Identity Envelopes

From Community Narrations

Aims of the practice and description of participants

To get people sharing ideas and issues they are passionate about and to start the process of consensus building.

Resources, Materials needed

A soapbox to stand or a designated chair to sit on.

Duration

20 mins.

Step-by-step - what has to be done?

1. Ask people to think about an issue that they feel strongly about and would like to speak about in a public pace. For example it could be exploring poverty and inequality, women, climate emergency, poor public transport, etc.
2. Give people thinking time then set up the game.
3. Place a soapbox or a chair in a designated performance space.
4. Sit the group in a semi-circle facing the soapbox.
5. Explain what soapbox is - “Before mass media there used to be soapboxes in many public places (for instance at Liverpool Docks and London Hyde Park) that people would stand on and speak/preach to the public about issues that they were passionate about.”
6. And show people the soapbox (or chair) and in turn everyone is going to get up and have 1 minute’s airtime to express their thoughts and feelings about an issue or subject. It is good to get people to think about 'rabble-rousing', the idea is that they want to convince the audience of their argument and win people to their way of thinking.
7.It is good to brief the audience that they can cheer and clap and shout out if they agree with what is being said. It's best to discourage 'booing' at this point in the workshop as it can make the person on the soapbox feel intimidated and they may stop saying what they truly believe.
8.Next, ask for a volunteer to go first and the game begins. When everyone has had a turn, it is good to celebrate everybody’s contributions and if needed recap on what has been said. Encouraging that group to feedback and discuss the points raised.

NOTES: It is good to encourage everyone to at least stand up, people will resist but usually if they stand up, they will say something. You, the facilitator, can have a turn if you need to encourage but if you think you might influence the group then hold back.

Learning Outcomes - which skills are addressed?

Confidence building, public speaking and critical thinking.

How do you check the outcomes are reached?

It is good to encourage everyone to at least stand up, people will resist but usually if they stand up, they will say something. You, the facilitator, can have a turn if you need to encourage but if you think you might influence the group then hold back.