Type of tool: 
120+ min
Topics addressed: 
Intercultural learning
Prevention of radicalisation

Matrix helps to reflect and work on the topics of identity and multiculture
Matrix stimulate a creativity work starting from the characteristics of the people working in the group.
It has been done with more then 30 people groups


Reflecting on identity, multiculture, stereotypes.


Matrix uses the nonformal education style, cooperative learning.
Drawing, storytelling Theatre
The trainer has the key role in the last part, he has to lead the group and help to realaborate the experience

Step by step process: 

A person is like a puzzle of different pieces, if you change some pieces the result is different, sometimes amazing.


First stage: ME 15’
Every participant writes on 8 tickets (post it) 8 things about his/herself:
1 sex
2 age (in classes it can be useless and can be replaced with another characteristic)
3 nationality
4 religion
5 occupation (if students: desired job)
6 relationship status
7 where he/she lives (big town/small village/countryside) of who does he/she lives
8 one more thing to complete the description (a passion, one hobby, a particular characteristic to better describe yourself)
Example: 1 male, 2 46, 3 italian, 4 atheist, 5 owner of a fruitshop, 6 fiance for four years, 7 in Barcelona, 8 love playing football with my six brothers

Second stage: LET'S BUILD THE MATRIX 15’
Divide the assembly in 5/6 people groups. On a table each group put all the tickets they wrote: each person put his tickets on the same column; everyone in the same order from 1 to 8 so that in each row there are all the tickets with the same information but belonging to all the members of the group.


46 28 23 21 36 25

italian French German Portuguese Tunisian Greek

Atheist Catholic Atheist Catholic Muslim Ortodox

Owner of
fruitshop Architect Student Student Singer Secretary
Fiance for 6 years Married/ one child Single Single Married 2 children Fiance

Barcelona Marseille Small town bavaria Small town portalegre Tunis Crete

love playing football Love travelling Passionate in archeology Love rock music Love the sea
And travel Sad because the economy

Then they pick the first post it of the first column, the second of the second column and so on until you have one ticket for every characteristic.
The result is one new “person”, who has characteristics from every participant of the group

Example: Male, 28 yo, german, catholic, singer, fiance, living in barcelona who love to travel.

Third stage: CREATIVE BIO! 30'/45’
Every small group writes a short Biography of the person they created from the matrix.
First the name and then the rest of his/her life. What's behind every post-it? And explain also relations between postit that seem to be unrelated or strange in the same person. For example why this “Kurtz” a german single man now lives in Barcelona? Maybe his girlfriend is spanish?
Describe his/her daily life

TELL US 20’ (more)
Every small group introduces his Person to the other groups, using a flip chart, for the portrait or a concept map or anything else.
At the end overyone will know Kurtz, Hamed, Jean, Maria and Giovanni

Fourth stage: BOOM 20’
The trainer communicate to every group that something unexpected and not positive happened in the life of their person basing on the creative bio of the person (example: someone died, lost of job, the end of the relationship, a car accident, problem with health,...)
The boom can also be decided basing on the bigger frame where this acitivity is carried and the main scope.

Now, every group has to decide and describe the life of the person in the year immediately after the “boom” and how does he/she change his/her life after that.

Each group briefly sheres with the others what they decided.

This is more or less a three our work
Working during a day the following steps will be run in the afternoon.

Fifth stage: THE CONDO 45’
The last part of the work is the most difficult.
After the creation of the person (and the simultaneous personal connection with him/her) we try to get him or her in relation with the others.
In this stage the old groups are broken and new groups are created in this way: in each group there is a participant from every former group. So that everyone now is working with someone new.
The 6 people who created our Kurtz go in a 5 people group with one creator of Maria, one of Hamed, one of Giovanni and one of Jean.
After one year and a half, all the people created are moving to live closely (same building or house or city). Every group is settled in a different city chosen or drawn from the cities of the imaginary people, so that in every group there will be a different character that will be "at home".
Each group has to imagine how they live together and the dynamics between the neighbours: if they become friends or not, if they like each other or ignore each other and so on.

TELL US 40’ (more)
Each group realizes a little scena of a typical day in the condo, to present what they imagined to happen between the neighbours.

Sixth Stage: DEBRIEF 60’

Materials and resources: 

10 post its per person
Pens/markers different colours
One marker and one flipchart every 5/6 persons
Indoor in quite big room
Chairs and tables (one table every 5/6 people)


The Matrix helps the group comunicating on the chosen topics
It helps in the discussion about stereotypes and prejudices (gender based and ethnic)
It involves people with different background
It stimulates creative thinking

Notes for further use: 

The first 8 things you ask to write on the post-it are very important to give the direction of the experience, you can change some of them depending on the topics you want to work on.

Also Boom part could be decisive.
If all the accindents are about job or about family, the group will work more in the direction you choose.

A different version, working on sexual identity, is to give a different gender to every character and see how the bio could change.

Average: 4.5 (2 votes)
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