Market place – Research on a topic
Brief summary of activityThis activity is a way to introduce research in a topic, it deals with the collection of various opinions, perspective and knowledge from within the group. It is a way to prepare for further research: what questions / reactions might raise?
Aim of the activityTo understand how information can be accessed, and to be aware of different perspectives and experiences on the same topic.
Expected OutcomesThe participants will understand how simple research could be, but also the complexities of the different perspectives and points of view around a same topic.
experience and skills requiredFacilitation skills
infrastructure, setting, resourcesNo special requirements, only a comfortable room.
In some adaptations, it might require a portable recorder and playback equipment.
MaterialsIn some adaptation, cards with a description of each participant role might be required.
How the activity should take placeParticipants are asked to move around a space or room like on a real public street or market place. They meet each other and start a short talk about a chosen topic. It hasn’t to be profound talks. Little experiences, opinions are important as well.
After 10 or 15 minutes participants share the information they got.
Recommended max. number of participants and trainees to trainers ratio1 to 10
Risk and possible adaptationFor vision impaired participants, this experience could be organised as speed dating, as moving around a room might be too difficult.
Variations• One person joins the group after 10 minutes and starts recording a vox pop. This recording could be listened to afterwards as closing round.
• For exploring possible aspects/opinions to a topic: Participants could take specific roles in the market place situation: a mother with two kids, a teenager, retired migrant man, local politician …
• In longer training courses the vox-pop could be done in real. Recordings might be used within the final production.
• The activity can have a special focus: personal experiences, professional knowledge, meeting new people.
Tips for TrainersIn diverse groups opinions are often also very diverse –if they differ a lot, the group should discuss the different perspectives discovered after this first research experience and how this can guide further research/work.
The activity is useful as part of regular work
In the market place situation some conversation move away from the topic – that might be good for finding unusual approaches. The trainer should keep an eye on that.
Recording a vox pop might be a a good way to carry out the exercise.