Archive‎ > ‎

Butterfly Workshops

What are Butterfly Workshops?

Butterfly Workshops is:

  • A hub for networking with others, expanding your network of contacts and getting to know new and interesting people.
  • A grass roots initiative to collaborate on creating a fast and direct yet sustainable positive impact on the surrounding community through brainstorming for solutions to small and large problems facing the small surrounding community followed by creating an action plan for tackling such problems one by one and then implementing the solutions ourselves, documenting our actions, monitoring our progress, spreading the word about our activities and getting feedback.
  • A place to learn, to make a difference to be useful and to have lots of fun.
  • A launchpad for trainers.

What Happens at Butterfly Workshops?

  • A workshop is conducted empowering participants with a specific skill.
  • Brainstorming is done to determine some current pressing problems the surrounding community is suffering from.
  • Solutions, in which the skills attained during the workshop are put to use, are devised and carried out to solve the problem.

Workshops Lab

Beta Workshops are workshops that have not been fully developed yet and are offered at a reduced price to the public. The feedback taken from participants attending the workshop is used to improve the workshop. This cycle is repeated till the workshop matures enough to be offered as a "grown up" workshop.

How they Work

  • Each participant pays 25 LE to attend a beta workshop.
  • Anyone can deliver a beta workshop.
  • Trainer gets half the revenue from a beta workshop, the other half goes to the house.


  1. Learning new stuff quickly and in an interesting way while making new friends and contacts in the process.
  2. Networking with a diverse group of interesting people.
  3. Confidence building for volunteer trainers.


  • Speaker near the window, his back towards the window
  • Anyone can deliver a session
  • TOT short workshops available for those who would like to deliver sessions (can be delivered for a fee later on)
  • Speakers are given the format of the session, how to plan and prepare for a session and how to deliver it.
  • Kids can deliver sessions too! (Kids Teach)
  • Trainers get badges, according to number of sessions delivered, number of attendees, and most importantly attendee evaluations. Badges are displayed next to trainer name on website!


  • Attendees write their names and contact info (to build participant database).
  • Attendees are handed out evaluation forms after each session.
  • Attendees are asked for future sessions they would like to attend. Questionnaire is also made available online (using Google Forms).
  • Attendees are also asked if they would like to volunteer to deliver any future sessions. A Google Form for volunteer speakers is also made available online.

Suggested Workshops

  1. Photography
  2. Suriculture
  3. Creative writing
  4. Gardening 1,2,3 (experience exchange, multi-speaker session)
  5. Getting Things Done (GTD)
  6. Biogeometry
  7. Facebook for non-Facebook users
  8. Handicrafts
  9. Parenting
  10. NLP
  11. Video editing (bring your laptops)
  12. Painting your house
  13. Graphology
  14. Cooking a specific dish
  15. Eating healthy
  16. Selecting good vegetables to buy and from where
  17. Renewable energy (solar, wind, biogas)
  18. Psychometrics
  19. Emotional intelligence
  20. Session series for trainers (motivating participants, explaining complex concepts, role of the trainer ...)
  21. Movie critiquing
  22. Public speaking
  23. SEO
  24. Blogging
  25. Happiness (Luzette)
  26. Decision Matrix - Workshop on using the decision matrix method to make decisions. Playful and possibly useful examples to be worked on during workshop!

Sources for Workshop Topics

Get a fresh stream of needed workshop topics by asking prospective participants about:
  1. Painful and touch problems they are facing in their lives, things that make them mad and angry and things they would love to change or have changed. [This could provide an endless stream of workshops that would solve or help solve such painful problems.]
  2. Brilliant and masterful things they have seen and admired. [This would provide another steam of workshops that help the participant be able to reach or accomplish what he has experienced and admired from others.]
  3. Necessary skills. A participant might want to accomplish some project but needs to gain a specific skill in order to be able to complete such a project. Workshops can be designed to cater for such need to learn those necessary skills.
  4. Upgrading. A person might just need to upgrade his skills and climb up the status ladder. Workshops for self upgrade in various areas can also be devised to cater for such need.


