are designed.

A diversity of workshop activities and balanced mix of group facilitation techniques are essential for any facilitated session, be it a strategic workshop, a team retreat, a kick-off meeting, a co-creation session or a regular project meeting.

It takes careful consideration to pick the right interactive workshop resources for your session, the ones that will fit perfectly with your learning objectives, group size, profile of participants, and available time.

You may already have some favorite exercises for different types of events, but as you facilitate more and more meetings, you might not want to use the same workshop activities over and over again.

So what are the best ways to equip yourself with new group facilitation methods? It’s generally a good idea to offer activities you’ve experienced as a participant yourself: because of this, expert facilitators learn mostly from one another. Joining a community of peers and taking part in festivals and events are great ways to pick up new skills.

When in need of some quick inspiration, or perhaps to find detailed instructions for an activity you are not 100% sure of how to run, there is a myriad of resources online that can help you pick the right tool or technique for a specific meeting. Some are hard to navigate and only offer generic tools, while others provide you with precisely described workshop activities with practical facilitator tips in an easy-to-navigate web environment.

Listed below are our favorite and trusted facilitation resources.

8 Most Popular Facilitation Libraries

In the first part of this article, we will list toolkits beloved by facilitators all over the world. This is based on responses to the 2023 State of Facilitation survey.

There are great reasons for these method libraries to be so popular: they are well-organized, contain versatile, easy-to-use methods, and often include visual assets such as canvases and templates.


Spend time delving into these templates and activities for tried-and-tested sessions and workshops especially if you are starting out as a facilitator and want to make sure you have all the basics covered!

Liberating Structures

The aim of Liberating Structures is to enhance creativity, trust and relational coordination while making every participant feel included and heard in meetings. You can find a structured set of 33 easy-to-learn group facilitation activities on their website. Liberating Structure methods help make meeting processes more explicit and understandable for everyone since it increases the ownership of solutions by including large groups of people.

If you are just starting out with Liberating Structures, then you can find inspiration in several field stories and case studies that suggest sequences of use for the Liberating Structures suite of methods.

Complete collection of Liberating Structures


One of the first things many facilitators had to do when moving business online due to the Covid-19 lockdowns was learn how to use virtual whiteboards from colleagues who had started working online much earlier.

Since then, the possibilities of what can be done using a collaborative visual tool for sharing knowledge and collecting ideas online have exploded! The Miroverse is a fully searchable collection of hundreds of templates for sessions you can copy and paste to a new board to kick-start your workshop.

Mural templates

If Mural is your visual whiteboard of choice, you will find many sleek and elegant templates ready to used in the Mural template collection. The database is organized by categories, including icebreakers, ideation template, and many more designed especially for education, to facilitate planning, or with Agile practitioners in mind.

Whether to use Miro, Mural, or yet other whiteboards such as a the more basic, but very intuitive, Google Jamboard, depends on personal taste and, sometimes, client priorities. A skilled facilitator should be able to use all of these interchangeably depending on the specific project. Therefore, it’s certainly worth spending time exploring visual whiteboard libraries for knowledge and inspiration, especially if most of your work is remote.

SessionLab Library of facilitation techniques

SessionLab is an online platform providing a workshop planner application and a public library of facilitation techniques. The library hosts more than 700 interactive workshop activities, both coming from organizations sharing their own content (including some like Hyper Island and Gamestorming which are also featured in this list) and individual meeting practitioners sharing their favorite tools with the community.

SessionLab library
Workshop activities in the SessionLab library of facilitation methods

A unique feature of this library is that it allows you to easily save and use its activities. If you find an activity you like, you can save it for later in your collection of favourite methods. And if you decide to use SessionLab’s free workshop planner tool, you can easily pull any activity from your personal or the public library to your workshop plans, and your workshop agenda’s timing automatically gets updated.

IAF Methods Database

The IAF Methods Database is a set of facilitation tools and techniques collected and curated by members of the International Association of Facilitators. The purpose of the database is to serve facilitators by gathering and making accessible a breadth of facilitation methodologies and techniques. Part of the library – around 60 facilitation activities – is publicly available to explore, while the full library is accessible to IAF members only.

The homepage of the IAF methods library

IDEO Design Kit

Human-Centered Design methods are handly collected and packaged on IDEO’s website, where you will find all you need to prepare to lead expert interviews, guide a group into prototyping, and more. And if you are looking for more tools to support your journey into this family of practices you can check out our article on Online Tools for design and innovation processes.

Hyper Island Toolbox

Hyper Island is a creative business school that also offers consulting services. It approaches learning by focusing on collaboration, creativity, and learning by doing. The Hyper Island Toolbox offers a selection of activities to help you do things more creatively and collaboratively in a team or organization. It features both some popular, well-known workshop activities and facilitation methods created by Hyper Island itself.

We turn to Hyper Island, in particular, for solid team-building methods, engaging and meaningful energizers, activities for educators and the kind of basic, essential tools, such as Start-Stop-Continue feedback, that works well in every situation. A great place for beginners too!

