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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.

average rating is 5 out of 5, based on 2 votes, rating(s)
Large pile of colorful LEGOs

Learning Goal

  • 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?





Civic Collaboration

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average rating is 5 out of 5

February 14, 2024 at 1:03:34 AM

average rating is 5 out of 5

February 14, 2024 at 1:02:20 AM

average rating is 5 out of 5

February 11, 2024 at 3:55:15 AM

average rating is 5 out of 5

January 4, 2024 at 7:22:22 PM

average rating is 5 out of 5

December 12, 2023 at 11:56:40 PM

average rating is 5 out of 5

Lori Britt

October 3, 2023 at 5:00:05 PM

Have done this in the past, but today a group really blew me away. I did this as a Fishbowl with 7 students taking roles. Prior to the converstaion they could seek input from a few other students about what which decision they think the person in their role would support and why. I also asked them to come up with some things that were concerns for them. This 10 minute of prep time helped my role play participants really embody and feel confident in their roles. Great discussion about what deliberation looks like in practice and about how power can impact conversations and how a facilitator can try and minimize these power imbalances. I used the scenario above and assigned these roles (I was not sure my students woul be able to consider roles that would offer different perspectives): • Facilitator (non-voting) • Mayor • High school teacher • 17-year-old high school student • Transportation planner for the region • Local business owner • Economic development office for the region (your community and the surrounding communities served by the train) • 50-year-old who lost his job last year and who has been on unemployment

average rating is 4 out of 5


September 20, 2023 at 5:18:02 AM


average rating is 5 out of 5


September 20, 2023 at 5:17:25 AM

very good

average rating is 4 out of 5

September 16, 2023 at 2:25:09 PM

average rating is 5 out of 5

September 11, 2023 at 9:02:29 AM

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