Unit 2: How it Works

The method has 5 phases

The trainer welcome the attendees and reads them the following story for introduction:

„Imagine there is an island where a nuclear bomb fell. Only 10 people remained alive on the island, the land is so polluted that the people need to live for 6 months in a hiding place, which will secure their health and survival. After that period, they can go out of the hiding place, and will need to revive life and society, since no other people will visit the island for at least 100 more years. The hiding place unfortunately can only support 7 people. The group has to decide which three people remain outside. The decision must be taken democratically by all participants in the simulation (could be with 51% 70% or 100% – to be defined beforehand). Each of you will receive a list of description of the survivors on the island (the 1-page printout).“

The trainer gives time to the group (about 10 minutes) for every participant to make their own decisions using the 1-page printout, who should be left outside.

Optional: participants negotiate in small groups of 2-3 people about who should stay. We use this stage if the group is bigger than 12 people and then every small group has to elect one representative for the final discussion to present their decision. (15 minutes)

The group(s) negotiate all together the final decision and vote. (No more than 30 minutes should be allowed for the discussion. The time frame should be set in advance) If the group has set a target for making a decision unanimously or with 70% majority and could not reach a decision additional negotiation time is allowed (15 minutes).

Time for reflection

  • Every participant reflects for himself/herself on his/her choices. Tries to find out what values/prejudices have defined his/her choice initially. Why he/she has made/not made certain concessions in the subsequent negotiation.
  • The trainer leads a discussion on values. How we react when some of our core values and understandings are affected. How we should be able to understand the motives of the rest of the people in the group and be assertive but also respectful in such communication. Discussion can also be held on the process of democratic decision making.

Note: If you want to lead the session online, you can download the instruction for online implementation Here