The Great Web of Community

Storyline

Life does not happen in isolation. We all depend on each other and on everything sur-­‐ rounding us in order to survive and thrive in our communities. Ignoring this basic truth causes us to   live lonely lives of isolation and disconnected from the rest of life. There are many invisible threads  that keep us connected if we take the time to look at them and make the connections

To see this exercise as a design process, where the interconnections and interrelation-­‐ships are highlighted, and become more visible to all. Developing a deepening personal awareness that the interconnectedness of life is not mere metaphor, but a living truth for which we humans must take responsibility.

Assessment: Debriefing from this experience can best be done first in small groups and then with the whole group to let everyone see the diversity of experiences. Afterwards summarize any feature that came up during the debriefing. Focus initially on identifying the various ways people value things and other issues that come up during the exercise. Ask, what did not work as it should have? How could it have been improved? Try to involve everyone by asking of each participant the same questions.

  • Students Ask students what they observed. How they felt during this exercise. What did they discover about using all the connections in a system? How does this inform how they relate to the rest of the community? To the rest of the world? What was most important in what happened here today? What connections did they not make?
  • Facilitators What did you observe about this exercise? How well did participants take to it? Did they understand the directions? Did anything come up that called your attention to risks or un-­‐ foreseen results? What, if anything, would you do differently?

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A ball of yarn 30 to 50 meters long.

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  1. Everyone stand in circle but not touching. Give each participant a role or quality in the communal system they live in. Examples: food distribution, complimentary currencies, local businesses, inclusive leaders and decision making, integrity, responsibility, love, nature, natural building, renewable energy, natural resources, etc…find as many different elements of sustainability as there are participants in the course (ask participants to come up with some). Now ask them to write it on a piece of paper to pin on themselves for others to see. Tell them to think for a moment about how these are all interrelated.   Then ask participants to form a circle without touching. Now give anyone in the circle the ball of yarn and ask them to toss it to someone across from them while hanging on to the end of the string so they stay connected. Tell them to describe the relationship using their assigned roles. For example how or-­‐ ganic food production relates to complementary currencies, which in turn relates to sustainable mo-­‐ dalities  of  local  economics,  which  in  turn  relates  to  inclusive  decision-­‐making  procedures,  which  in turn relates to integrity in human interaction, which relates to love, which relates to wilderness and nature, which relates to ecological building, and so on… So, each person throws the ball of yarn to oth-­‐ ers while holding the string. First throw to someone who hasn’t received  it yet. Stop  any  time  and  keep the ends connected by holding on to the strings.
Suggested Age (Child - Youth)

Child & Youth

  • Head – Cognitive – Concepts 75% 75%
  • Hands – Skills 10% 10%
  • Heart – Attitudes – Behaviour 100% 100%
  • Living Together – Community 100% 100%
SDGoals

1: No Poverty

2: Zero Hunger

3: Good Health and Well-Being for people

4: Quality Education

5: Gender Equality

6: Clean Water and Sanitation

7: Affordable and Clean Energy

8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

10: Reduced Inequalities

11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

12: Responsible Consumption and Production

13: Climate Change

14: Life Below Water

15: Life on Land

16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

17: Partnerships for the Goals

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Submitted by

Henk Petter

Henk Petter

Coordinator Gaia Youth and Schools

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