A Week-long Theme Activity for Unitarian Universalist Junior and Senior High Youth
(Developed for the 2000 Ohio-Meadville District Summer Institute)
The purpose of the Global Summit 2.0 workshop is to provide a fun and educational experience for up to 75 junior high and high school youth in a week-long summer Unitarian Universalist camp setting.
The goals of Global Summit 2.0 are to provide youth with:
- an opportunity to experience a simulation of real world decision making on a global scale, with all of the incumbent responsibilities and consequences;
an environment that encourages individual initiative as well as teamwork in pursuit of multiple goals;
- exposure to new ideas and different perspectives on familiar ideas related to social, economic, political, technological, and religious aspects of society;
- a chance to stretch their own boundaries in a safe and supportive environment;
fun gaming experience where cooperation is as important as competition, and where the victory conditions are flexible enough to permit every participant to win; and
- experience in large group decision making processes, with their challenges to communication and understanding.
Global Summit 2.0 is intended for use in a residential setting, where youth have access to central information as well as each other all day for five days. Structured group activities will take place every morning for three hours (which includes one hour of smaller touch group meetings), leaving the remainder of each day for less structured interaction between participants.
Working as a simulated world parliament, participants play the role of delegates from designated nations or national unions. Each participant is provided a profile of their role and their personal goals as well as a description of their world region. During the week, the parliament will face issues of global importance and seek mutually acceptable solutions to world problems.
Each day of game play will represent a 25-year period. Therefore, the five days of game duration will take participants through the 21st century as follows: Day One is the present; Day Two is the year 2025; Day Three is the year 2050; Day Four is the year 2075; and Day Five is the year 2100.
As in typical role playing games, individual participants are free (within reason) to act as they would if they were actually in the simulated situation. In fact, the closer participants play their roles, the more successful the experience should be for all involved. Important to note is that the goal is not necessarily to solve all of the problems put before the players, since that will not likely be possible. Rather, the goal is to play one=s role accurately while striving to achieve relevant goals in a manner most suitable for the character.
Global Summit 2.0 requires a referee, who serves as central information source and facilitator of structured group Sessions. The referee is responsible for determining game activities and is the final arbiter in determining directions the scenario will take throughout the week. Again, as with standard role playing games, the referee must be extremely creative and flexible to allow the scenario to play out without losing focus or exceeding the bounds of reasonable possibility. It is highly recommended that the referee also have a youth assistant. The youth assistant can help with logistics, “spotting” speakers from the floor, coordinating resources, writing on flip charts, tallying votes, etc.
Each participant is assigned to a delegation, consisting of one of the following:
- Arab League (including Middle East and North Africa)
- Central America (including Mexico and Caribbean)
- Central Asia (including Russia and former Soviet states)
- China (Peoples’ Republic)
- East Asia (including Japan, China-Taiwan, South Korea)
- European Union
- Latin America
- North America (U.S. and Canada)
- Oceania (including Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Australia)
- Organization of African Unity (Sub-Saharan Africa)
- South Asia
Participants role play individuals from places within their delegation’s world region. Participants have a specific role within their assigned delegation. The six specific roles include:
- Minister of Economics (finances, industry, roads and transportation, utilities);
- Minister of Politics (governmental leadership, political philosophy, rights of citizens, legal affairs);
- Minister of Human Services (education, health, recreation, the arts, quality of life);
- Minister of Science and Technology (research, computers, information);
- Minister of Religion (morals and ethics, spiritual well-being, role of the church); and
- Minster of Defense (military, law enforcement).
Therefore, each participant is part of a six-person delegation as well as part of a 12-person caucus on a particular aspect of civilization. These 12-person caucuses will also serve as the touch groups for other activities and during other times of the day. If the game includes fewer than 72 participants, then several modifications can be made. There are a wide variety of ways in which the program can be adapted to users’ specific needs.