The Gamified Workshop Toolkit: Values of Solidarity
The Gamified Workshop Toolkit was especially designed for teams that are just beginning their collaboration, primarily in the field of arts and culture, but also in other relevant sectors.
It has been created as a tool to promote collaborative communication and attitudes relating to the solidarity paradigm. Its purpose is to give participants a chance to express what values are important to them in their collaboration, to understand how others think and what is important and necessary for them to work and communicate together. The workshop also provides inspiration and an opportunity to reflect on how the team wants to deal with possible conflict.
Because they will jointly face fictional but possible conflict scenarios during the workshop, participants have the chance to recognise and identify mechanisms that, although often invisible and opaque, cause tensions and difficulties, especially when participants come from different contexts.
The workshop is based on simple exercises. It encourages discussion of the values that seem to make up the concept of solidarity and aims to harmonise the different approaches, experiences, and thoughts represented by the participants. The main goal is to help the team formulate their own mutual framework of values to support the development and sustainability of solidarity within the team. We believe that it can help teams establish shared, mutually beneficial values and principles of cooperation and should be promoted on a systematic, institutional level.
This project was developed by Anikó Rácz, Doreen Toutikian, and Dorota Ogrodzka. Special thanks to Konrad Gadzina for his input in gaming ideas and his facilitation. The development process was supported by the intellectual input gained through discussions within the Solidarity Economies Trajectory, part of the RESHAPE project.
The Gamified Workshop Toolkit: Values of Solidarity
- The Gamified Workshop Toolkit promotes the concept of solidarity by addressing the meaning of solidarity as a paradigm in collaborations.
- Solidarity is a spectrum that ranges from one-to-one support to global petitions and movements for justice.
- We believe that this toolkit can raise the awareness of solidarity in a practical, operational framework, on an individual level.
- In collaborations conflicts arise when people feel a certain way (angry, sad, uncomfortable, intimidated, upset, and so on). This is not the fault of others per se, but happens because their values and needs are being compromised. We recognize that such situations can break the solidarity among members in a group.
- Within RESHAPE and other international collaborations, we witnessed many situations where a shared understanding could not be established. This was due to underlying issues with each individual, which were not openly discussed. These are seen as provocations or uncomfortable situations that a team must deal with.
- Sometimes conflicts arise in groups because some may not recognise another’s rights or may offend their values, while others feel they have to justify their disadvantaged positions and feelings. To promote solidarity, this workshop toolkit addresses such conflict situations in international collaborations.
- This toolkit uses gamification to highlight these situations, and to develop negotiation practices with shared understanding and consensus on how to work together. Team members reach agreement on values that each team member will safeguard.
- We believe that non-violent communication and empathy are core values for interactions among team members, with questions centred around such ideas as: ‘How does that make you feel? Which of your values do you think were compromised? What are your needs here?’ rather than ignoring conflicts, blaming people, jumping to conclusions, or shutting down.
- This workshop toolkit can best be used at the beginning of a collaboration, especially when it involves people from different cultures, backgrounds, and personal situations.
- This toolkit also helps to deal with stereotypes, assumptions, and cultural differences. The imaginary scenarios – often borrowed from the experiences of the developers – help the team to address conflicts and learn about their own attitudes and standpoints, as well as those of their peers, before they actually commence the management of their own partnership project.
- The goal of the workshop toolkit is to develop agreement on values by each team, based on how they perceive values being safeguarded or compromised in conflict situations. The objective is for each team to develop their own framework of values that support the development and sustainability of solidarity within the team.
- The toolkit is open source and allows other RESHAPE members, and anyone who uses it, to expand on their group experiences and develop further conflict scenarios.
This game is made up of four steps.
It can be played without a moderator.
It is advised that you read the instructions together, make sense of each step, one by one.
The duration of each step and for the whole game is deliberately not set. Please decide among team members how much time you can to devote to it and then proceed with the game accordingly. As a guideline, it is possible to play a good game within two to three hours.
(Hint: Step 3 will probably take the most time.)
This Gamified Workshop Toolkit is designed to be played in a group setting of four to eight people. If there are more than eight people, it is best to split into two groups. You will then need two sets of cards.
To play the game, you will need the Value Cards, the Conflict Cards and (optionally) the Cheat Sheet.