  • Location: Al Marwa apartment
  • Apartment door open during sessions
  • V-shaped positioning of long ground 'cushions' like those in the briefing room of the WESC Camp.
  • Front seats (rugs, cushions) for those who have delivered sessions before, special side for new comers ... and rugs/cushions are all color coded.
  • Special lighting for a soft and fresh atmosphere in the sessions hall
  • Dates as snacks



  • Video recording
  • Distribute and collect evaluation and registration forms from attendees
  • Manage online presence (Facebook Page & Group as well as website)
  • Video uploading (responsible for our YouTube channel)
  • Enter attendee information and evaluations into database
  • Build database system for handling attendee information, evaluations, attendance and session history.
  • Design logo.
  • Video editing / montage


  • Camcorder
  • Laptop
  • Rugs
  • CFL light bulbs
  • Blinds


  • Show on the website (with stats) who attended the most sessions/workshops (from attendance data).
  • Computer database for maintaining attendee information, attendance, sessions history (schedule) and evaluation from attendees.
  • Making a promo video about Butterfly Workshops, publishing it on YouTube.
  • Video interviews with select attendees before and after sessions.
  • Also document action projects (that are done based on training sessions). Video record them to present progress and actions done following the workshops. Volunteer teams can be designated to do so.
  • The format of the sessions, ground rules and a speaker's handbook will be present on the website and Facebook page.


  • Ground
    • Rugs (sitting on the floor)
    • Use حصير made from wood.
    • Instead of rugs or floor-sofas, one could use square mats similar to those used for yoga classes!
  • Stick bulletin boards and paper on walls.
  • The Marwa apartment
  • Hall
  • Lights (CFL)

Workshop Description

  • Each sessions lasts from 1 1/2 to 2 hours max.
  • Each session should have an applied part that produces actual tangible results. Something to be made or done (creating products, enhancing lives, providing services, making other people happier ...)

Session Workflow

  • At the start of every workshop mention the mission of Butterfly Workshops.
  • Distribute evaluation forms on attendees before the session starts and not after it ends.
  • Volunteer teams or a group from participants will be held responsible for taking notes during the sessions.


  • Use a LETS system for providing the workshops (Rashids instead of Egyptian pounds). Those who attend pay in Rashids, those who deliver training get paid in Rashids. Attendees who will not deliver training can deliver other services or products to get Rashids أهيف.
  • Ask all attendees to write down a list of "services & products" offered by them. The list can be used for LETS between members. Make their lists available online to community members (attendees of the workshops).


  • Can get sponsors from interested companies, bookstores, training centers and maktabat (like Samir & Ali)! Also catering providers!
  • Slogan: Refresh your Brain!
  • Each day of week has a specific theme. For instance Mondays are for "Kids Teach", Wednesdays are for "Technical Forums" and Saturdays are for "Train the Trainer Classes" ... etc. Same as with MBC channels (Fright night, Romance, ... etc).
  • Large banner at the door.
  • Put detailed address with directions on Facebook and on the Event. Include Google Map.
  • Can use informal handwritten banner hung on the wall next to the door. Will give a casual atmosphere to the place and sessions and also be easier and less costly to implement. (Alternatively can ask Karim Al Zyadi about prices of printing colored banners).
  • Supply participants with flip chart paper and pens to work in small groups on creating stuff (project ideas, solutions) and presenting it.
  • Among the tools used by the trainer is a flip chart (blackboard, whiteboard?).
  • Freshly prepared organic fruit juice offered.
  • Can deliver series of sessions related to a specific topic, yet each session would be self contained. (Ex: photography: night photography, photography basics, photo editing, photography online ...)
  • Conduct regular agricultural meetings (permaculture) in place.
  • Launch: During Eid? Make a breakfast, dish party (4th day of Eid?)
  • Each and everyone who has attended a workshop will have a pack with his/her name on it hung on the wall at the Marwa place. He/she will add a card each time he/she attends a workshop! This will give a sense of ownership to participants, encourage them to attend more workshops and will give other participants a physical sense of how many have attended workshops before. It will create a sense of belonging to all those who have cards with their names hung on the walls of the class inside packs with their names on them! Can also attach photo of participant on his/her pack with his/her name clearly written under the photo! (the photo to be printed at a photo print shop).

