Why Change The World

(Edition: Change the world, workshop 1/4)

Main objectives:

Build the motivation for changing the world for better

During the workshops participants will:




Paper (preferably recycled / reusable), pens, poster/flipchart, markers 

To print:


1. Warm up (15 min)

Source: Global Dimensions, A Guide to Good Practice in Development Education and Intercultural Education for Teacher Educators, Produced by the DICE Project.

Start with participants introducing themselves (if they don’t know each other yet). Then, divide participants into pairs and give each pair a printed test “If the world would be the village of 100 people” (Appendix 1). Ask them to discuss and guess together how many people would live in Asia, Europe, etc. In case it is too abstract, you can invite them to think in terms of percentage. After a few minutes of discussion, compare the answers of different pairs and give the correct numbers. This is the world we live in.

2. Listening and speaking: Take a step (30 min)

Source: Compass. Manual for human right education for young people.

Ask participants to pick up a role (without looking at it) from Appendix 2. Tell them to keep it to themselves and not to show it to anyone else. Invite them to read carefully what is their role and begin to get into it. To help, you can read out some of the following questions, pausing after each one, to give people time to reflect and build up a picture of themselves and their lives in the role:

Now ask people to remain silent as they line up beside each other (like on a starting line). Tell participants that you are going to read out a list of statements or events (see Appendix 3). Every time that they can answer “yes” to the statement, they should take a step forward. Otherwise, they should stay where they are and not move. Read out the sentence one at a time. Pause for a while between each sentence to allow people to step forward and to look around to notice their positions relative to each other. At the end, invite everyone to take note of their final positions. 

After the exercise, ask participants to come back to the circle and discuss the experience.

Start by asking participants about what happened and how they feel about the activity and then go on to talk about the issues raised and what they learnt. 

This is a good moment to go out of the role. You can ask participants to imagine that the role is a kind of costume, which now they need to take out. You can also ask them to pretend to take a shower and wash the role out.

After that, you can ask few more general questions:

You can also discuss with participants about discrimination. Underline that people do not end up in many of the mentioned situations out of choice. We cannot choose the place of our origin, our gender, age or sexual orientation.

The conclusion of the exercise should include the thought that as we are one of the most privileged societies in the world, it is also in our hands to bring a change. 

3. Speaking and writing: problems of the world – mind map (15 min)

Divide participants into small groups of 3-5 people. Ask each group to create a mind map of the world’s problems (see example in Appendix 4). They can get inspired by some of the issues mentioned in the previous exercise. Ask participants to categorize problems the way they wish and write them down on a poster/flipchart. After 10 minutes ask them to put the posters in the middle and walk around, reading the work of other groups. Summarize shortly by using some of the questions below:

In the next step participants will choose problems they want to have a closer look at. It’s important, though, to have a bigger picture and be aware of the various challenges we are facing today.

4. Speaking and writing: the issue I want to focus on (15 min)

Ask participants to think about one single issue, one challenge they would like to focus on. They can choose something from the mind map they created in the previous exercise, but it is good to get a bit more specific and see how a particular problem manifests itself in their local context. Encourage participants to choose the issue which they care about and they are motivated to find solutions for. Ask them to be specific, for example lack of inclusion of people with disabilities is much less specific than lack of inclusion of people on wheelchairs. Pay attention that they choose an issue, not a solution yet. For example, organizing career training for high school students is a solution, making bad choices regarding professional future is a problem. Ask each participant to write down in one sentence the issue they would like to focus on. Give them 5 minutes to discuss it in pairs, making sure that their choice is specific and indeed describe the issue and not the solution. Then, back in the circle ,ask each participant to read one sentence in which they define the issue. 

Examples of issue: air polluted by old fashion stoves, lack of confidance among teenegers, lack of awareness about mental illness and its consequences, unequal treatment of boy and girls in the nearby school, people throw away rubbish on the streets, lack of knowledge and interest of the local community about climate change, no integration between Polish and Ukrainian inhabitants of our town, etc.

5. Speaking and writing: brainstorm (30 min)

In this exercise participants will use their creativity to help each other in finding solutions for the issues chosen in the previous step. Divide the participants into small groups of 5-6 people. Every person has 5-6 minutes during which the group brainstorms about the issue he/she wants to solve. Firstly, the participant reminds in 2-3 sentences what the challenge is about. For the next few minutes everybody gives as many solutions as possible. They don’t have to be smart or rational. As in every brainstorming, there is no judgment. We try to generate as many ideas as possible, without commenting, asking and judging anything. The person presenting the issue cannot say anything, he/she just writes down all ideas he/she hears without commenting on them. There will be time later to choose the solution he/she likes (or even reject them all). As trainers, go from one group to another to be sure that they do not discuss or comment ideas – at the beginning people may be prone to judge or discuss, and this is not the goal. We try to generate as many ideas as possible in a given time. Each participant should finish with a paper full of various ideas. If needed – help by giving your own ideas, out of the box. After 5-6 minutes inform the groups that the time is over and invite the next participant to present their issue and write down the solutions the group will come up with.

After brainstorming, ask participants how the experience was for them and encourage them to choose one idea they think they could implement (it can be one idea from the list or a few ideas combined together or something they had already before in their mind, enriched by ideas of others). Ask participants to share in one sentence which idea they like the most and they feel they could implement or contribute to. You can tell them at the end that one of the next meetings will be focused on creating social projects, so they will have time and space to develop it more.

6. Summarizing (15 min)

Invite participants to the final round in which they share their impressions from the workshop. At the end, invite participants to fill the evaluation form.

After the workshop you can share with participants additional materials (Appendix 5).

Do you want to prepare and conduct a sayBabel workshop on your own on this or other topics? Do you need to know more about how to do that? You can find all sayBabel rules on sayBabel or just contact us.