Speed dating

Duration: < 30 min
Difficulty Level: Easy
Group Size: < 20
Level of interaction: High
Multilanguage fit: No
Preparation Time: Medium
Purpose: Access and Motivation, Information Exchange, Online Socialization
Type of Online Events: Hackaton, Webinar, Workshop

Tales that connect

Speed dating is a method that combines factual and narrative elements to share, explain, and inform. In short rounds, facilitators, experts, or participants tell relevant and powerful stories that evoke emotions and creative insights around a specific topic. Because of its nature, the method allows participants to recall authentic stories related to their personal or professional experiences and share them with others easily. The stories can be used, among others, for a group discussion reflecting on the experience of others, common themes, contradictions, and insights.

Use this method to:

  • Build skills in communication, knowledge sharing, active listening, and reflection.
  • Encourage respect for diversity of beliefs and values from individual and collective experiences.
  • Illustrate concepts in context.
  • Translate theoretical concepts into concrete examples.

Steps to apply this method:


  1. Define the purpose of the learning activity and the topic. For instance, introducing participants to each other, to a topic, or both.
  2. Prepare a set of questions based on the previous step and include them in the slide presentation of your session.
  3. Prepare a set of breakout rooms for participants to work in pairs.


  1. Brief the participants and explain the purpose and process of the learning activity:
    • Participants work in pairs and share stories around specific questions in rounds no longer than 3 minutes each.
    • Participants and facilitator gather and debrief after each round.
  2. Share your screen with the slide and the prepared questions. 
  3. Read the questions out loud and decide on the question to be discussed in the first round. To facilitate the decision-making process, ruffle the options using an online wheel spinner.
  4. Assign the participants randomly into a set of breakout rooms and let them discuss the question in pairs for 3 minutes. 
  5. After the time has passed, bring all participants to the main room for a short debrief.
  6. Decide on a different question for the next round.
  7. Reassign new pairs randomly into a new set of breakout rooms.
  8. Repeat steps 5, 6, and 7 a couple of times more until reaching a good level of interaction among the participants. 
  9. Close the learning activity with a comprehensive debriefing and reflection to lead to a related learning activity, such as a Case Study.

Pose provocative questions that elicit honest experiences at every stage of Storytelling, such as when participants felt inspired, became part of a team or community, saw changes occur, or learned a valuable lesson about the course subject.

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