It is recommended that a different person be in charge of timekeeping for each round.
The game can best be played sitting around a table or in a circle, as you would in a regular card game. You do not necessarily need a table to play the game.
Step 1. Personal Values Selection
All Value Cards are placed so they are visible to all players.
The Conflict Cards are placed face down in the middle.
Without touching the cards, each player must select two values in their mind that they relate to, want to refer to, are important to them.
Time: 10 minutes
Step 2. Getting to know each other – each player takes a turn
- Pick up the two cards that you have selected in your mind and show them to the others.
- Tell a personal story/ poem/ thought/ reflection /idea/ joke, etc., that is connected with the value(s) you chose.
- Place back the card from where you picked it up.
Time: 2 minutes each
Step 3. Conflict Scenarios
Be sure to keep track of time, so that everyone has a proper chance at their turn. Allocate time to each discussion depending on the number of people participating and the time you have allotted for the whole workshop.
The Conflict Cards show examples of situations that may occur in collaborations, targeted at instances in which at least one value has been compromised. As you will notice, in some scenarios it is deliberately not decided which role/side you are advised to take. In these cases you can decide which side you will empathise with or consider the viewpoints of both sides.
One player draws one Conflict Card from the pile and reads it aloud to the team.
Once the conflict scenario is clear to everyone, the players think about which value has been compromised and why.
The player holding the Conflict Card makes suggestions about which values have been compromised.
Open the discussion about the values, with the group reaching an agreement
(Note: Several values can be identified. Also: If you like, check out the Cheat Sheet for our suggestions).
Steps 1–4 are repeated according to the number of participants.
(Optional step: After determining the Values, make suggestions for a possible resolution to the conflict.)
Step 4. The Agreement
Each player picks a Value Card. They will be a Guardian of this value for the rest of the project. This value may differ from the originally chosen one, inspired by the previous discussions.
When all have chosen a card, each player presents it to the other players and talks about it (examples: why they have chosen that card, what that value means to them, how they will guard that value in the course of the project). If one value is chosen by more than one player, come to an agreement among yourselves while respecting solidarity.
(Optional: discuss how the guardianship is practiced, realized, what the scope of it is, how the guardianship will be reviewed, modified, and so on.)
In the digital version, participants can also add their own experiences as an option in later phases or replays.
Courage: Being daring, ready for challenges, adventures, open to risk and excitement, happy to get out of the comfort zone.
Pleasure: Being open to fun, playfulness, entertainment, pleasure and lightness. Enjoying life.
Motivation: Being ambitious, goal-oriented, dedicated and responsible. Focusing on the goals, persisting on realizing goals, completing tasks.
Teamwork: Cooperating with others for mutual benefit and objectives, looking after the inner harmony, integrity of the group. A sense of community.
Care: Being kind, attentive and friendly, making sure everyone feels good and maintaining good personal relationships.
Health: Looking after your own and other people’s health and well-being.
Safety: Aiming for a life without concerns, fears and risk.
Forgiveness: Being ready to get over and forget about being offended, to make a new start.
Honesty: Being straight, honest and open, and tell the truth.
Helpfulness: Paying attention to other people’s needs and assisting them when needed.
Open-mindedness: Being open to other ideas, opinions, being flexible in our own beliefs.
Equality: No discrimination on the basis of nationality, gender, age, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, education, physical qualities, cultural norms, making sure opportunities and assets are equally distributed.
Consensus: Making decisions, choosing ways that are acceptable for everyone concerned in the issue.
Nature: Being conscious, protecting the environment, promoting nature and sustainability.
Empathy: Understanding what another person feels or experiences, the ability to place oneself in another person’s position.
Justice: Ensuring equal opportunities, recognition of everyone’s rights, working for a system that offers equal access to both tools and opportunities.
Form, Aesthetics: Caring for natural and artistic aesthetics, recognition of form and outlook.
Curiosity, Knowledge: Being open to new ideas, knowledge, factual references; being eager to understand things and correlations around us.
Wonder: Being able to be fascinated by ideas and reconfigure one’s own beliefs based on new impressions.
Creativity: Being able to imagine what is not present, forming something new, bringing forth new ideas, sometimes as a form of out-of-the-box problem solving.
Freedom: Having the ability to think and act without constraint, being autonomous and independent.
