Based on the observations, insights and tests made over the course of this project, following is the final framework and guidelines that have been formulated for the 'Map My Future' workshop.
Having said that though, aspects of this toolkit may need to be improvised based on the context of its usage. For example, these guidelines work best for a workshop with 6-8 people. However if the number is to increase or decrease, the dynamics of the interactions are bound to change, and the workshop structure would have to be iterated accordingly.
All the files are available for download, though it is recommended to first go through this framework, to get a clearer idea of how it works.
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Native language of the participants
Moderator ( proficient in the native language )
and 2nd Volunteer
2 1/2 hours
All activities are explained by the moderator, who is supported by this guideline.
The moderator will also have a set of ‘initiative lists’ (printed on paper) with him / her. These are meant to be given out in the end, with appropriate initiatives highlighted, based on each individual’s personal interests. Clearly this means, that the moderator must be familiar with the initiatives mentioned in this list, so that he/she can make informed suggestions.
Each participant will receive the tools for each activity just before that activity commences. Also they will receive an ‘individual board’ which would essentially be their canvas for placing cards etc. for the individual activities.
Some basic stationery (pens, pencils, sketch pens) will be provided as well.
Lastly, there would also be a ‘common board’ placed at the venue, which is the canvas for the group activities.
I. ice breaking and warm up
Name Tag Collection
When the participants enter the venue, they give their name and WhatsApp number at the ‘reception’. The 2nd volunteer will feed this information into the laptop / piece of paper, and give each participant a ‘name tag’ in return. The moderator greets them and escorts them to the central seats where the first few activities will take place.
The name tags received by the participants are blank, with only an outline of a ‘profile picture’.
Their first task is to write their names on this tag and complete the profile picture by drawing themselves. It is important to communicate to them, that this drawing doesn’t have to be artistic, skillful or realistic. It can be a cartoon, it can be abstract, it can be anything that they think, is the best representation of ‘themselves’. This activity is just for them to have fun and relax. Once they are done, they must clip the tags on their chests.
Welcomes everyone to the event. Tells them that before we get started with creating our ‘Future Maps’, we should have a round of introductions. Name, Where they come from, 1 story about why they love / hate Berlin.
The Moderator could be the first one to introduce himself / herself, so that the others feel more comfortable while doing so. ( Again, the reason why we are doing this activity is to break-ice. So we don’t pressure people into doing or saying anything they aren’t comfortable with. )
Corner of Comfort
There will be 3 corners set up at the venue ( with tables and chairs, which will be the participants’ workspace for the rest of the activities ). Each corner has a theme— Social work, Creative work, Technical work. ( This will be represented through posters that will be stuck at each of the corners. )
Participants are asked to take a minute, and have a look around at the 3 pictures representing each of these corners. They are asked to think about which one of these pictures interests them the most, or makes them feel that they are best suited for ( We DO NOT elaborate on the pictures. We DO NOT tell them that "this picture represents technical work or creative work etc." Let them make their own meanings ). Accordingly, they must choose a workspace at either one of the 3 corners.
At this point, we aren't trying to be precise, but rather, we are getting the participants to start thinking about certain things that will set the tone for the activities that follow.
This is the last of the ice-breaking activities. Drawing as it turns out, is a powerful tool for people to express themselves. Many a times, this expression can bring to light traumatic memories, which is why this activity must be handled sensitively, allowing the participants to feel free and express, as they please.
Each participant is given the incomplete drawing cards.
Communicates that they have to complete the drawing based on their interpretation of what it is / should be. They are not told anything about what the incomplete drawing is ‘meant to be’. Usually people like to talk about what they are drawing, and why they are drawing it. The moderator and 2nd volunteer should make sure that they stay accessible for these conversations. After they are done, they must sign it off with their name, and pin it onto the ‘common board’.
II. digging deeper
This is the starting point.
The participants are given a stack of ‘aspiration cards’ with pictures and names of various possible aspirations that one could have.
They are asked to browse through the cards for a few minutes and then select 4 of their aspirations for the future, and place them on the ‘individual board’ in order of priority ( 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th ). In case they have an aspiration that is not illustrated in the stack, then they can write / draw it, on the blank cards that are also provided.
INTERESTS | Skills
The leftover ‘aspiration cards’ are collected back, and a stack of ‘interest cards’ are handed to each of the participants.
For the time being, they are asked to forget about the aspirations that they had selected. Now from the ‘interest cards’ they are asked to select and put aside 3 such interests that they are really good at. It should be communicated to them that the idea is to get them to think about what their skills and strengths are, and accordingly select the appropriate cards that represent those qualities. Again, blank cards are provided in case they would like to add a ‘skill’ that isn’t already available in the stack.
INTERESTS | Hobbies
Once the participants have selected their skills, they are asked to go through the ‘interests cards’ once again, but this time, set aside 5 such interests that are their hobbies / things that they like doing. These could also be something that they are interested in learning about or pursuing in the future. Again, blank cards are provided in case they would like to add a ‘hobby’ that isn’t already available in the stack.
The leftover interest cards are collected at this point. So the only cards left on each participants’ individual boards, are the 4 selected aspirations, 3 selected skills and 5 selected hobbies.
The participants are asked to take a few minutes and look at their selected aspirations and interests. They must now find links between their interests and aspirations in whatever way they see fit. They can form their own rules and based on those, connect interests to aspirations. To make these connections, they must simply place the interest cards next to the aspiration cards, on their individual board, and thus, they create their ‘future map’.
For example, some people may link certain skills that can help them achieve certain aspirations. Some others may link certain hobbies that they believe need to be pursued, in order to fulfill a certain aspiration. The possibilities are endless, and that's what leads to interesting results.
Once their individual boards are completed, the participants are asked to form groups of 3. The are urged to have a discussion about their future maps— their choices, their chosen links etc. It is essential to communicate to them that the idea here is to 'share information'. Based on these visual 'future maps', they could suggest to each other appropriate organisations or activities, to the best of their knowledge, since each individual is likely to have discovered their own circle of friends and activities during their time in Berlin.
The moderator and 2nd volunteer, should also go around to each group, and join in the discussion. Very informally, the initiative list can be given to participants, with appropriate programs highlighted. It is important for the moderator to make this personal contact while handing out the initiative list, because many individuals need to be explained that “since you have A, B, C interests, you should participate in X, Y, Z initiatives, because that will help you pursue your interests.” In short, the ‘WHY’ needs to be explained while handing out this list.
During these discussions, each participant must feel free to realign their interests and aspirations, if they feel it necessary. At the end of this activity, they will have their ‘FINAL FUTURE MAPS’
From Tomorrow I Will...
Each participant is provided with a blank card that reads : ‘From Tomorrow I Will...’
Based on these final future maps, the resultant self-reflections and conversations, they are asked to write down 3-5 things they will try to do from the next day onwards. This is meant to be a very personal takeaway, so it requires no interference from the moderator or 2nd volunteer.
IV. Snacks and goodbyes
After the participants are done making their ‘to do list’, they are asked to keep it with them, and try and follow this agenda as diligently as possible.
They are urged to have a close look at the suggested initiatives in the 'initiative list'. They are encouraged to step out and participate in these suggested programmes and activities, as it would really help them out. It should be made clear that what we have provided is not a solution, but rather a starting point, from where they need to make an effort to help themselves.
After this, the moderator invites them to help themselves with the snacks and drinks. ( At this point of time, the idea is to just relax, chit-chat, have fun.)