I’ve used Jumpstart Stories twice now with great and surprising results.
This activity is done standing up in a tight circle – up to 10 people per group for large groups. Each person has 90 seconds to tell a story about the topic. After the first round people find a new group and retell the same story. Star sociometry (putting your hand on the shoulder of the person’s whose story was most moving / effective / inspirational / relevant (use your own criteria)) is used to quickly identify the ‘top’ stories which are told in plenary.
I used this first with a group of about 20 and then this week with a group of 160+. On both occassions the process shifted the mood of the group in a positive way. With the smaller group it helped bond a individuals telling quite disparate stories, while with the larger group (who all worked for the same organisation) it overcame some initial ambivalence to the event (and the facilitation!), and after hearing the nine selected stories revealed a level of pride, innovation, celebration and cohesion that would not have been evident with any number of powerpoint presentations.