Stability: Certainty, predictability, a sense of order.
Dignity: Respecting your own and other people’s cultural and personal integrity, the right of a person to be valued for their own sake, and to be treated equally, in an ethical manner.
Diversity: Understanding that each individual is unique, and recognising, accepting, and respecting our individual differences, exploring them in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.
Personal Space: Recognising and respecting our own and other people’s personal space and the personal differences in this regard.
Respect in Communication: Accepting other people’s opinions as valid, not questioning other people’s feelings and understanding of situations, articulating one’s own communication in a polite and respectful manner.
- You are a producer of a performing arts project of independent artists and you are in charge of fundraising, budgeting, and cost monitoring. You find out that the artistic director of the project has made an agreement with a commissioned artist on a fee higher than the one you agreed to in the budget, because the director would not have been able to hire that artist for the planned fee.
- You are a producer from Eastern Europe working in a Creative Europe project. The partners select artists for support and presentation by voting. For the third time now, four of the partners from the Global North have voted only for those artists they all know. Artists proposed by the other partners are not even discussed properly. You bring up the issue but the ‘strong’ partners don’t see your problem.
- You are an artist hired to work in a performing arts production for two months. After a month you notice that the rehearsals always take longer than was agreed, that the others tend to come late, and that the breaks are shorter than agreed upon. This also has an impact on the quality of the artistic process.
- You work in an international research and development project with several colleagues from various countries, working in a team in a non-hierarchical, self-governing way. One of your peers imposes a task on the other team members on very short notice, without consulting the others to see if they are able to complete the task.
- You are a partner in an international cooperation project in the midst of a slowly normalising pandemic. You are planning a physical meeting about three months ahead and you ask the partnership to come up with a Plan B to organise the meeting online. You come from a country where the healthcare system is such that you cannot rely on proper service if you or your family members become ill. The coordinator strongly opposes the online form, saying that their funding is secured only if a physical meeting takes place.
- You are part of an international partnership project as an artist from a country that is considered populist by the Global North and is culturally invisible in the Global South outside your region. You don’t tick any of the boxes currently trending for equality in the international scene. Repeatedly, you don’t even get the chance to pitch your work, although those who are familiar with it believe that it’s worthwhile.
- You work in a team of eight, whose members come from different parts of the world. Your team is going to do research on solidarity. During the first workshop, you brainstorm about what solidarity is, what it means to you, in your context, what is associated with it. You tell stories that you think illustrate this value. When one of the participants tells a story describing their understanding of solidarity, someone else intervenes, saying: ‘This is not solidarity, it is simply help. Let’s not confuse concepts.’
- You work in a large-scale international project of three years, which involves a lot of travel. In the second year one of your co-workers becomes pregnant. You come up with the idea of allowing her to continue working during maternity leave, if she wants to – it is about covering the travel costs for the person taking care of the child during her working hours (partner, nanny). When you suggest this, two people in the team are vehemently opposed.
- English is the working language for your international team of ten. You all use it, but at different levels. During discussions people who are less fluent are often interrupted by others. Despite several attempts, one person in particular is unable to finish the statement. The facilitator does not intervene.
- Together with your team you come up with a workshop on teamwork. When it is almost ready, a team member proposes to change its structure and comes up with new, crazier exercises that are new to the others. Before this person finishes explaining the proposal, the rest of the team boycott the idea, claiming that it would require additional work and is risky.
- Plastic plates and cutlery are used every day in the workshops organised during the project. When the project coordinators are asked whether a different solution is possible, they simply say that there are no funds for it and that it cannot be changed now.
- One of the team members suggests that the team pray together before each meeting. When the group protests, the team member takes offence.
- You are in a brainstorming session and a team member comes with an already formed idea. You try to develop the idea, or open a discussion about it but you feel that this person won’t let go. It is either this team member’s way or no way.
- Everyone in the team is asked to put forward a proposal. In a group meeting they all must describe and ‘defend’ their idea, but you can’t make it to the meeting. Afterwards you learn that a colleague, when speaking about his idea, used your proposal as a bad example that will not work, in order to convince the team of his own idea.
- A colleague volunteers to put together a questionnaire to help make decisions within the team. After the first draft, she sends it to all members for feedback. One member replies that it looks good, but after the results are out, the same team member complains saying that the questionnaire was not well-designed.
