To discover impacts of our every-day choices and our interdependence with the rest of the World.
Bringing awareness how we as humans can contribute to the well being of the World.
Participants or trainers bring several objects that are of modern-world mass-production, such as a simple pencil, plastic bottle, t-shirt or pack of cheese; or more complicated like a mobile phone, speakers etc. The idea is for individuals or groups of people to sit with and analyze them, research and discuss; how is the product made? What are the ingredients of this product? (One can include the smallest detail, such as print on the package), What is the impact of producing this product for people, animals and nature? Is the product needed or wished for? Are there more sustainable alternatives to this creating less harm to people, animals and nature (even if nature encompasses also people and animals)?
Groups or individuals then can present their findings to the larger group, bringing forward their own dilemmas and questions. Even if this may sound like an environmental awareness exercise, it strongly brings up topics of solidarity, empathy, courage and choices that we are or are not willing to make or create. As a facilitator, you can play with different dimensions and adjust it to the framework you are working with.
You can use fewer objects or questions. However the depth of the analysis of the product itself may be necessary to realize how little we put attention to what the impact of our choices is.
Usually, such activity may take half a day for a deeper analysis and group work. But this can be varied with respect to your own time frame.
Can be worked out in groups the same way as described.
If participants tend to stay superficial with the analysis of the products, the whole activity may remain at that level, so to encourage participants to pay attention to little details becomes necessary to add more depth. This exercise also may trigger some people into defending why they buy certain products or adopt certain behaviours. Reminding all that this activity is not about blaming but raising awareness of how interdependent we are and how complex the systems are around us. It is also about being able to recognize our individual and collective impact, our resistance to change, and where you can bring in the topic of privilege.
This can be quite a powerful activity that presents a chance to dive deeper into our own personal relation to the world around us and to how we see our contribution to it.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.