Friday, September 13, 2013

One week in

We made it through our first workshop. Yesterday we learned how to observe the stakeholder simulations to collect data. This is essentially what we will be doing while we are in Poland next month. I think we learned so much this week - it has already been an invaluable experience. Here are a few pictures from yesterday's exercises. In the following few pictures, Vicky is a shopkeeper and Marie and Ilonka are customers. They are each looking to buy the same goods for different reasons, but neither of them have enough money to buy them on their own. This exercise was similar to material we covered in our Conflict Resolution short course, and we now also have the tools to take meaningful notes while observing the interaction taking place.

Pet stores and pink frisbees

This exercise was structured more like the "community meetings" we have participated in as part of the stakeholder simulation. In this situation, Anil is an upset landowner, Maggi is a dairy farmer, Shelli is a city-slicker visiting her grandparents' farm, and Noelle is the town mayor. They each have their own problems and goals they'd like to achieve, and each has specific information about their role, causing them to bring different motivations to the exercise, unbeknownst to the other players.

Here you see Joanna, our workshop leader, stepping in to help us walk through what we just witnessed. After observing the interactions, we discussed what we saw as a group, and noted moments of conflict, cooperation, and leadership.

In these pictures, you can also see the workspace at Plenum we have while we are working in Vienna. It's a nice meeting space, away from the hostel, where we can ideally be productive and work as a group. 

This morning we met with Craig to go over possible manuscript ideas and discuss what we learned this week. He is leaving tomorrow morning, and we won't see him again until our trip to Montpellier, France next month. We have plenty to read and prepare for before we take any of our group trips, so even though the workshop is over, we're really just getting started! 

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