one, two, four, all


  • Time

    15-60 mins
  • Level

    3 (out of 5)

One of our firm favourite conversation formats is the 1–2–4-all principle from the Liberating Structures methodology. This method moves from individual thinking to duos — gradually into a collective conversation. We love this one because:
1) It accommodates moments for both introverted and extroverted participants.
2) It enables big groups to come to collective decisions quickly.
3) It’s ends in agreed tangible output.

+ it works online & offline!


1,2,4,all conversation format Mischief Makers

1- everyone is collecting their thoughts or ideas individually. 

🌐 Ask people to grab a piece of paper and write at their desk. A nice moment to bring a physical and tactile experience to your online workshop.

2- let people exchange their thoughts in pairs.

🌐 Do this using breakout rooms, an online facilitator's best friend on Zoom and now also on MS Teams.

3- merge two pairs and let them discuss and review thoughts together. 

🌐 Move one pair, into another break out room to quickly and easily merge the online groups.

ALL- open up the conversation to the larger group.

🌐 You can facilitate this conversation by choosing a spokesperson per group, who summarizes the group's main insights or discussion points. 

Materials // Remarks

If you’re working with a large group you might choose to continue doubling the group size by merging two groups — before returning to the full group (e.g: from 4 to 8 or 8 to 16).


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