Build Your Community

Type of tool: 
30-60 min
Topics addressed: 
Organisational management

The activity aims to develop an understanding of how people and businesses interact in a community; Participants assess differing wants and needs before taking on roles to determine the shape of their own community, mixing commercial with civic entities


The overall aim of the session is to get the audience to understand basic principles of how a community works, the inter-relationships between business, employees and government. A specific module on how money circulates within a community through basic demand and supply principles help participants the role of tax tax contributions that pay for public and civic goods and services. The activity focuses on creativity and engagement to achieve results, problem solving and decision-making.


The tool is part of an 6 hour programme delivered to primary school students. It forms a component that is used to help participants understand the way a community works together for the benefit of its residents. The methodology is based on role play, interaction and critical thinking of the elements that go into the creation of a community. The participants take become themselves the designers of their community through simulation and creativity.

Step by step process: 

Step 1: Introduction to Our Community

- Brief video on what a community is
- Ask participants what a community is
- Ask what they believe are important elements of a community for them
- Divide participants in groups of 5 and assign roles to each
- Give each group a community plan and building money
- Explain the process by which each group will build their community

Step 2: Building a Community

- Each Group will now start building their community
- The discussion on the needs of the community will determine how the community takes shape
- The facilitator may decide to change the role during these discussions or change the underlying context on which the community is being built, such as a natural disaster or imposing the inclusion of a particular building.

Step 3: Presenting your Community

- Participants will need to present their community to the rest of the groups
- Each group will need to explain the rationale for the composition of the community
- The groups will then discuss what they believe were the positive points about the communities presented and what were the negative points

Materials and resources: 


- 4 x Community maps
- 8 x Pens/coloured markers
- 4 x packs of paper money amounting to €800

- 50 Minutes

- Build a community based on resources, interests and needs of the community. Decisions are taken by vote of the community members and the underlying context can change in order to introduce the concept of problem solving, leadership, and creativity and innovation.

- Limited resources
- Different views and opinions
- Public good limitations/requirements
- Profit making vs free commercial activities


- Understanding Community needs / requirements
- Decision-making
- Leadership
- Conflict resolution
- Voting
- Budgeting
- Creativity and innovation
- Problem solving
- Prioritisation
- Team work


The tool is easily adapted to differing age groups, but the success of the activity depends very much on the level of engagement of the participants. In certain situations more time may be required to achieve the intended outcomes, so clear instructions and understanding of the target groups’ capabilities to embrace the activity’s objective is quite relevant. If understood well, participants get a good grasp of how decisions are taken and for what purposes. It also affords participants the opportunity to role play and understand the relevance of budget management, prioritisation and leadership.

Notes for further use: 

Tool may be adapted to differing age groups and used for the understanding of different community contexts. It is also useful to introduce the concept of resourcing and how enterprises are run and the different forms of leadership, decision-making processes.

Average: 4 (1 vote)


Natalia Nikitina's picture
Submitted by Natalia Nikitina on

This is a wonderful tool, and the manner how the trainer should organize the working process is shown perfect, but the only concern I have not to find enough deepness in exploring ways of interactions if different community stakeholders, to udnerstand inter-relations between the community, government, business. The part we have seen is rather conducted to exploration of management processes in general. 

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