The Hyper Island toolbox hosts more than 100 activities on an extremely user-friendly interface that allows browsing by category, time frame and group size. All methods are illustrated with consistent and relevant visuals, making it easy and visually pleasant to browse.

Hyper Island Toolbox
Workshop activities and navigation in Hyper Island’s Toolbox

Service Design Tools

Service Design Tools is a project aspiring to create a bridge between academics and practitioners in the design field. What emerged is a great platform for working on design and innovation strategies.

This rich collection can be navigated based on the stage of the design process (research, ideation, prototyping, implementation, evaluation), on the participants you want to focus on (clients, users, stakeholders) and more. A dedicated space is set aside for Enhanced Tools, that is, frameworks for engaging with high levels of complexity.

7 More Great Toolkits for Group Activities

We highlighted the seven platforms above due to their popularity and ease of use, each of them offering useful filters and search options. Thus, if you want to find an exercise for a specific purpose (e.g. team building) with a given time frame and group size, you can easily filter by these criteria.

However, there are many other gems on the web, too. Hard as it is to pick, here other 7 toolkits we recommend you get familiar with:


Gamestorming is a set of co-creation tools used by innovators around the world to facilitate meetings in the business world. These innovative activities aim to make meetings a great experience for participants while still delivering on effectiveness, short timeframes and action.

You can find more than 50 Gamestorming activities with detailed step-by-step guides on the official Gamestorming website. And if you like a good old printed version to look over the Gamestorming methods all at once, you might like the Gamestorming book itself, too!

Thiagi Group’s games

Thiagi’s website offers more than 400 free games and exercises with detailed descriptions, facilitation tips, and debriefing questions, ready-to-run for everyone. If you want to filter your search among the games, you might visit the SessionLab library where you can find a significant set of these activities shared with Thiagi’s permission. There you are able to search and filter based on tags, time and group size to find the activity you need.

Thiagi group games. And, delightfully, More Games.

Design Method Toolkit

The Digital Society School Design Method Toolkit is a well-organized collection of design and research methods that enables you to get started and enrich your design process. You can find more than 50 practical tools with step-by-step guides on how to run design research, ideation, experimentation and creation within short iterations. If you run agile, team-based projects, then you will find useful inspiration in this toolkit.

Design A Better Business Toolbox

Are you already familiar with the Business Model Canvas and the ingenious way it helps structure thinking on developing a business model? This toolbox offers a great collection of templates and canvases in a style similar to the BMC, mostly related to business design, such as the storytelling canvas, customer journey canvas, persona canvas and many more. You can find step-by-step guides on how to use each framework coupled with downloadable templates to use in your workshop.

Untools for Better Thinking

Untools for Better Thinking is a collection of practices designed to look at the world through a different lens. Sometimes it’s complexity theory, sometimes it’s systems innovation: there are only about 20 practices to be mastered here, but each one is rich in insights.

Any one of these tools alone can lead to improved decision-making and form the basis of rich insightful workshop experiences. Bookmark this page if you are working in multistakeholder environments where problems never have a linear solution or if you want more ideas for working in a volatile and ever-changing world.

Project Zero’s Thinking Routines toolbox

This database was designed with classroom teaching in mind. The proposed methods are meant to stimulate discussion, engage students, deepen students’ thinking and help make that thinking visible.

The strategies collected here by the Harvard Graduate School for Education’s Project Zero will therefore serve workshop designers well, particularly if you are working at the intersection of training and facilitation. And if you are a teacher or professor looking for ways to introduce more facilitative approaches into your classroom, this is an excellent place to start!

Tools for educators and training workshops

Facilipedia by Mischief Makers

Facilipedia is a growing, curated shortlist of resources from the playful group of facilitators known as Mischief Makers. It’s a great introduction to facilitation for beginners to browse, as they’ve collected all-time favorites and added careful instructions to get you going. Take a look at their case studies as well for stories of engagement in practice!

4 Treasure chests of Hands-on Activities for Social Change

Workshops can help teams and groups achieve extraordinary results together. And there are many areas of social and environmental work where collective action is ever more important in our challenging world. Here are three toolkits dedicated especially to those brave people around the world who are exploring new strategies and approaches to cultural change.

Changemakers Xchange Resources for Changemakers

Changemakers Xchange is a global community of over 1000 changemakers, many of whom train as facilitators for social innovation. Their collection of resources is an inspiring read if you are preparing to deliver workshops on climate change, activism or inclusion.

Part of the Changemakers Xchange collections

Some of the team behind Changemakers Xchange are also in charge of the Recipes for Wellbeing, a lovely collection of activities for taking care of personal and collective wholeness. With practices for a healthier mind, body, heart and soul which can easily be integrated into your workshop flow.

ClimateKIC’s Visual Toolbox for System Innovation

When it comes to gathering diverse groups around a table to talk about serious, system-wide change and how to get there, nothing quite beats a visual canvas everyone can gather around and work with.

The EU organization ClimateKIC (the KIC stands for Knowledge Innovation Community) has a long experience setting up workshops in multi-stakeholder environments such as at the city or district level. Their 170-page free visual toolkit includes 16 canvases that make tough concepts related to system innovation and sustainability accessible and actionable.

