What does it mean to change the world? This is a complex issue, which requires awareness and reflection. This meeting gives the possibility to have a closer look at real situations from changemakers’ lives as well as our own. The workshop can be a good introduction to the meeting “Just do it!”.
Author and translation: Anna Książek
Proofreading: Andrea Pucci
Deep reflection on changing the world
During the workshop the participants will:
Have a closer look at the work of changemakers from Thailand and Laos.
Think about different aspects connected with social activism.
1. World Café
Give participants the stories: “Back to the roots” and “Along the silk road”. Let them read and then explain the rules of the “World Café” discussion:
In the room there are four tables (or other spots good for discussing). On each table there is a big piece of paper pointing an issue to be discussed.
Participants, after reading the stories, sit in one table of choice. Just pay attention that the number of people in each table is more or less equal (it cannot be that in one table there is half of the group and others are empty). For 10 minutes, in each table, they discuss about the relative issue, writing the conclusions down on the paper.
After 10 minutes, make a shift. Everybody goes from one table to another, without following any specific order.
Each participant visits four tables, till she/he takes part in four discussions. It’s important that people don’t change tables in the same pattern (it is better if the groups are different every time).
After last shift, the groups present to the others the conclusions written on the paper at the table they are sitting.
Examples of issues to discuss:
What does “organic rice” mean? Is it better than the one produced using chemicals? If yes, why? What are the cons?
Is it important to involve in the social change those people to whom the change is related? Do Tor and Boby engage people like that? How? Why?
Is entrepreneurship needed in changing the world for better? How can we use it? How Tor and Boby use it?
Coming back to the farm was a huge change in life for both Tor and Boby. Do you think it was a difficult decision for them? What makes people take decisions like that? Would you be ready for such a decision?
What does it mean to you coming “back to the roots” (Tor’s story)?
How the war in Vietnam influenced the lives of people in Laos (Boby’s story)?
Similar discussion can be organized based on stories of changemakers working in different countries, also your own.
2. Expressing opinions
Share your thoughts about changing the world. Tell the participants that it is not a discussion, everybody express her/his thoughts but without referring to what was said by the persons before.
Examples of questions (issues) for reflection:
What does it mean “changing the world” to you?
Share the story of changemakers you found inspiring.
What blocks you from changing the world?
What can help you to take a step?
What is needed to change the world?
How would it be the world we dream about?
Changing the world is above all great fun and happiness, which comes from leaving this world better than we found it, from collaborating with others, from action!
Tasks and topics to discuss:
Organize a workshop about changing the world for another group. Adjust form and exercises to the age of participants. Find other changemakers stories, choose those which will be inspiring and understandable for participants.
Search for information about production of rice or silk. What did you want to know but you didn’t find in the texts proposed during the meeting?
Look at different products you use. What is the story of coffee, tea, cacao? Where bread, cheese, ham come from? What is the journey our jeans and t-shirt covered? Which of those products are local, and which for sure are not? Where do they come from?
Organize a movie night with a discussion related to the topic of responsible consumption. You can use movies from the website storyofstuff.com.
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