Facilitator Interview Series

Facilitator Interview Series

Online Open Space with Heidi Nobantu Saul

Innovations in Online Open Space with The Improbable Team

Creating an Online Unconference with Sabrina Apitz

Online Ideation Conference for Sustainable Development with Rolf Schneidereit

Online Hackathons with Mark Frischmuth of DemocracyLab

Opening Space Online to Create a Compassionate World Together with Arun Wakhlu, Malati Kalmadi, and Richard Schultz


This page is part of the Qiqo User Guide.

450 Participants in a QiqoChat

450 Participants in a QiqoChat

We were thrilled to support the Festival Der Taten in Germany, hosted by the creative agency 17Ziele with support from the German government.  450 participants collaborated in breakout rooms to address challenges in sustainable international development.

Here is the impressive video 17Ziele made to summarize what happened.  You don’t have to speak German to see that they had a lot of fun!

Passwords for Your Zoom meetings on QiqoChat

Passwords for Your Zoom meetings on QiqoChat

By default, whenever you create a new event on QiqoChat, your Zoom meeting links will now have something like this attached to it: “?pwd=xxxxxxxxxxx”

That is an encoded password (it is not the password), and it prevents people from entering your Zoom meeting by just guessing the link to your Zoom meeting on QiqoChat.

No Change for Participants Who Join from a Computer

There is no change for any of your participants who click the green button to open the Zoom meeting; they will not need to enter the password because the link includes the encoded password.

Phone and Tablet Users will Type the Password

If your meeting participants do not click the green join-video button and if they want to enter the meeting by opening Zoom and then entering the meeting code manually, they will also have to enter the password.  They can find this password and the Zoom meeting ID if they click “Help” next to the green join video button.  The password is easy to remember it is a 4-digit number that looks something like this: 7777.  All of your breakout spaces will have the same zoom password.

If you want to test any of your Qiqo-Zoom Meetings (Optional)

1. You can go to an event that you already created on Qiqo (whether it’s in the past or in the future) and you can click the green button to open Zoom.  It will still work.  You can do this for a room that has already been used or a room that no one entered.  For rooms that no one has entered yet, we create the Zoom meeting at that very moment, so different code is used.

2. You can create a new event on Qiqo – in one of your existing circles or not in a circle – and click on the green button to open Zoom.  That will still work.

3. How to Find your Zoom Meeting Password on Qiqo: Click “Help” next to the green join-video button as seen in this screenshot:

Find Your Zoom Password on Qiqo

4. How to Find your Zoom Meeting Password on Zoom: You can see the To see the “join link” and the password for your Zoom meeting when you have it open, click the button with the letter “i” at the top left of your Zoom meeting as seen in this screenshot:

Find your Zoom Password on Zoom

5. How to Edit your Zoom Meeting Password on Qiqo: When you are creating (or editing) an event on Qiqo and you click “More Options” you will see the Zoom meeting password that we create for your event by default.  You can edit the password and it will change the password for the Zoom meetings in all your breakout spaces.  If someone is in the breakout space, it will not disconnect them, but the new password will be used for anyone who has not yet joined the meeting.

This screenshot is from the page where create/edit your event:

Edit Zoom Password on QiqoChat


Comparison to Video Tools like Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom

Comparison to Video Tools like Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom

Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom are similar; each tool provides video chat, written chat, and screensharing for groups of two or more people.

We chose to use Zoom as the video provider for QiqoChat.  That means every time you open a video chat on Qiqo, you are using Zoom.

Qiqo Event Screenshot
Example of a QiqoChat event with 31 participants across four breakout rooms. The host added the custom blue background and the Google Doc being used for notes on the right side of the page.  There’s a lot going on!

Qiqo extends Zoom functionality by “wrapping” Zoom video chats with additional functionality:

  1. Breakout Rooms: After you sign in and click “Participate” in a Qiqo live event (example) you arrive at the main table.  You will see 10 breakout rooms on the left (see the screenshot below).  When a participant clicks on a table name, they will open up the page for that breakout room.  When they click the “Join Video” button, the Zoom video chat for that breakout room will open.
  2. Participant Profiles: When a user enters a breakout room, their profile photo is visible.  Each participant can see who is in which room and make a decision about which conversation they want to join.  With their profile, each participant can share some basic info about themselves, making it easy for them to connect 1-1 and build relationships.
  3. Collaborative Notes: Each breakout room has a notes page on the right hand side (see the screenshot below).  As the creator of the event, you can replace this notes page with a Google Doc or any other collaborative tool so that people can interact with it while they use Zoom video chat.
  4. Group Calendar: Anyone in your circle (or just the admin) can schedule a Zoom video chat which shows up on the group calendar.  This calendar provides continuity between events and is connected to a weekly newsletter which announces upcoming events every Monday morning, saving you time and making it more likely that people who attended previous events attend the next one (or even schedule their own!).
  5. Additional Tools: All your participants become members of your “circle” on Qiqo.  The group calendar is just one of the collaborative tools in your circle.  Here is a list of all tools on Qiqo.
  6. Per-Minute Pricing: We are big fans of Zoom, and we think their $15/month pro account is very reasonably priced.  If you want the functionality of Zoom, but do not use it enough to justify the $15/month subscription, then there is a pay-per-minute option to use Zoom on Qiqo.  Any Qiqo user can set this up at this link, whether or not they have created a circle.  The price is just 1¢/min per participant.  You will receive a customized link which you can use to invite participants to your meeting space.  Here’s mine!  https://qiqochat.com/meet/Lucas_from_Qiqo
Listening Circles on the Downtown Mall

Listening Circles on the Downtown Mall

As QiqoChat’s founder, I’m quite interested in helping people collaborate.  We sometimes forget that the foundation for collaboration is listening.

