Preparing a Charity Workshop

"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself." - Galileo

Getting ready for a charity workshop

Planning to get some concerned citizens together in a couple of weeks for a workshop to discuss ways we can contribute more to this fast changing society we live in in Shanghai. There is no real giving culture here and some of the larger charities are blighted by corruption scandals. Most of the innovative work comes from small groups and individuals.

Setting is important and I was scouting with a friend along the Huang Pu river in the Yang Pu District. Shanghainese regard this district much like Londoners did the East end of London - before the refurb. To be avoided.

Well the refurb is coming to Yang Pu. Inside an disused industrial zone, lies the first General Electric factory in Shanghai, old Japanese army barracks and a football pitch. We found a few inspired works in progress.

Taiwanese porcelain brand "Franz" are displaying and several artists and architects are converting industrial units into studios, bars and cafes.

I found an early renovation unit which is a shell at the moment, but has tables and chairs inside. With a bit of improvisation,we can use the glass floor to ceiling panels as a white board, and stick up sheets of paper.

Outside pots of flowers, a small lake and more tables and chairs make for a perfect setting in spring Shanghai. It's really peaceful and the noise is mostly blocked off by the trees. Sitting there and thinking about the workshop was really enjoyable - with birds darting around.

It's in moments like these that I really appreciate nature. Shanghai is not the greenest of cities, and being able to find a niche of nature is surprising.

I am looking forward to bringing together a diverse group and discovering where the group knowledge will take us. Anyone with experience of facilitating these kind of workshops? I would love to swop tips with you.

Warwick John Fahy is an international speaker, seminar leader, professional speech coach and expert in presentation skills, public speaking and communication skills. You can contact him for more information.

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