Spreading the Word

  • Video recording of all sessions, uploaded to YouTube and embedded in Facebook at the Page.
  • Facebook Page and Group (possibly also a website)
  • Create an event on Facebook for each upcoming session!
  • Colorful flyers distributed to attendees.
  • Contact active Facebook groups in Egypt that are seeking knowledge sharing and collaborative meetings. Present them with the idea to come and do their knowledge sharing and collaborating meetings at Butterfly.
  • Hang a bulletin board outside the Mzrwa place next to the entrance door. Keep an updated schedule of upcoming workshops posted on the bulletin board.


  • Noise for neighbors
  • People not wanting to sit on the floor
  • Increased strangely-explained foot-work in the building
  • New concept and idea, neighbors receiving it with suspicion
  • Preparing the place and running the sessions involves costs, while sessions are free!


Per year:
  1. Number of sessions: 300
  2. Number of trainers: 100
  3. Total number of attendees: 6000
  4. Total number of unique attendees: 2000
  5. Number of published YouTube videos: 250
  6. Total number of YouTube video views: 200,000


  • Mennatullah Muhammad: Session Idea: Someone speaks about his own story to inspire others! Suggested longer courses:
    • Social intelligence
    • Speed reading
    • Marketing
    • Use chairs (not only sitting on the floor/rugs/low-sofas)
    • Buy chairs from El Tawheed Wel Nour
    • Use the place as a training center. Offer training such as GMAT, target groups of people interested in such things via their Facebook groups.
  • Mohamed Hossam:
    • How to maintain your bike (a bike course)
  • Sameh Ahmed
    • Use Egypt's flag for blinds.
  • Rana El Faramawy
    • Could use large fans to cool down the place.
    • Offer workshops for a small fee (10 LE/person) to cover expenses.
    • Preparing the place might initially cost a little.  
    • Bikya might like to cooperate, pending discussion.
    • Concern: the neighbors might complain.

Additional Activities

  • Social activism (cleaning Al Marwa buildings area, flatening the road, painting the walls, solving the parking issue, making documentary about issue & publishing on YouTube)
    • Photography events
    • Planting trees
  • Sericulture project
  • Film screening (sericulture)
  • Idea parties (networking, mutual help in projects via contacts and ideas for solutions plus information)
  • Book club, discussing books.
  • Planning for development activities and developmental projects
    • Sericulture, planting mulberry trees
    • Tree planting
    • Street paving
    • Solving parking issue
    • Project: Strengthening neighbor social ties


  • Power Networkers
    • Dahlia Biazid (as central point for networking. Also invite to deliver session!)
    • Mohamed Alborno
  • Training Consultants
    • Dina Eletriby

Active Groups

  • مصر جنة - ازرع شجرة مصمرة تحصد صدقة جارية
  • رابطة منتجى ومصنعى الحرير فى مصر
  • فريق عمل مصر جنة


  • Getting Real

Inspired By

  1. Bikya Book Cafe
  2. The Hub Cairo (Rasheed22)
  3. WESC Camp (Briefing Room)
  4. Startup Weekend
  5. Short Workshops ورش عمل قصيرة - نشاط أطفال قد الحياة
  6. Toastmasters
  7. Sawi Cultural Wheel
  8. Talks@Google
  9. Bayan (at Al Sedeek)
  10. Green School
  11. Free Dynamic Meditation (FDM)
  12. Khan Academy

Sericulture Session

  • Corner in hall for foreigners who need Arabic to English translation.

Ground Rules

  • No religious topics
  • No political topics
  • No smoking
  • Cell phones silent during sessions (except for back row, color coded)

Attendee Info

  • Full name
  • Date of birth (optional)
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Address
  • Cell phone number
  • Email address
  • Facebook address
  • Education
  • Work
  • Fields of interest
  • Skills

Date: Saturday 20/8/2011