Along the course introduction we propose a series of short exercises to facilitate participants to get to know each other. The proposal is to use a paper versions of web 2.0 for visualising the diversity of the group and discovering a little more about each other.
The objectives are To provide a space for participants to meet, speak and discover the diversity of the group. To encourage the creation of a friendly and safe space for starting the learning process.
The activities provide the space to get to know each other through the use of paper versions of an “Avatar” design, interactive “Facebook Interviews”, and a “Google Map” creation. At this stage participants should have already had some icebreaking exercises and know more or less each others names.
Avatar Design: Each participant draws a personal avatar for him/ herself as a citizen. Remind what is an avatar (can be pic, photo, object, symbol etc., representing the person). No name should be signed on it. The avatars are collected and put in the box for later use.
Facebook Interviews: Each participant gets a page with his/her empty facebook profile (model attached). They only sign their name on the top. The rest of the profile must be filled in by other participants trough interactive interviews, each answer will be writen by a different person. At the end of the process everybody should have its own Facebook profile, with his/her own answers written in by as many different hands as possible. The main concept is that everybody has the chance to chat and introduce themselves in pair interviews.
Google Map creation: When ready with their personal facebook profiles, participants should stick it next to the big Euro- Mediterranean Map and connect with strings (hyperlink) the profiles with the place of residence.
The avatars are still missing to complete the profiles. Each participant picks one avatar and finds to which profile it matches (they can ask for help from the others, of course!). At the end of the exercise we should have a nicely decorated wall with lots of relevant and interesting information about each member of the group.
The exercise does not need a complex debriefing, but is always interesting to ask everybody to comment on something interesting or surprising discovered about the others or about oneself.
This exercise is mainly though to be implemented as a “getting to know each other” exercise in international events.
For visualising the whole group use a huge Euro-Mediterranean geographical Map without borders. Attention: Better to use satellite photo or maps without borders. Otherwise you can draw a nice map with the silhouette of continents and sea. Try to avoid forgetting any lands (specially those of the attending participants).
For the facebook profile, it is possible to create a simple questionnaire with some questions to be adapted depending on the group (see an example).
The avatar can be drawn in a simple middle sized post-it (consider providing colour markers for the group).
The Map of the whole group is intended to last as long as possible and should be in a visibe place to be consulted during breaks and informal moments.
It may be further developed in the coming sessions, for instance adding an extra paper about participants’ organisations, or complemented with their communities information.
At local level, the activity may be used to map the community. Can you identify places on intercultural diversity, places of youth participation, active citizenship,...