Practicing Collaboration with Others
Submitted by Evan Weissman
Three presenters pitch campus initiatives or community programs they want to keep, get rid of, or flirt with in order to create their ideal shared community. Participants discuss their own ideas while building a collaborative city out of LEGOs.
Practice actively listening to and constructively incorporating diverse opinions, needs, or concerns when working towards a shared vision.
Set Up: Prepare for the Activity
This activity can be used in a classroom or workshop. It can also be the basis of a community event. If designing this activity as a community event, review the Warm Cookies of the Revolution Event Checklists.
The main item needed for this activity is a set of LEGOs. Set up a large table (or group together multiple desks) and lay out the LEGOs in the center of the table with chairs all around.
Select a topic that is important to your discussion group, something they are passionate about. Alternatively, you could discuss existing programs or new initiatives that they would like to introduce.
If the group has done Activity 5.1 Identifying Your Civic Passion or Activity 5.8 Practicing Deliberation with Others, you could also use the issue or initiatives arrived at by the group in those activities.
Also, select three participants or invite three guests who will be presenting pitches for keeping, getting rid of, or “flirting” with initiatives or programs. These might be initiatives or programs for the proposed city that groups are building together.
Explain to them that they will have 5 minutes to describe what their proposal is and why they think it should be implemented.
Begin by introducing the learning goals of this activity.
Step One: Start Collaboratively Building a City out of LEGOs (10 min)
Have participants sit around the table and invite them to start building their version of an ideal city together using the LEGOs.
Explain to them that while they work on building this city, they will also listen to the three participants who were selected or guests present their pitches and then discuss the ideas as a full group.
As participants begin to build their city, introduce the goal of the event and the three people who will be pitching the campus, community or workplace programs they want to keep, get rid of, or flirt with.
Step Two: Present Three Pitches (15 min)
Invite each guest or participant to give their pitch, one at a time. Keep track of time and let speakers know as they get close to the 5 minute mark.
Step Three: Share Responses and Ideas in a Lightning Round (20 min)
When the pitches are complete, invite the rest of the participants to share their own ideas or responses to the pitches in 2 minute elevator speeches.
This is a lightning round meant to keep things fast, fun, and playful. Anticipate, perhaps, 10 elevator speeches or pitches.
Remind participants to keep working on building their LEGOs city together while listening to others share their ideas. Encourage participants to use “yes, and…” to build on each other’s ideas and collaboratively create a shared vision.
Step Four: Debrief as a Full Group (10 min)
Reflect on the ideas shared and discuss:
What were some common themes that came up in the three main pitches and/or the lightning round?
What kinds of features did participants build in their ideal LEGOs city?
What was surprising about the ideas that were proposed?
This activity can be completed by any discussion group.
This activity might be considered high energy or more playful than other activities.
This activity is best implemented with in-person learning groups, requiring hands-on techniques that may not be easily replicated online.
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