Online Fields
A method to do online systemic constellations

This is a guide on how you can do online 1:1 and group constellations, proven to work for table top, phenomenological and structural constellations and alike.

Online Fields - how does it work

Facilitator, client and representatives will work together in one document while communicating through a tool like Zoom, Teams, Skype or a phone line. Each participant will move and change a representing symbol depending on its role.
We assume you know how to facilitate a 1:1 or group constellation in person. The Online Fields method provide the tools and instructions so you can apply your own systemic knowledge and facilitation skills while your client and representatives are remote. The tools we recommend and use are technology standards like Powerpoint, Google Slides, Miro for the interaction and Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype and/or an ordinary phone line for communication.


What we learned, our starting point

  • Systemic awareness is available remote
  • Representative perception is available remote
  • You can see the network of relationship(s)
  • Things that are missing will show up
  • Basic grammar as direction and distance apply
  • It works with both 1:1 and a group of representatives
  • Additions to the grammar are shape, size, color
  • Important shifts, movements or steps can be easily captured
  • It might look daunting, but it is a lot of fun to do

The origin

This method has been first developed by Noemi Viedma and Jeroen Hermkens, members of It is offered as open source under Creative Commons licence - Attribution ShareAlike. You can use this method (commercially) as a building block (like a piece of Lego) for your own systemic work, constellations and exercises as long as you credit - Jeroen Hermkens, Noemi Viedma.

If you have any additions, suggestions or exercises to share for the method then we love to hear from you.

In this description we focus on doing Online Constellations through Zoom and Powerpoint because they appear to be readily available at this moment, the method is technology independent though.

1. Set up the Online Fields Template

Facilitator, client and representatives will work together in one document. Each participant will move and change a symbol depending on its role. Download and customize the template. Adapt the title, agenda and the exercise in line with your needs for the session.

The Online Fields Template

The Online Field Template consists of 13 slides:

  • Title sheet
  • Online Fields - how does it work?
  • Agenda
  • Setting up the screens
  • Introduction exercise
  • Elements for the Online Constellation
  • The canvas to constellate on

Once you have downloaded the template you can now adapt it like a normal Powerpoint presentation. Add your own text, titles and exercise.

If you don’t have Powerpoint you can upload the Template into Google Drive and edit the template within Google slides as described in step 2.

Download the template

Register to download so we can keep you up to date with future updates. The template is available in English, Spanish and Dutch.

After registration you will get a confirmation email with the link for the download.

2. Share the Template as part of your invitation

For a group constellation you need to online share the template with your participants.
These are the steps for sharing your document. We assume that you have a Google Account.

Prepare the Template for sharing:

  1. Upload the Template to Google Drive
  2. Open the Powerpoint Template
  3. Open the Powerpoint Template with Google Slides
  4. Choose File > Save as Google Slides
  5. You can now make changes in the Template
  6. Select [Share] in the top right
  7. Select [Get Shareable link] in the top right
  8. Set the rights to ‘Anyone with the link can edit
  9. Choose [Copy link] and copy it to your invitation

Your template is now ready to be used.

Create & send invitation

Include in your invitation:

  • Date and time of the session
  • Means of communication, link to Zoom, Microsoft Teams or phone number

Depending on your type of session:

  • Link to the shared template
  • Video on how to set up your workspace

3. Setting up the constellation

Just as in an in-person constellation you will have to create the holding space for your Online Constellation. Since the representatives need to get comfortable in the online space we recommend to do a systemic check-in, create the workspace and practice within the workspace with your client and representatives.

  • 1:1 Constellation - Share Template within session

    1:1 - Share Template within session

    Within a 1:1 constellation you will be able to share the Template with your client. After sharing the document you can give your client control over the Template and start working together. This can be be achieved in both Zoom and Microsoft Teams (depending on your organisations setting).

    [video sharing in Zoom
    Work in Progress]
  • Group Constellation - Create Workspace

    Group Constellation - Create Workspace

    To have an effective session you will want to have your participants both see each other and the Online Fields Template. The windows for your video call (Zoom/MS Teams) and the shared document need to be next to each other.
    Most probably the start position of the windows will be full screen on top of each other. This is the recommended setup:

    • For Zoom (or MS Teams same concept):
      1. Have your participants move to ‘Gallery view’ in Zoom so you see a grid of all participants - select button top right in Zoom
      2. Move out of the full screen mode - select button most top right in Zoom
      3. Scale the Zoom window so it is tall and small by pulling the bottom right corner
    • For the Online Fields template:
      1. Have your participants open the shared Template from the invitation
      2. Have them resize the browser window so it is next to the video window
  • Warm-up/Practice round

    Practice round - Play with the elements

    To get your participants at ease within the Template we offer within the Template an exercise to get them going. The goal is to have each participant copy, place, move and scale a symbol so they get accustomed with the basic actions. And thus can focus more on their systemic awareness instead of the mechanics.

