13 Jul 2011
The evolving Transition ingredients card game
At my workshop at the Transition Network conference I tried out a new teaching tool for Transition initiatives, a deck of cards designed around the ‘Ingredients of Transition’, as set out in the forthcoming ‘The Transition Companion’. On one side of the cards is a photo that captures the spirit of the ingredient and its name, and on the other side is the problem the ingredient is a response to and the solution it represents. Here, for example, are both sides of the ‘Coming together as groups’.
My sense, prior to the workshop, was that they might serve as a useful tool for initiatives. So, the first activity we did was based on the ‘mingle’ activity from the Transition Training. The cards were dealt out so that everyone had one, and then they were invited to move around the room, and to explain their card to someone else, and to hear that person’s card before moving on to another person. It was a great way to familiarise people quickly with the idea of the ingredients and to expose them to quite a few of them.
For the second game, people got into groups of 10-15 people, and dealt the cards out between them. Then one person volunteered to tell the story of their initiative. The idea was then to map out that story on the floor using the cards. “We started with this, then moved on to that”, and so on.
Each group laid the cards out in a different way, but kept with the same idea of creating a storyline of how their initiative unfolded. Some of the fascinating things were the reflections at the end of the exercise in terms of which cards were left unused, and what they said about the stages of the process that had been overlooked. Also, the cards that were used to map out where they saw the group going next were very instructive.
A tool like this could be used in other ways too. Perhaps they could be used to initially map out a vision of where the initiative would like to get to in 5 years time, and then used to set out the necessary steps to getting there. There could be a 10 minute activity you could do with them, a 40 minute activity, and a more in-depth 2 hour game. They could be used to map what feels like it’s working well, as well as what isn’t.
One of the people whose project was mapped out said she found it a hugely useful and insightful tool in terms of getting a sense of why things had gone flat and what could be done about it. What I’d love would be to develop this tool in time for the release of the book. Perhaps we’d release it as a ‘beta’ version first, and invite people to try them out and send in the games they come up with. If you have any thoughts as to how to make these the most useful and effective tool possible, I’d love to hear them. Certainly the response from the workshop seemed to be that we have the bones of a potentially really dynamic tool here.
Finally, here is a short film of me chatting about these cards and their potential with Charlotte DuCann of Sustainable Bungay…