ESD LT- Beginning to Co-operate

On Monday morning the ESD leadership group started their training in co-operation and stakeholder management. As stated in  last Fridays blog entry the facilitators have changed for this week as Fabien Busch joins the group for the first time since the week of Systems Thinking. He is also joined by Birgit Lane, a Geographer with a history in urban sustainability and is who very familiar with ESD.

Participants engaging in a game of Yin Yang

Birgit stated that she has had a good amount of prior experience with co-operation and was eager to know what practical experience the group had with this. Therefore ‘buzz groups’ were set up in order to discuss a number of questions related to their past involvement in co-operation. From the resulting discussions a series of lists were created on the issues which were categorized as situations, reasons, pitfalls as well as asking what is helpful in co-operation. This information was used to show the participants expectations for the week and then used to work out which of these expectations could be met and linked to the objectives.

The next teaching method made use of by the facilitators was a game of Yin Yang. The participants were split into three groups who played for euros (although this was only a simulation of the real game and all money was returned). Afterwards they discussed the emotions felt during the game which included anger and mistrust, due mainly to one of the teams (my team) using a strategy focused on winning more money than the others and by bluffing instead of cooperating with the other groups.  This was then transferred to real life situations and the concept of ‘the tragedy of the commons’ was explained. It was also mentioned that this is something that needs to be dealt with in cooperation.

The final section of the day dealt with the different levels and forms of cooperation which started first with getting a common understanding by defining cooperation management. The group then looked at the different levels of cooperation and then the different forms which included 7 steps which define the forms. Each of these different forms were shown as models and illustrations which the participants then analyzed and presented to the rest of the group.  The groups will continue with this work on cooperation forms tomorrow morning.

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