- After the day’s work is done, the team decides to go for dinner. Everyone orders a main dish with appetizers and drinks, you order just a salad, as you cannot afford more. When the bill comes, most of the team agree that it should just be divided equally but you tell them that you’d rather pay for your own meal. They say it’s easier to just split the bill and not waste time on it.
- In a diverse group of people from the Global North and South a list of arts references is created for a project. There seems to be much more attention given to artists and writers that are from the Global North, most of whom are white and male. You try to make a point of this as misrepresentation and believe there should be more Persons of Colour and other genders, but your colleagues disagree because they see these as classical and universal references regardless of race, gender, and geography.
- One of your colleagues refers to an artist who has been accused of numerous sexual offences towards women. You bring this to her attention and try to convince her not to promote such artists but she believes that the personal issues of an artist should not influence the credibility of their work.
- You are a person who runs a cultural organisation in a country where there is no public funding, so you depend heavily on sponsorships from private companies to pay for production fees. When you work in a team with international participants who have access to public funding, they make remarks about you for being a supporter of neoliberal capitalism.
- The team has to present the project to a group audience next week and somebody needs to put together a presentation and speak on behalf of the team. No one volunteers for five days and there is a lack of communication in the team.
- Money is left over from the collaboration project and it must be divided among the team members. The ones who come from wealthy situations think it must be donated to a cause, the others who are not so comfortable financially would like to keep it and divide it amongst members. Those from wealthy backgrounds fiercely oppose the idea saying that it is totally undemocratic and selfish.
- You are a member of the LGBTQAI+ community and have very firm perspective on Queer Feminism and believe it must be integrated in all aspects of the project, but the rest of the group cannot identify with this and think of it as your own agenda.
- You are from the Middle East and you have a meeting with an international team in Europe. A day before your flight you are told that your visa has been refused. You have the impression that the team members are reluctant to do the meeting online and when they are finally convinced to do so, you are often not given the chance to speak.
- You represent a country with conflict and a refugee crisis in an international team. The project received funding from Creative Europe because of its objectives relating to this topic. Once in the project, you realise that your European partners do not care about the issue at all, and are only using the topic and your presence to ‘tick the funder’s boxes’ and obtain the funding.
- You are woman from a Muslim background, you wear a veil, and you consider yourself a feminist. Your colleague admits in a very politically correct manner that she sees this as a paradox, or even worse: as a misinterpretation of feminism on your part.
- You are discussing climate change in the group. A colleague thinks that all people on Earth must take equal responsibility. Another colleague finds this unfair to poorer developing countries and argues that rich developed countries should be taking more responsibility for their impact on the Earth, because they have created most of the industrial infrastructure.
- In an international meeting of several days, one of your colleagues wants to go out every night and tends to come in late in the morning or seems hungover. This irritates some team members as they are acting responsibly, claiming that this colleague is busy making jokes and planning evening events, rather than focusing on the tasks.
- Your colleague is in charge of a presentation before an audience of potential funders or partners. It is a very important presentation, but the colleague makes a big mistake, due to nervousness and this decreases the chances of obtaining a grant.
- A set designer is commissioned to design the stage for a theatre show. Initially, the production manager likes the designer’s ideas and doesn’t mention budget issues. Once presented, the design is not accepted by the team because it exceeds the agreed budget, an agreement that was never mentioned to the designer. The designer tells them that they must accept this budget increase claiming that the work will bring a greater value to the show and it can’t be done cheaper.
- In a team some colleagues changed the subject of the discussion four times during the last ten minutes of the meeting. Others keep trying to stick to the agreed agenda but find themselves frustrated in every session, because it is chaotic and it never goes as planned.
- Your team has planned a walk to the lake during the break in the work sessions. Work is going slower, half of the group insists on giving up the break and the walk, even though the others insist strongly on this plan.
- During an open discussion one of the team members has the tendency to speak for a considerable amount of the time. When others speak, he often cuts in on their word and disturbs them. When he is reminded of his behaviour, he claims that everybody has the right to speak up.
- A colleague on your team has been dealing with a serious mental health issue which has now resulted in a burnout. The colleague’s performance has degraded and the boss is getting frustrated. When they finally have a confrontation, the colleague feels that the situation is not taken seriously and finds it difficult to express their feelings, while the boss thinks that the colleague has not been communicative enough about how serious the situation has been for a long time now, causing major problems with the progress of the project.
