atelier dexperience

How to design and run your digital workshops

Many companies and organisations are facing a major challenge. How can they roll out remote working while keeping teams motivated and fostering efficient collaboration? Using an array of digital tools and methods adapted to diverse needs, bluenove has helped public and private players adopt innovative practises to drive co-construction and collective intelligence. Alongside organisations such as Citeo, Crédit Agricole group (IFCAM, CACF), Orange or the CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), we organised more than 150 virtual workshops in 2020 bringing together dozens or even hundreds of participants using different formats:

  • Management seminars
  • Training sessions
  • Co-construction workshops – road maps, program transformation & new offers
  • Creativity workshops

Do you need to create a virtual collective intelligence workshop for your organisation? Discover some of our top tips for designing and running your remote event – tried, tested and approved during the workshops we ran this year.


An exemple in the French energy ecosystem

bluenove helped the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) organise one of its annual seminars. Usually a physical event bringing together 160 collaborators over 1.5 days, the seminar went digital to adapt to the constraints imposed by the current health situation. The main objectives, however, remained the same: share the strategic vision, reinforce internal cohesion and work together on common topics.

To meet this challenge, the seminar was structured into 4 stages, each lasting between 1.5 and 3.5 hours. The sessions alternated between plenary sessions to share strategy and discuss challenges, and sub-group formats to make decisions and launch collective initiatives.

Despite the tight schedule, large number of participants and absence of the informal discussions that occur at face-to-face events, participants enjoyed a moment of sharing and discovery that reinforced relationships, created synergies and launched collective activations.


Circular Challenge 2020: bootcamp adventure with CITEO

For the 5th time, bluenove helped major French circular economy player CITEO design and run the Circular Challenge. Launched by CITEO’s innovation department, the programme aims to identify and accompany innovative solutions in France and abroad through an annual start-up competition featuring 1,300 projects, 10 finalists and 3 prizes.

citeo circular challenge



For the 10 finalists, we organised a 2-day bootcamp with 20 coaches and 28 experts to help them prepare for the final jury presentation held on 3rd December. Given the health situation, we adapted the bootcamp format while still adding as much value as possible for the chosen entrepreneurs.





What were the main challenges of going digital?  

We faced many challenges :

  • Building a format accessible for participants with differing levels of digital experience – despite the innovative nature of their projects – using Zoom, Klaxoon & Mentimeter
  • Optimising communication between entrepreneurs and their coaches to fully capitalise on the latter’s experience
  • Reinforcing links between different projects to ensure the bootcamp remained an opportunity for the CITEO ecosystem and entrepreneurs to come together and share
  • Limiting the time for each session to avoid participants getting overtired using digital tools, without extending the overall length of the boot camp

Taking your event digital requires, above all, anticipation – the coaches and experts carefully prepared their contributions. Well-organised digital events can be highly effective, sometimes even more so than physical events.


Virtual design fiction with the Caisse des Dépôts

The Banque des Territoires, Caisse des dépôts Group (French public sector financial institution) created Territorial Hubs to promote different ways for private and public territorial players to interact, be inspired, share and launch impactful projects.

To reinforce their inspirational dimension, we suggested a design fiction workshop for partners and clients, inspired by our Bright Mirror by bluenove methodology. By encouraging participants to invent desirable futures, design fiction can be used to prototype solutions. In this case, we focused on a key theme directly impacted by the health crisis, imaging our living spaces in 2030.

On 30 September, 50 participants came together using Zoom to find fresh inspiration with ecological transition expert Sylvain Grisot and science fiction writer Ketty Steward. Participants were then divided into smaller groups to imagine their own story – in any format from postcard to dialogue. Several real-life situations were explored to provide food for thought and writing based on key themes like the world of work, food and housing.

This unique co-creation opportunity effortlessly adapted to a virtual format with carefully chosen tools, a tried-and-tested method and plenty of enthusiasm.


What did we learn?

To constantly improve, we regularly take a step back to evaluate our approach and formats internally, as well as with our clients and partners. These moments of reflection enable us to learn from our different experiments, set out guidelines and create training sessions for virtual collective intelligence events.

In particular, we were able to test and reinforce the following convictions:

  • To maximise engagement and impact, collective intelligence experiences should ideally extend beyond the virtual events themselves. Using adapted digital tools, we recommend involving participants before the workshops using asynchronous content (information, consultant & games) and afterwards through interactive feedback and analysis.
  • To offer participants a smoother experience, it’s best to choose the tools already widely used in the organisation. In total, we’ve used more than 7 different tools to fit in with our clients and their specific needs.
  • The possibilities offered by virtual workshops are quite literally endless: seminars with 300 participants, prototyping innovative industrial objects, co-writing, voting, quizzes or even a start-up judging panel. Take your pick!

And, we can’t wait to explore new possibilities and invent fresh formats !


Article co-written by Attaa Ben Elafdil, Antoine Rougier & Louison Levrard