1.2(b) Whose Priorities Count?


To understand how the group makes decisions and agrees what’s important.

You need

Flip chart paper, pens and old magazines, glue, sticky tape or Blu-Tack and about an hour. You could also use wooden stacking bricks and activity sheet 4.

What to do

Make a big grid of 25 boxes on a piece of flip chart paper or use activity sheet 4. Everyone now contributes to completing 20 of the 25 boxes with issues or concerns that you feel may exist for different people in the community. Do this by writing, drawing or sticking in relevant pictures from the magazines. Do this on your own, without influencing what others are thinking. Put one issue or concern in each box. Make sure to leave five boxes blank. What information are you drawing upon as you fill in the boxes? Is it because of personal connections, what you have heard on local radio or read in the local newspaper?

What do you think?

What do you think about the issues that came up? Did they address the issues of climate change?

Look at the priorities again, but this time imagine yourself as a very different group to the one that you are. For example, if one of your priorities was to build more wind farms, imagine you are a local farmer who’s land would be used up to build them. How does that priority look now? By looking at your priorities from another person's perspective, are there any you want to add or change?

What to do next

Cut the flip chart or activity sheet up, so you have 25 separate cards. Draw a pyramid on another piece of paper, or use string and sticky tape to mark out a vast triangle on the floor. Shuffle the cards and deal them out round the group so no one has the cards they themselves created. Each person takes turns in placing the cards you have in the pyramid. If you think the card you have is really important then place it towards the top. If it is quite important, place it somewhere in the middle. If you don’t agree with it at all, place it at the bottom of the pile. Everyone should take a turn without interruption, until all the cards have been placed in the pyramid shape. You could now stick the cards to the wooden stacking bricks and place them in the same order in the pyramid.

What do you think?

Now comes the hard part. Talk about where you have each put the boxes or bricks. If someone disagrees, then move it to where you think it should be and explain why. Keep going for a while until there is some agreement, especially about those you think are LEAST important. You should now have a pyramid of priorities where everyone agrees about what’s least important, even if you are not sure what is most important.


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