You will need to allow about 10 minutes
for part 1, the brainstorm, about 60 minutes for the work in the
power station and 20 minutes for the debriefing and evaluation.
Try to do this exercise quite quickly. Do not let the young
people get bored.
If people need a further explanation about how to come up with
an idea or slogan that could be a solution to the problems (point
6 in the instructions), you could give the following example.
If the one piece of paper reads "bullying" and the other
reads "violence on television", one group might suggest
that there should be workshops in schools on how to deal with
bullying and that violent films should be broadcast only after
11 p.m. The other group might suggest training peer mediators
for the bullying problem and that there should be a 9 p.m. watershed
before which violent films should not be shown. The two groups
then discuss these proposals and combine or amend them before
writing them on the "solutions" pieces of paper. Each
group may come with 2 or more proposals, but one is enough.
If the group is small, you can work with one group of "emergency
technicians". The reason for working with two groups is that
two groups very often come up with different solutions to the
same problem, which widens the options.
The icebreaker "People
machine" makes a good, co-operative warm-up.
This technique can be adapted for use with any issue which involves
identifying problems and finding solutions.
Suggestions for follow-up
The use of violence is rarely a good way to gain a goal. It
could be one way to break into a closed group, but people may
enjoy being creative in finding other ways to break into a closed
group in the activity, "Force
the circle" (see in the all different all equal education
Discrimination or gender issues might have come up in the "power
station" Even if they didn't, you may be interested in exploring
issues about identity and the right to equality in dignity and
respect. Have a look at the activity "Who
Ideas for action
Tackle one of the problems identified in this activity. For
instance, if bullying was the chosen issue, the group could take
forward the proposal to organise a workshop in their school and
put it on the agenda of the next school or association council
has been developed from an activity proposed by Dariusz Grzemny,
Association for Children and Young People (Chance), Glogow, Poland.