Design forum

Large group collaboration, problem solving and solution design.

We believe …
… that the best answers – those that get implemented and make a lasting difference – are those that come from within.

A DesignForum is a 2-3 day workshop for a large, heterogeneous group of stakeholders who need to quickly achieve alignment around a decision, an action-plan, or a change imperative. Matter has a unique transformation management methodology built on a few fundamental elements:

  • a specially-built facilitation environment;
  • a series of models that help to diagnose the system and to shape the discussion needed to bring that system to a higher level of effectiveness and alignment;
  • a mix of plenary discussions and break-out activities;
  • graphic facilitation and content visualization to support and facilitate discussions and to explain complex concepts and strategies.

A DesignForum takes participants on a quest of shared discovery, collective buy-in and alignment around self-built solutions. It integrates the knowledge and experience of all interested parties to identify a plausible and implementable solution.

Unlike most other facilitation methodologies, a DesignForum provides increasing returns to scale: the ability to address complex issues grows with each additional participant and the effectiveness increases exponentially with each additional day of work.


In a DesignForum everyone has an essential role in creating the solution: therefore there are no observers; only participants.

Participants typically fall into three categories
People who decide: Executives, top managers and explicit decision-makers.
People who know: Line managers and others who have a deep knowledge of the issues in question and understand the variables that make change possible.
People who implement: those who will take ownership of decisions and solution elements and will ensure that these are implemented.

Three phases build understanding and alignment in a DesignForum:

Develops a shared language, to deeply understand assumptions and context, to define the real issues and solutions.

Simulates alternative scenarios, to stress test ideas, that ultimately develop what is needed to succeed.

Drives towards a detailed solution, to develop agreed-upon long-term and short-term actions.

Together with the sponsor team we create engaging and highly collaborative work experiences for participants. We focus on transforming a passive audience into active participants, creating a unique context for connections and relationships that last over time.

Our collaborative methodology allows participants to:
• learn from each other;
• network at a strategic and operational level;
• develop insight through group problem solving;
• define concrete solutions and action plans, with a strong commitment to implementation.

This approach can be of enormous value for:

• Strategy & Transformation;
• Operational Improvement;
• Post-merger Integration;
• Innovation and Sustainability;
• High-Impact Learning and O -Site Events;
• Focus Groups;
• Leadership Team Re-boot.


  • Philip Morris is on a journey to position itself as a catalyst of innovation in Italy.

    Philip Morris

  • Between 2015 and 2016, we delivered a Train the Trainer program for the Partnership, Resource Mobilization and Communication Unit of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (United Nations).  


  • Gavi’s Board represents a cross-section of stakeholders – UN Agencies, Donors, Developing Countries, Vaccine Companies – dedicated to saving lives by immunizing children in the world’s poorest countries.


  • In 2016 Coesia, the world leader in innovative packaging and industrial automation, launched a program to build a shared understanding around culture and values across the organization.


  • A leading Swiss/Italian bank, created a task force to define the strategic guidelines for its new digital business model.

    Leading Swiss/Italian Bank

  • UNICEF & WHO have been focusing for several years in overcoming the logistical challenges of getting appropriate, potent vaccines to all the world’s children.


  • As part of a project to design an 11-year water rights program in Ethiopia, this NGO assembled a group of partner NGOs, donors, government officials at all levels, technical experts, and effected populations, including village leaders and farmers.


  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor Initiative convened a group of “Enablers” to help design, critique, and advocate for the construction of a digital financial services (DFS) platform for the poor.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • India’s largest company, Reliance, is launching an India-wide 4G phone service: Jio. The first hundred days after the launch will be one of the most dynamic and ambitious commercial operations in history.


  • Generali launched a comprehensive program to re-think its culture and group identity. A key element of this program focused on the values that needed to be understood and lived by all 70,000 global employees.

    Generali Assicurazioni

  • Together with our partner, Ways of Working (WoW), we have been working with Airbus in Toulouse as it seeks to “re-tool” its 8,000 engineers towards a new business model of simplicity and focus.


  • As a result of the innovation workshops, managers at all levels are identifying serious issues to be collaboratively addressed.

    EQT Midstream

  • An energy company recognized that their world is changing and wanted to get ahead with a fully-integrated innovation program.

    EQT Innovation

  • Terna had to establish a multi-year strategy to prioritise and phase major investments to assure service continuity following a devastating country-wide black-out.


  • Unlike many of its competitors, STMicroelectronics owns its own wafer-making fabrication plants. In addition, it has more customers and more individual products than its major competitors.