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  • Hold a 3Qs Meeting

    Created by Idealist, the Three Questions (3Qs) Meeting is a simple, effective, and engaging way to bring together people in your group or community, introduce yourself as a Connector, and demonstrate the potential for this network to help people make useful connections and move from intention to action.

    Setting: Anywhere

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    4 Teams in 2 countries are discussing this right now. View Teams.

    Organization/people involved

    New York, NY and Portland, OR, U.S.A

    What we did

    The 3Qs model has been tested with Idealist members as well as with organizations and groups of individuals around the world. It can be done offline, in any setting, and it has always worked!

    The goal of the meeting is to have people share their answers to three short questions:

    1. What do you care about/what do you want to do for the common good?
    2. What’s stopping you or getting in your way?
    3. What would help you take the next step?

    You can do this as a one-time exercise to engage people in your community and find out what inspires or concerns them, or you can make it a regular event—a way for people to connect in person and follow up.

    How you can do it

    Here’s the basic agenda:

    But note that it’s important for each person to stick to the suggested time so that everyone gets an opportunity to share, and the meeting doesn’t go too long.

    If the group is bigger than 10-15 people, you can ask some of them to share this time, while others can do it the next time you meet.

    Alternatively, instead of telling their story, people can write their answers on a card or piece of paper and put it up on a wall. Then everyone can read what’s there, and every possible connection can be made immediately.


    Most people care about or want to do something, and they appreciate being asked and heard. This in itself can be very valuable, but it’s only the beginning. Often during a 3Qs meeting, at least one connection is made that helps a participant move forward with their intention. This is inspiring to the group, and shows the potential for more connections to be made. It’s a great way to give people in your setting a concrete example of how Connectors can help.

    Big takeaways

    Try to have participants offer advice, connections, and suggestions to each other. Your role as Connector is to convene and facilitate the meeting—not to help each individual with their intention.

    Keep track of time, and make sure everyone has an opportunity to share their story/intention.

    Encourage participants to follow up with you (or with the whole group) to let you know if they’ve taken that first step.

    The 3Qs in Action Groups

    Action Groups are support groups for action, started and facilitated by one or more Connectors. Groups are open to anyone who wants to take action on any issue, or help others to do so. Holding a 3Qs meeting with your Action Group is an easy and fun way to introduce everyone, get a better idea of what they're interested in, and help focus your efforts. Start a group!

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