Identify an example of disadvantage or injustice for your students to debate. Ask them to take sides that they wish to support. Try, as far as possible, to have two similar sized groups. Ask each group to investigate and support the opposing view to the one that they initially wished to support. Run the debate with speakers and conclusions as normal. Ask the group how it felt to support the opposing view. Did they change their own opinions in any way?
Ask the learners to watch a documentary such as Joe Barker’s (2017) In our hands: seeding change about local initiatives to overpass current industrial food systems and, if possible, attend a local agro-ecological fair, producer, cooperative, etc. and learn about it. In class, discuss how shifting consumer patterns can change things and explore barriers to change. How we can change our food provision in our community? Who are the actors that can help us to make this shift?
Trailer In our hands, seeding change
Photo-language and creative writing method: Learners imagine and then learn about different stakeholder perspectives on marine biodiversity.
- A set of pictures representing various aspects of life below water (including human and non-human ones such as fish) are spread on a table. Each learner picks one picture that touches him/her.
- Learners explain why they have chosen their picture, and what link they can make with life under water.
- Each learner then writes a very short story as if he/she was the aspect represented on the picture attempting to make its perspective regarding life under water explicit (eg. “As a fish, I particularly appreciate in …/As a commercial fisherman I…”).
- Each learner adds one sentence regarding what a sustainability issue (e.g. climate change) could mean for them (eg. “As a coral reef I fear not being able to adapt to rising water temperatures”)
- The different stories are read aloud in front of the whole group, and different sets of underlying values are made explicit. A discussion is held on which aspects are in favour or not of sustainable management of the common good “life below water”.
- The discussion can then be related to texts presenting “real” perspectives on the issue of various stakeholders/scientific knowledge on life below water, including all these aspects.
Reflect on the power flows as it currently exists in North/South relations in terms of access to resources, economic and commercial relations, responsibilities for present climate change damage, unequal effects on populations and countries, migration and conflict related to climate change, etc. and consider what values it seems to represent. Then, in a group, reflect on how power flows need to change in order to implement climate mitigation strategies and discuss what values this change seems to represent.
Investigate in pairs the different actors in production and consumption. (Preselected). Students define their roles, rights and duties and present their findings to the others.
Groups research the following issue: Citizens are paying taxes for house waste management but communities still do not have an organised waste management system. Open spaces in the community are used as landfills. Why does the problem exist? How does this impact the community life-quality? What hidden interests exist behind this issue What is the role of the local population? How can they react? Share findings.
Game-example: Oxygen Not Included
In the space-colony simulation game Oxygen Not Included learners will find that scarcities of oxygen, warmth and sustenance are constant threats to their colony’s survival. Guide colonists through the perils of subterranean asteroid living and watch as their population grows until they’re not simply surviving but thriving.
Activities in the simulation
- Everything in their space colony is under their control, from excavation and resource allocation right down to plumbing and power systems.
- They keep the psychological impact of survival at bay with fun leisure activities, great accommodations and even better food for their colony.
- They keep tabs on ambient environmental temperatures and their colony’s heat production to maintain a nice, cozy atmosphere for their colonists.
- They create interlocking pipe systems to swiftly deliver fuel and liquid to critical areas of your base. if they plan well, they be rewarded as their colony transforms into an imperishable, well-oiled machine.
- They choose from a multitude of power sources including coal, hydrogen, natural gas or just plain old elbow grease.
- Waste Nothing through Extreme
- They recycle waste into precious fuel, process unbreathable gas into air or harness the natural bodily processes of wild creatures for food.
Students research developments in a chosen country regarding social (People), ecological (Planet) and economical (Prosperity) aspects. What has changed? What has stayed the same? What was the result of actual policy? Compare with developments under previous governments.
Discuss findings and relations between social, ecological and economic policy. Share and compare viewpoints and suggestions with rationale amongst the group.
Useful websites: BBC’s reality check, National Geographic and The Balance.
In small groups choose 2 job roles. Select 2 contrasting values, one intrinsic (e.g. helpfulness, honesty, responsibility) and one extrinsic (e.g. recognition, influence, success). Discuss how the job roles would be influenced by each of your chosen values.
Students brainstorm ways to improve energy efficiency in their institution/home/workplace. Groups then share and critique suggestions. Whole group consider proposals and choose a few key to work towards. Identify some key steps needed to achieve these goals.