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A fishbowl discussion is a type of group discussion that allows a small group to discuss an issue without interruption, while letting people take turns to be part of the small group.

How it works[]

A small circle of 4-5 chairs is set in the middle of the room, with a larger circle (or concentric circles) of chairs outside them. Anyone who wishes to speak sits in the centre chairs (the fishbowl). Only those in the fishbowl may speak. When you are done speaking, you stand up from the fishbowl and move to the outer circles, leaving your space open for someone else to move in.


  • Does not require heavy-handed facilitation


  • Does not draw out quieter people
  • Lack of Accessibility for those who have difficulty moving around the space easily or quickly

See also[]