Principles and practical guidelines to help people prepare and host good online sessions.

We believe that knowledge about how to prepare and host online sessions needs to be more accessible. 


Without access to this knowledge, we risk:

  • Developing unequal structures for working and learning

  • Running sessions which are a poor use of people’s time and don't meet intended outcomes

  • Creating models for collaboration that don’t really work

  • Excluding people because we haven’t designed for equal participation

  • Fewer people feeling confident to facilitate well


This manifesto will help you create online sessions that are enhanced by technology, meaningful, effective, safe, respectful, and responsive to your participant’s needs.


Whether you’re running workshops, meetings, training, talks, conferences, research sessions or team brainstorms, this manifesto will help you to make them better.  


This manifesto is for:

  • People designing and facilitating online sessions

  • People developing online workshops

  • People teaching and sharing knowledge online

  • People running team or group meetings online 

  • People conducting user research online 

  • People briefing and hiring facilitators for online sessions


Created by Katy Beale & Dr Ceri Gorton 

This manifesto was informed by conversations with Hannah Bird, Sam Brown, Kevin DeBell, Celine Elliott, Martha Henson, Matt Kendall, Ellen O’Hara, Emmie Kell, Rachel Rayns, Phillippa Rose, Jo Verrent, Laura Melissa Williams.


Good online sessions are:



You understand what your participants need so you can design sessions that respond to these needs meaningfully



You structure, host and adapt your sessions effectively to deliver with purpose and clear outcomes

Enhanced by Technology

You choose the right tools to create meaningful, effective and safe sessions

Safe and Respectful

You take responsibility for hosting your sessions safely, so people are able to engage freely and equally



How to Prepare

  1. Define the session purpose by understanding the participant needs

  2. Structure your session into time blocks and time out

  3. Choose the right tools and technology for your session

  4. Make sure your participants know what to expect

  5. Design for equal participation 


How to Host

  1. Start with the purpose

  2. Welcome with housekeeping 

  3. Introduce the participants

  4. Adapt as needed

  5. Introduce the technology

  6. Introduce the etiquette

  7. Verbalise what’s happening

  8. Close the session

Apply the guidelines to your own online sessions: How to Prepare and How to Host.


View our resources on selecting digital tools and best practice from others.