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.



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


2019 Cohort SOLD OUT 

Minneapolis MN 2020 MToP Courses

 April 22-24, 2020

 July 22-24, 2020

 Oct 21-23, 2020

 January 27-29, 2021


  Large Organizations (budget more than 5 million): $5,500

  Government Organizations: $5,000

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

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

Early bird rate: 10% off price above if registered by Feb 26th. 

Payment plan options available


Stephanie Ahles


NOTE: Attending Every Course is Necessary for Completion of the Program

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