Documenting your hub journey

Documentation means capturing (and sharing) what happens in the hub: the atmosphere, the process, the outcomes. You can do that by taking pictures, creating a booklet, making drawings, or a movie...

If you or your co-hosts don't have the experience, time or energy to do this, consider tapping into the talents and skills of your hub participants.

Why Document?

1. Keep the memory alive for participants

By capturing key-moments and learnings, you help create a collective memory for the participants.

2. Sharing the story with others

Documentation helps people who did not participate understand what happened.

3. Shared understanding

Documentation can become part of the learning and reflection cycle. To do documentation, you have to reflect on what happened and how it contributed to the outcomes. Building a shared, collective understanding will increase the impact of the process.

Being a documenter

Here are some practical suggestions for documenting your hub experience. We invite you to use whatever attracts you, while taking the intention of your hub into consideration.

1. Consider it a mind-set, or a lens:In witnessing the story of your hub and its participants, you start to collect information from a broader perspective than your own. Carrying with you an awareness of the storytelling aspect of documentation keeps you alert to notice certain magical moments, specific quotes, meaningful scenes... You are attuned to the moments when change is in the air. Your interior condition influences the way you witness and what you will see and notice. Be aware of that and take up this role with care and responsibility.

2. Start by formulating your purpose for documenting:A clear purpose will help you to develop an approach and plan for your documentation process. It will guide your decision-making throughout. Think about what you want to capture, what you wish to communicate, and with whom.

3. Share tasks and responsibilities:It might be too intense to combine hosting and documentation at the same time. We advise you to involve other participants who might want to step in and contribute or even lead the documentation process.

4. Language:Something to consider before you start to collect your material is the language you will use. Using English will allow the global community to follow and learn from your hub-story. It might be more important, however, to be able to communicate within your local community by using your own language. Formulating your purpose for documentation will help guide your decision-making about language.

5. Organize yourself:Use Dropbox or Google Drive (for example) to collect maps and files.

What can you do? Some possibilities:

1. Take photos -Photos are a great way to illustrate parts of the process and bring back the spirit of specific moments. We have to be mindful about respecting the privacy of participants: check before publishing on the web!

2. Use apps -Examples are Paper53 to create a visual agenda, or Periscope to broadcast and document some parts of your process.

3. Invite a graphic facilitatorto visually capture what happens in the meetings. The drawing can capture both the process and the content.

4. Work with social media -Social media not only helps you communicate, share information and gain feedback, it also contributes to the documentation process. It can help you create stories by 'storifying' what people tweet about their hub experience. Tip: Create your own hub hashtag#. You can find some hashtag-tips and best practice-advice here:

You can find more information about how to use Storify and make your own Twitter or FB-related account here:

5. Create a blog -The u.lab hub in Scotland captured their stories and shared them with the network through this blog: The hosting team can write, and also invite participants to contribute, by sharing a personal experience, an insight or an idea/project that was born during u.lab.

6. Do interviews with participants asking about their experiences and insights. Doing interviews is valuable for the documentation, but it also helps the participants become more aware of their own insights. You can use your smartphone to record or use apps like QuickVoice Pro (enables you to immediately make a digital version of the recording with a ready link).

7. Create movies

8. Create your own storybook -Here is an example of the #UlabNB-magazine:

9. Co-create a weekly newsletter or digest -Another way to document, is to do it collectively each week. Ask participants to send you reflections on what they are experiencing. This helps the group to reflect back on the journey so far and the road ahead to keep everyone on track, even if they miss a session.

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