The highest level(s) of influence this method typically matches with on the IAP2 public participation spectrum is…


To provide the public with balanced and objective information.


To obtain public feedback on analysis, alternatives and/or decisions.


To work directly with the public throughout the process.


To partner with the public in each aspect of the decision.


To place final decision making in the hands of the public.

Main Focus
Collect and compile input
Mini method
Minimal (1-3) staff members
Low cost (under 10k)
Small scale (under 25)

An engagement mini method to help groups reflect on the past, by sequencing key events and exploring highlights and lowlights and what they have learned from each event. The learnings can be used to inform future thinking and planning.

What you'll need

Virtual Delivery

  • Video conferencing software
  • Collaboration software that can host a timeline and new inputs
  • Facilitator
  • Runsheet

In-person Delivery

  • Facilitator and runsheet
  • Mini kit of workshop materials
  • Coloured cards to reflect categories (highlights, lowlights, learnings)
  • A large wall space where the cards can be placed along a timeline for all to see

How to guide

A history wall can be incorporated as part of a broader workshop, and can take approximately 1-2 hours. It is an excellent way for a group to acknowledge the achievements and lessons of the past, before focusing on the future.

Step 1

Through the process, they identify significant events and milestones that have taken place and place them on a timeline. The timeline chosen might be strategic, for instance a team might reflect on the last 5 years before they plan their next 5 year strategy. This helps them reflect on what can be achieved in that timeframe as well as draw upon the lessons learned to inform their future plan.

Step 2

Record the highlights and lowlights on different colour cards and when asked share them with the group and apply them on the timeline matching when they occurred.

Step 3

Record the big learning moments and insights on coloured cards and when asked, share them and add them to the timeline. Look across the learnings as a group and keep adding new insights that emerge from the group.

Final step

Final reflections and observations. The process helps them reflect on their history (where they have come from) and current strategic environment, what they have learned, each other’s perspectives and how they are positioned to move into the future, (where they want to go).