Technique - Encircled Circle

This technique can be used as a follow-up to discussions of culture, heritage, and diversity. It deliberately poses a vaguely worded question and allows observers in an outer circle to witness a focused discussion among volunteers in an inner circle.

Small Groups. Have participants break into small groups of three or four and discuss the question “What is at stake?” Ask them to speak from personal experience and values.

Inner Circle. Coming back together, invite one or two people from each group to form a small circle, with the remaining participants arrayed behind them. Each member of the inner circle is invited to sum up the issues and themes they discussed in their small group.

Everyone. Returning to the full circle configuration, everyone is invited to deal with the question “is there something more?”

This exercise was adopted from Brookfield and Preskill, who adapted it from the Fetzer Institute.