Living in Charlottesville with all the recent violence between the Alt-Right protesters and opposing counter-protesters, I thought it would be helpful to create space for people to sit down and patiently & respectfully listen to each other.

Last Friday I asked for some volunteers across a few email discussion groups and 15 wonderful volunteers and facilitators came together to make this personal project happen.

NBC29 covered it (screenshot below) but their video link is no longer active.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 9.23.56 AM.png

Create an “Online Unconference” or “Open Space” Event

Create an “Online Unconference” or “Open Space” Event

Unconferences and Open Space events are exciting alternatives to standard conferences.  They are highly interactive, simple to set up, and they are happening around the world with increasing frequency.

Unconferences and Open Space events have important differences, but the main characteristic of each is that they let participants shape the agenda by deciding which topics will be discussed in which breakout sessions.  The primary role of the host/facilitator is to get the word out with an invitation and then to welcome everyone and explain the process.  Here’s more info about Open Space by Michael Herman, one of the very generous thought leaders in that community of practice.

There are several advantages to letting participants decide which topics should be discussed:

  • participants feel empowered
  • discussion topics are more timely
  • the event is easier to plan

QiqoChat makes it easy to organize online unconferences, because it has a built-in tool for live audio & video events with breakout rooms.  Each breakout room has collaborative notes, screensharing, and a way to embed other collaborative online apps.

Here’s a video interview of Sabrina Apitz, an event organizer who hosted an unconference on QiqoChat:

To make an unconference highly collaborative, here are some suggestions:

1. Create a Qiqo circle (if you haven’t already) so that people can sign up, add information in their profile, and browse other people’s profiles so that they can get to know each other.

2. Although the day of the unconference is the most exciting part, you can built momentum by letting participation begin 2-3 weeks ahead of time.

  • Invite people for a lunch hour chat or a happy hour chat.  Each circle has a “online Zoom garden” created by default, and it’s a great place for informal and impromptu gatherings; it’s open 24/7.  Here’s an example of the gardens; notice there are many breakout gardens.  You can customize the names and photos of your online garden as the admin of your circle.
  • Encourage people to start a new written conversation.  This is similar to a mini-listserv or email discussion list.  The difference is that the author can post a few separate questions or statements as “conversation starters.” This provides a little bit of structure and keeps the conversation organized, especially as the number of participants grows.
  • Encourage participants to write a new article on a topic that they will want to address in a live video session on the day of the event.  This is similar to a blog post, and other participants can reply in the comments.  Under “More Options” when they edit their article they also have the ability to add a collaborative notes section in the comments.  This is similar to having a wiki or Google Doc embedded in the article where multiple people can type on different lines of a document.  This is very helpful for sessions where the purpose is brainstorming.
  • Try using any of the other tools on Qiqo which may be appropriate for your participants.

3. To organize all the sessions during the unconference, create a live event on Qiqo in your circle.  Everyone will join the main room when they arrive.  There are 10 simultaneous breakout rooms by default, and you can have up to 100 breakout rooms.  Each breakout room can have up to 300 participants each.  If you need more than 300 people in your opening circle, we can connect a webinar there which can hold 10,000 people.  If your event will have more than 100 people, please let us know in advance (hello@qiqochat.com).

From the main room, you can use the collaborative notes section to list the breakout rooms and time slots, and then let everyone add their topic in the appropriate time slot.  Visit this example to see how we recommend setting up the notes.  Everyone else can jump to the appropriate breakout room when the sessions begin.  Stay in the main room to greet newcomers and to answer any questions.  As the admin of your event, you’ll be able to label the breakout tables when you enter the event and click on “Admin Options.”

4. Keep the conversation going after the unconference ends.  A Qiqo circle is a perfect way for participants to stay connected through the peer-to-peer weekly newsletter, written conversations, articles, additional live events scheduled by the participants, and all the other tools on Qiqo.

5. To learn how to charge a fee and earn money for your events, check out this post!

Paying Qiqo and Getting Paid by Qiqo

Paying Qiqo and Getting Paid by Qiqo

Sign up as an affiliate member, and get paid for helping to spread the word about Qiqo.

For any Qiqo circles you administer, you can choose whether your circle is free for participants or not.  Here are your options:

Option 1: You pay for your members (1 cent/min per participant for the live events and other tools are free), or
Option 2: You can set a quarter membership fee for your circle. If you set the price to anything greater than $15/quarter then we send you the rest.  Signing up as an affiliate is a prerequisite.

Whether you choose option #1 or #2 above, you can charge a fee for any event you host on Qiqo.  We subtract the cost of the event (1 cent/min per participant) and we send you the balance when it reaches $100.  Signing up as an affiliate is a prerequisite.


This page is part of the Qiqo User Guide.

How It Starts

How It Starts

Here’s a charming yet provocative poem that I saw recently:

It always starts like this.
It always starts with someone like you.

And you’ve got your idea.
And you’re wondering what to do next.

This is the way it happens.


It speaks for itself, yet it speaks to each of us differently.  Working on Qiqo inspires us, because we’re in the business of helping people connect.  We sincerely hope that you are also able to do the work that you are passionate about.  If not, then today’s the best day to start!