Mastering ToP is an intensive skill-building experience from the Institute of Cultural Affairs Technology of Participation (ToP). The year-long program helps you hone facilitation dexterity and leadership capabilities during quarterly intensives, field work and mentoring. 

Deepen your knowledge and have fun while learning new tools, processes and applications for engagement and facilitation methods. Your cohort of peers will become a network of support for years to come! Register now. Popularly known as MToP, the program includes:

I. Learning Intensives: Each quarter, MToP cohorts meet in-person for three days of intensive work:

 Intensive 1: Facilitating Depth Reflection  Learn to create participatory environments, and dive into the science behind focused conversation, wave methodology, and image shift methods.

 Intensive 2: Facilitating Consensus Building to Build your skills in creating a multi-sensory impact.

 Intensive 3: Orchestrating Group Action Co-facilitate Action Planning sessions with real clients and deepen knowledge of Strategic Planning.

 Intensive 4: Designing for Transformative Change Learn to design exceptional events, produce effective results and explore integrating other methods.

II. Field Experience: Practice and learning in between intensives

 Apply methods between sessions.

 Develop a personal inquiry project.

 Study materials: MToP Handbook, The Art of Focused Conversation and The Workshop Book.

 Those interested in certification can be part of a special cohort group.

III. Mentoring: Group mentor meetings with colleagues

 Exchange experiences designing a diverse array of events.

 Participate in joint facilitation and observation.

 Share feedback to foster growth and insight from mentor facilitators.

ToP Facilitation Methods and Strategic Planning are prerequisites.


New! Watch the Mastering ToP® Video from the 2019-2020 Cohort:



“The ToP Mastery Course was one of the best investments I made in myself. It was an intense, immersive, and supportive personal journey of co-learning, co-discovery, and co-creation. The intensives were fun and exciting, yet challenging. My journey took me through a range of emotions that were at times emotionally and physically exhausting, but in a way that led to a deeper understanding of the methods, taught me about my personal strengths and challenges in relation to the methods, and showed me how to give the best of myself as a facilitator. ToP mastery is as much about mastering yourself as it is about mastering ToP methods. I strongly recommend this course for anyone brave enough to open their hearts and minds and embark on this life changing journey.”  

Jessica Wildermuth

2019 Cohort


Minneapolis MN 2021 MToP Courses

Intensive I – July 28-30, 2021

Intensive II – October 27-29, 2021

Intensive III – January 26-28, 2022

Intensive IV – April 27-29, 2022

Attendance at all dates is required.


  Large Organizations (budget 5M+): $5,500

  Government Organizations: $5,000

  Self-Employed and Midsize Orgs (budget 1-5M): $4,500

  Students and Small NonProfits (budget less than 1M): $3,500

Early bird rate: 10% off price above if registered by April 28th. 

Payment plan options available


Stephanie Ahles

NOTE: Attending every intensive is necessary for completion of the program.

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