Resources for Inspiration
- Inspiration for role-playing in the context of designing a team for a workshop
- Delegation Poker
- Framing Equality Toolkit
- Common Cause Handbook
- Common Cause Foundation Toolkits
- Commonspoly Game
- Home Visit Europe – workshop/gaming format prepared by Rimini Protokoll
- Marshall Rosenberg: Non-violent communication
- Playlist with recording of NVC workshop by Marshall Rosenberg (in English, with Polish subtitles)
A Very Subjective Cheat Sheet
The following suggestions for the values compromised in each Conflict Scenario were compiled by Aniko, Doreen, and Dorota in the course of the prototype development. These are their own personal propositions. Therefore, the following list is by no means a ‘solution’ for the game but you may refer to them as additional input to your discussion of the Conflicts.
Conflict 1 — Values compromised: honesty, teamwork, stability, consensus
Conflict 2 — Values compromised: diversity, equality, curiosity, justice, open-mindedness, consensus
Conflict 3 — Values compromised: stability, respect in communication, justice, health, safety, teamwork, care, motivation
Conflict 4 — Values compromised: respect in communication, personal space, consensus, empathy, teamwork, freedom
Conflict 5 — Values compromised: empathy, health, safety, creativity, consensus, teamwork, care
Conflict 6 — Values compromised: equality, dignity, curiosity, open-mindedness, justice
Conflict 7 — Values compromised: open-mindedness, diversity, empathy, curiosity, respect in communication, creativity
Conflict 8 — Values compromised: equality, helpfulness, empathy, stability, safety, care
Conflict 9 — Values compromised: equality, open-mindedness, empathy, dignity, respect in communication, care
Conflict 10 — Values compromised: creativity, open-mindedness, motivation, form, pleasure, courage, wonder
Conflict 11 — Values compromised: nature, consensus, health, safety, creativity
Conflict 12 — Values compromised: freedom, dignity, consensus, empathy, personal space, open-mindedness, curiosity
Conflict 13 — Values compromised: creativity, teamwork, curiosity, diversity, courage, respect in communication, wonder
Conflict 14 — Values compromised: teamwork, honesty, courage, respect in communication
Conflict 15 — Values compromised: stability, teamwork, helpfulness
Conflict 16 — Values compromised: dignity, empathy, honesty, teamwork, respect in communication, personal space
Conflict 17 — Values compromised: diversity, dignity, empathy, curiosity, justice, equality
Conflict 18 — Values compromised: dignity, justice, courage, personal space
Conflict 19 — Values compromised: teamwork, empathy, equality, justice, diversity
Conflict 20 — Values compromised: teamwork, courage, honesty, helpfulness, creativity, respect in communication
Conflict 21 — Values compromised: empathy, care, diversity, dignity, freedom, equality
Conflict 22 — Values compromised: equality, care, consensus, empathy
Conflict 23 — Values compromised: equality, respect in communication, empathy, care, helpfulness, justice, open-mindedness
Conflict 24 — Values compromised: honesty, courage, motivation, curiosity, dignity
Conflict 25 — Values compromised: dignity, empathy, open-mindedness
Conflict 26 — Values compromised: nature, equality, open-mindedness, justice
Conflict 27 — Values compromised: motivation, teamwork, stability, safety, health
Conflict 28 — Values compromised: forgiveness, teamwork, helpfulness
Conflict 29 — Values compromised: teamwork, pleasure, nature, motivation, respect in communication, honesty, courage
Conflict 30 — Values compromised: stability, safety, motivation
Conflict 31 — Values compromised: pleasure, motivation, safety, health, freedom, stability
Conflict 32 — Values compromised: respect in communication, equality,
Conflict 33 — Values compromised: honesty, empathy, health, dignity, courage, teamwork
Developed in the framework of the RESHAPE trajectory Solidarity Economies whose members were Ouafa Belgacem, Ekmel Ertan, Harald Geisler, Anastasya Kizilova, Dorota Ogrodzka, Anikó Rácz, Laure de Selys and Doreen Toutikian, facilitated by Nike Jonah.
This text is licenced under the Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International.