Ketso: A hands-on kit for creative stakeholder engagement

Ketso is a hands-on kit for creative engagement that evolved from our research.

What is Ketso?

People sat around a table.

Ketso is a toolkit that offers a structured way to run a stakeholder workshop. It utilises reusable coloured shapes to capture everyone's ideas.

This allows different stakeholders, from service users to decision-makers, to have a voice. Ketso:

  • facilitates productive conversations about difficult topics;
  • allows deeper dialogue and blends ideas from different perspectives;
  • leads to insights that inform decisions.

Dr Joanne Tippett launched Ketso as a University spin-off company in 2009.

Its launch followed research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This research sought to develop a systematic approach to supporting participation in integrated river catchment planning.

Ketso is unique in its ability to not only surface new thoughts but also to provide a credible and traceable evidence base for recommendations that emerge from consultation.

Head of Integration / Scottish Refugee Council

The research supported the development of a toolkit that embodied key pedagogical principles. It suggested that this would help non-professional facilitators engage marginalised groups. It also found that the sequencing of questions influences the quality and types of ideas.

The toolkit is comprised of components. Each component:

  • embodies a key principle of community engagement or creative thinking;
  • prompts effective facilitation;
  • guides the facilitator and participants through the process.

Ketso's visual and tactile approach encourages participants to:

  • develop their ideas;
  • see ideas from different perspectives;
  • build pictures of shared thinking;
  • see patterns and structure their own data.

What impact has Ketso had?

Since its launch, 1,230 Ketso toolkits have been sold. It has been used:

  • by at least 39,000 people;
  • in 77 countries;
  • in more than 500 organisations.

In 2013, The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North West commended Ketso for its 'contribution to positive community engagement'.

Ketso has contributed to better decision-making and practical improvements in many contexts. It has enabled effective engagement in sectors including:

  • business development;
  • education;
  • health and wellbeing;
  • social inclusion;
  • the environment.

There have been more than 100 documented case studies of Ketso's usage.

  • Ketso informed Lancashire Wildlife Trust's successful bid for their Carbon Landscape Project. This £3.2million regional landscape restoration initiative is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • SeeMe Scotland is a Scottish government-funded programme to tackle mental health stigma. It used Ketso to shape its future by engaging 200 service users, carers and providers.
  • The Shetland Health and Social Care Partnership used Ketso to explore more sustainable methods. They developed a new service model based on feedback from the community.
  • Wageningen University’s Centre for Development Innovation used Ketso in their project work in Africa and Asia. It has been used for capacity building, project implementation, monitoring, and evaluation in landscape restoration and governance.

Our people

Find out more