Equity space

Equity space

This space is about the individual and his/her feelings. In relation to the entire WPP session, this space is about exchanging perspectives on ideal situations that can help to think creatively about solutions that would address the wicked problem. 

Aims of this space:

·        A time for personal reflection

·        Connecting with the heart.

·        Exchange of ideals, dreams and visions between participants

·        Exchange of dilemmas and trade-offs that participants face when dealing with the problem.

·        Co-creating a collective vision or ‘dot on the horizon’.

Ultimately, this space should result in each individual having had time for personal reflection, with the possibility to share these deeper insights with others in the group.

The tools below can help you to reach the aim of the session. You can select and adapt the tools to fit with the topic and sequence of the session.

Tool: Reflection. Ask all participants to choose a comfortable spot in the space. If possible, provide pillows, beanbags etc or ask them to lie on the ground, and to relax with their eyes closed. Dim the lights and ask them to be silent. As a facilitator, also sit down and talk at a slow pace. If you feel comfortable you can use a meditation method to help them relax. Ask participants to imagine a world in which the wicked problem does not exist. Ask what they see, experience, feel and do in this new world. Then give them 5 minutes to visualize and reflect on this new world. After 5 minutes, invite them to share their vision of this world. The ones not sharing can later write/draw their world anonymously on the wall or flip chart. Use about 15 minutes for sharing, then give them 5 minutes of silence again to reflect on what they heard. Carefully wake them up by slowly turning up the lights.  

Tool: Write a collective vision:  First ask all participants about their individual dream. What would the world look like without the wicked problem? The co-facilitator makes notes on what is shared, others can add their vision later. Then collectively read the notes and try to cluster them. What could be a spot on the horizon that we would like to move towards? Try to frame one sentence out of the clustered notes: a vision statement that everyone can agree on.

Tool: Personal interviews in triads: let participants interview and listen to each other as they discuss personal questions for reflection. Choose, for example, one of these questions:

  • How passionate do you feel about this issue?
  • What has stopped you from acting on the problem until now?
  • What dilemmas do you face as a person and as an organisation?
  • What have you learned about this wicked problem so far that suggests you could make a great contribution to our collective solution?
  • What would you most look forward to contributing?
  • To what extent is this issue related to your core competencies?
  • What was your role until now in solving the problem and how does that make you feel?
  • What would the world look like if the problem wasn’t there anymore?
  • What would be the ideal solution (if anything were possible)?

Tips: Create a safe atmosphere in this space by reminding people of the group rules, such as no naming and shaming, listen with intent and having an open mind. People have to share feelings, dreams, disappointments and dilemmas in this space.