Instructions and materials to support the discussion organiser

On this page, you will find instructions, materials and tips to help you organise an immigration dialogue. More content will be added on this page during September!

The duties of the discussion organiser in a nutshell

  1. Define the title of the discussion by linking immigration to a topic that is important to you, such as “What does immigration mean for us/our class/our work community/our hobby group?”, “Immigrant services in our municipality”, “How does multiculturalism affect our organisation?”, “Everyday life with a partner from an immigrant background”, etc. Immigration can be approached from many perspectives, such as integration, language teaching, polarisation, social exclusion, job-search, seeking asylum, residence permits, human rights, children’s rights, health care and cultural offerings.
  2. Choose a suitable date for the discussion: Friday 7 October, Thursday 27 October or Thursday 3 November. You can arrange a discussion on one, two or all three dates.
  3. Also decide on the duration and format.  The discussion may last 2–3 hours and can be held either face-to-face or remotely.
  4. Register as a discussion organiser no later than Friday 14 October. When you register as an organiser, you can also sign up for an orientation event that suits your schedule. The orientation events will take place on Teams.
    Registration form
  5. Refer to this page for more detailed instructions and materials for implementing the discussions.
  6. Book a space and any catering or remote discussion platform. Make sure that the space is quiet and the chairs can be set up in a circle. If the discussion will be held remotely, test the platform in advance.
  7. Invite the discussion participants. We recommend that discussions have 3–12 (face-to-face) or 3–8 (remote) participants.
  8. Arrange for a person to act as a record-keeper for the discussion.
  9. Hold the discussion.
  10. Report on the key themes, perspectives and insights raised in the discussion using the report form immediately after the discussion.

Defining the target group

The target group can be an internal group within your organisation, a network, or a broad target that includes various groups of people. Think about what target group you would like to build a deeper understanding with on the topic of immigration. Define your target group accordingly. 

We recommend that discussions have 3–12 (face-to-face) or 3–8 (remote) participants. Hybrid discussions are not recommended due to their challenging nature. The recommended duration of the discussion is 2–3 hours.

Inviting the participants

Take advantage of all of the channels at your disposal to invite participants. Although the discussion is part of the Immigration Dialogues series, potential participants will not find your discussion automatically. Allocate enough time to inviting participants. This is also important because the invitation sets the tone for an equal and constructive discussion even before the event begins. 

There are many ways to invite participants. You should write a general invitation text, which you can forward to various groups through e-mail, social media, bulletin boards and in person, for example. You should also create a separate event page on your organisation’s website or Facebook, especially if you expect some of the participants to join the event through an open registration procedure.

Personalise the invitations to increase your chances of securing participants. You can amend the general invitation text as necessary and change the motivation questions according to the group or individual that is being invited to participate. Keep the objectives the same for everyone so that everyone will come to the event to discuss the same topic.

Registrations can be received by creating an electronic form for that purpose or by requesting registrations by e-mail. The deadline for registrations should be a few days before the discussion. This will help you determine whether you need to send out reminders about the invitation or expand the group of invitees.

If you are organising a discussion that is open for anyone to register, provide a link to additional information or the registration link when registering as an organiser. We will list the registered discussions on the web and add your link to the information on your discussion.

You should send a confirmation message to registered participants. The message should include more detailed instructions and a request for the participant to inform you if they have to cancel their participation.

Template for inviting participants (docx)
Inviting participants | Timeout Foundation

Social media posts

If you want to post about the discussion on social media, either before or after the event, you can take advantage of our pre-created images:

We recommend that you use one of the following hashtags: #maahanmuuttodialogit #migrationsdialoger #immigrationdialogues

If you want your audience to have access to more information, you can also include a link to the Immigration Dialogues event page:

If you choose to create an event page on Facebook for your discussion, you can use the pre-created cover image:

Discussion script

The draft script makes it easy for you to plan the discussion in advance. The script is intended to support the facilitation of the discussion and it does not need to be distributed to the participants. 

You can print a copy of the script for yourself after making any desired changes. The expressions used in the script are intended as examples. You can adapt them to your discussion topic and your individual way of speaking.

Draft script (pptx)

Other useful resources:
Cards for facilitating a discussion | Timeout Foundation
Ground rules for a constructive discussion | Timeout Foundation
How to facilitate a dialogue remotely | Dialogue Academy

Introductory video

You can introduce the participants to the topic of the event by first showing the general introductory video. If you organise the discussion remotely, we recommend that you share the video link with the participants in the chat window so they can watch the video independently during the allotted time.

Introductory video | YouTube

Information slides

Information slides concerning immigration have been prepared to support your discussion. If you wish, you can use the slides to display information that is relevant to your discussion, either during the introduction or later to deepen the discussion. The slides can also be helpful if the discussion does not really get going, or if the discussion starts to drift off topic.

Information slides (pptx)

Instructions for the record-keeper

Ask the record-keeper to write down as precisely as possible what the participants are saying – without interpretation and without writing down anyone’s name. The record-keeper should not worry about typos.

Decide with the record-keeper which of you will inform the participants of the purpose of the written record. You can use this script: 

“The written record of the discussion will be used to create a summary of the Immigration Dialogues series of discussions. The summary will be used in the forthcoming comprehensive reform of the Aliens Act and in the preparation of Finland’s comprehensive immigration policy, for example. The summary will also be submitted to the parties sitting in Parliament. The record and the subsequent summary will not reveal the identity of any of the participants.” 


Fill out the reporting form immediately after the discussion and attach the written record of the discussion.

Reporting form

It is likely that the discussion will create a deeper understanding of the topic at hand, and you should take advantage of that in your organisation’s activities. Before the discussion, determine who the record of the content of discussion will be shared with (in addition to attaching it to the reporting form).

How to ensure an impact | Timeout Foundation

For further information, please contact:

Mariana Salgado, Service Designer
tel. +358 40 585 7727, [email protected]

Anna Rundgren, Senior Specialist 
tel. +358 295 488 324, [email protected]