Simulation game - identifying topics

Target group: 
Group size: 
Small papers and pens for notes, large paper or a blackboard. Writing equipment to visualise the outcome.

Searching for topics in the group

Ask everyone to personally think of the top three issues/topics which they would be motivated to work on improving. Ask to divide in couples and compare your lists. Try to identify similar topics and invent macro topics. If the group is larger than 10 people, get together in groups of two couples and repeat the process.

Visualization of the results

Visualize the topics on a wall, preferably structured according to the macro topics. Let the participants do that (by post-its, writing notes or any other way), make sure interactive clustering is happening while visualizing (ask the group, what do they think, which topics suit together).

Check out what the macro topics of main  concern are in the group. If the group is big, ask people to choose the  macro topic they are most   interested in and form working groups. For this a simple voting technique can be used - everyone has two dots they can put on the issues they are the most motivated about/engaged with.


Share your motivation to work with the  issues - ask, why the people would like to work with the concrete issues. Depending from the size of the group, it can be done together, or in smaller groups.

Ask the group/-s to share knowledge about initiatives, actions and individuals already working on the concrete issues. Depending from the group and time, it can be done all together, in smaller groups or by using the principle of "global cafe". Add the results sharing to the visual map (let participants do that).

Share in the big group/smaller groups/couples, which of the ideas/actions they find inspiring and what could be repeated.


The process of finding macro-topics requires mastering the time management, otherwise its easy to get lost in discussions. As well, depending from the group dynamics and settings, sometimes its nicer to swap groups for different parts of this exercise, but in other cases - it might be too confusing (mainly, if this exercise is just a part of bigger session).