    • Get all participants on slide 3
    • Have them select and copy (CTRL-C or CMD-C) the element
    • Let them paste (CTRL-V or CMD-V) the element on slide 4
    • Have them add their name, by double clicking, move, scale and rotate it
    • Once everyone has done this you can move to slide 5 and have them order their element by age
    • Then let them position themselves on slide 6 where they are located now relative to the position of the facilitator (or any other known place)
    • As final exercise let them position themselves towards a concept you choose on slide 7. Ask them to do an internal inquiry where to position themselves.

    Now you are ready to start the Constellation.

4. Facilitate the Online Constellation

Now it is up to your systemic facilitation skills. We assume you know how to facilitate a 1:1 or group constellation in person. The Online Fields method provides the tools and instructions so you can apply your own systemic knowledge and facilitation skills while your client and representatives are remote.

Interview & identify elements

Start your interview as usual. Make sure you have the client in your view. Agree on the question, issue and identify the elements.

Slow down!

While facilitating there will be a lot of input, verbal, visual and energetic. Slow down yourself and also instruct the participants to slow down.

1:1 Constellation - Placing elements

Ask your client to go to the symbol slide of the Online Field Template and chose a symbol for each element. Copy and paste the element in the next white (constellation) slide. The element should be placed as perceived by the client. Don´t forget to ask the client to derole before representing the next element.

Group Constellation - Placing elements

Ask your client which of the representatives can represent an element. Each of the representatives choses a symbol from the symbol slide. The representatives copy and paste their element in the next white (constellation) slide and position it according to its perception.

Systemic movements

From then on, representatives will be asked to move the symbol with his/her mouse according to the development of the constellation. Be aware that other representatives can annouce themselves if they have strong systemic perceptions.

Freeze important moments

Important moments in the constellation can be frozen in time by duplicating the slide and continuing with the constellation on the next slide. Make sure all participants move to the next slide.

Wrap up the constellation

As a facilitator you know when the constellation is done. Wrap up, derole and debrief with the client. As a good practice make sure to change the sharing settings of the Google doc to edit-only or hide the document.

5. Variations

Based on this method a lot of variations are possible. Think of table top or structural constellations based on different presets of slides. Another variation could be breaking up your participants in smaller groups through Zoom 'break outs' while they all work on their own slides within the Google Slide, or each break out group works in their own Google slide.

The variations are endless. Please let us know your ideas so we can include them here with a reference to you.


Work in progress. Feel free to let us know your questions.

1. Is this method unique?

No, we are not the only ones offering a method to constellate online. There are many ways of constellating online:
Only via a communication app (Zoom, Teams..):
a) without any board at all: facilitator asks client to move physically with her body at her place or via meditation, using imaginative constellations
b) with a physical board: facilitator has a table top tool that moves in her place while broadcasting via her camera. Client tells facilitator how to move the figures.

With a communication app (Zoom, Teams...) and a digital shared board
a) only one person at the time can move in the digital board the elements (for instance by sharing screen and giving remote control to the other)
b) all participants meet both in the communication app and in a shared board (shared document) where all have control permission and therefore can move elements in the board. This is the case of Online Field Template.

Other tools: Ziesoo, ,
And check this excellent post of Edward Rowland explaining his experiences with online constellation and also sharing his slides.

2. Can I use the method for free in my own (commercial) work?

Yes, as stated with the origin, it is offered as an open source under Creative Commons licence - Attribution ShareAlike. You can use this method as a building block (like a piece of Lego) for your own systemic work, constellations and exercises it as long as you credit - Jeroen Hermkens, Noemi Viedma. If you have any additions, suggestions or exercises to share then we would love to hear from you.

3. What is the origin of this method?

In 2015 Noemi Viedma and Jeroen Hermkens both joined the course System Dynamic in Organisation of the Hellinger Institute in Middelbert, The Netherlands. Over dinner Noemi wondered if constellations could be done online... Jeroen, who's trained as an interaction designer, envisioned using the combination of Google Docs and Skype to manage a constellation. They did several test runs and concluded that it worked. Noemi used it in her daily practice since then. Jeroen focussed on other stuff until a constellation was canceled due to Covid-19 and he tried the method in a Group Constellation.

4. Who are you?

Noemi Viedma is a seasoned Systemic Expert living and working from Barcelona, Spain and mother of two. Professionally she can be found on or on Linkedin. Jeroen Hermkens is a project leader within the local government, constellator and photographer living in Baarn, The Netherlands. Professionally he can found on Het is Simpel.
Both Noemi and Jeroen are members of the Cobras, an international network of systemic facilitators.


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