IAF Methods

Dynamic Systems Ice Breaker

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Preparation for a dynamic systems analysis such as causal loops exercise or LENS.

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To be able to experience a dynamic system in a fun way.


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  • Slips of paper with instructions to the participants


Setting: An open space where people can move around.

Pre-Work Required: Make up the slips of paper.


Write instructions on small slips of paper like:

1. Get close to someone with brown hair.

2. Stay away from anyone wearing blue.

3. All of the instructions should have some part that tells the participant about where they should stand relative to another person. Things like stand four feet from?. Or stand with your left side pointed toward the person with blond hair's left side.Create a wide a variety of slips of paper. Some can be the same in large groups. You need at least two slips of paper per person for the exercise.

4. As
people come into the room, have them draw two of these at random and ask them to not reveal the instructions to anyone else.

It really did simulate real social situations where some people were trying to get close to you and you were trying to get away from them. Or maybe some unstable cluster would form.

Debrief: (by editor)

1. Once the group has settled down as much as possible, ask them to stay where they are.
 I would like a few of you to state what your instructions are.
  • What was the first thing you did when the exercise started?
  • What was frustrating?
  • What was fun?
  • What was the process like?

2. This was an example of a dynamic system. Given your experience here, what is a dynamic system?

3. What could be learned with this exercise?

4. What are some implications for your work?

Follow-Up Required: none

Usual or Expected Outcomes: a discussion about dynamic systems.


Source: Jimmy Pryor

Derived from: unknown

History of Development: Jimmy Pryor, Jimmy@SUNBODY.COM. suggested this on the GRP-FACL Listserve.

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