The booklet contains 16 visual canvases to map systems and enable interventions

Seeds for Change

Seeds for Change is a UK-based cooperative supporting the efforts of campaigners everywhere and has long hosted a collection of activities, tips, games and other resources. A great place to look for materials for workshops on conflict transformation and consensus decision-making.


You can spend days learning from the incredible amount of resources on decentralised organising and changemaking collected by the Greaterthan collective. The place to go if you are interested in exploring the cutting edge of organisational change.

More Resources from SessionLab

Here at SessionLab we offer a wide array of resources for workshop planning and design. Here are some for you to explore:

Session Templates

When diving deeper into facilitation and workshop design, practitioners soon discover that there is an art to creating sequences of activities that truly make sense, deliver results and create environments conducive to learning. You can find some great examples in what Liberating Structures calls “strings”, logical sequences of different activities that lead participants fluidly in and out an experience.

To see how activities come together to create a coherent event, meeting or workshop, whether it lasts 2 hours or 4 days, head over to our template collection: there you will find curated agendas as delivered in real-life by skilled facilitators all over the world.

Using the SessionLab planner, you can create your next agenda based on any one of these templates, and adapt it to your own needs. The Essential Workshop Structure might be the right place to start if you are planning to lead a small group to solve a problem together.

Modify a template in SessionLab’s planner to jump-start your design process.

SessionLab is also a friendly community where you can swap stories and tips with fellow facilitators. Join the conversation!

Keep learning

Choosing the best activity for a workshop is only part of the skill of designing and leading collaborative experiences. In our blog you can find articles on how to plan and design workshops as well as on the skills to develop to become excellent workshop facilitators.

Last but not least, join the newsletter for curated selections of our favorite activities from the library. If you are starting out at facilitation, you might want to join our (free) email course Facilitation is for Everyone! for tips delivered straight to your inbox every week.

We believe these online resources are worth checking out if you are looking for new tools and techniques for your next workshop or meeting. We hope they will save you time and help you find new and effective activities.

Which is your favorite resource for workshop activities?

Let us know in the comments! We also greatly appreciate if you share any further suggestions for free useful workshop resources.


  1. Thank you for this very useful compilation :-)

    1. Robert Cserti March 24, 2019 as 10:28 pm

      You’re welcome, Claire, I’m glad you’ve found it useful! :-)

      1. I would like to apply for work at SessionLab, do you have a link?

        1. Robert Cserti August 15, 2019 as 9:22 am

          Hi LJ! Thank you for writing, you can find our job openings here: https://www.sessionlab.com/jobs

  2. I’m Transitioning to the facilitation world and this is hugely valuable. Thank you.

    1. Robert Cserti June 27, 2019 as 10:02 am

      You’re welcome, Rachael! I’m happy to hear you’ve found useful the resources above!

  3. Leopoldo Suarez July 7, 2019 as 11:01 pm

    Hi, I really liked your blog about everything about the hyper island toolbox, I’m going to combine it with what I’m doing to improve my results.

    1. Robert Cserti July 8, 2019 as 7:34 pm

      Thank you Leopoldo, that’s great to hear!

  4. Cristina Gheorghiu September 3, 2019 as 9:55 pm

    Hi, do you know any game on how to build top-down objectives? As if you were a Prime-minister in a government, or a mayor or a CEO and would like that starting from 5 objectives (or the team needs to identify those objectives), to drill them down based on department competency, the aim being that only toghether they can make the top-level objectives happen?

  5. Pablo Luengas January 1, 2020 as 7:17 pm

    Hello Robert, in my work as a learning designer and facilitator I am moving from class teaching to online sessions. Webinars that go from 2h to 4h every one or two weeks, some times 3 months long.

    I wish I could use SessionLab for this middle-term planning, like a zoom-out of a day to get a holistic view of my whole 3-month process, without losing the hourly activity planning.

    The overview feature for more days sessions is great, but I’d love to be able to see several days blocks in 3 or more months.

    Hopefully I am not alone wishing this functionality for SessionLab!

    Best wishes for the new year 2020!

    1. Robert Cserti February 5, 2020 as 2:09 pm

      Hello Pablo,
      Thank you for your message and for the suggestion! – and sorry for the late response on my end.

      Would it help you to set up the webinar series as one multi-day session (one day-session for each webinar), so then you can easily display all of them in the Multi Plan View?

      That would allow you to see each day with its blocks, although it might get tricky to have a good overivew if you have more than 5-6 sessions on the same screen, as then you’d need to scroll horizontally.

      Happy to listen if you have any further thoughts on it,
      wishing best with your next online sessions :-)

  6. Ryan Cunanan May 27, 2020 as 2:53 pm

    Thank you so much for these resources!

    1. Robert Cserti May 28, 2020 as 9:21 pm

      You’re welcome, Ryan!

  7. Saliha Khebizi February 27, 2021 as 5:39 am

    Hi Thank you so much . I am a new teacher trainer I wan t to plan my first face to face teacher training session.Any brillant ideas ?

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