Deep Democracy – facilitation tools for conflict in systems – sketchnotes

When do you lean in to conflict? When do you not lean in to conflict? Lewis Deep Democracy is a methodology for working with conflict in systems. It was a very rich three days taking this training in Manchester this year, and I’ve begun integrating Deep Democracy tools into my process facilitation with groups.

Here’s a look into my personal sketchbook to help remember the learning, and also to encourage others to explore this set of tools and trainings.

The word is organized by living systems.

Why a systems lens? What is inside us is also around us.

Everyone is welcome, not every behaviour is welcome.

The soft shoe shuffle is a key Deep Democracy tool.

There is no monopoly on the truth.


Systems thinking

How can we lower the water line.

Our interventions change the system. You can also design the process


Four step Deep Democracy process – starting with gain all the views, then look for the no, then spread the no, then vote  – asking the minority what they need to come along

On lemons and meditation.

Golden arrows and grains of truth, a DD process.

Looking at how Deep Democracy can be layered in with other tools, like Theory U, world cafe, and graphic facilitation. More on the work of Deep Democracy and visuals below.

resistance line deep democracy

The resistance line is about conflict – from covert to overt resistance.

I’m lucky to live in Vancouver, Canada with one of Deep Democracy’s senior trainers – Dr Aftab Erfan. I partnered with Aftab back in 2016 when she wrote a chapter about Deep Democracy in the book I co-edited – connecting Deep Democracy with visuals.

Aftab writes, 

“Every time we teach the Lewis Method of Deep Democracy I am struck by the power of the central metaphors we rely on to explain fairly complicated psychological concepts to non-psychologists in a short amount of time. My chapter in the book Drawn Together through Visual Practice (2016) focuses on these key images and reflects more broadly on how we use visuals to help with surfacing and organizing tension and conflict in a group.”

Download the full chapter here for free: Drawn_Together_Erfan 

Find our more about Deep Democracy courses globally, at


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About us and our trainings: Drawing Change is changing its graphic facilitation training schedule for 2020 so we can continue to host in-depth learning opportunities like this. We are hosting only one public training in 2020, featuring a smaller number of participants: registration is open now. 

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