Expectations From Peace Activists

Materials: Paper, pencils

Exercise description

This exercise may be carried out together with the exercise Criteria for Activists (“Dub” Island), or independently from it.

Version 1: A piece of paper with the criteria for peace activists from the previous exercise is placed where  it  can  be  seen  everyone.  Discussion  in  the plenary follows: What is realistic to expect from people committed to peacebuilding? What applies to you personally? Which criteria do you personally meet? Which ones can you admit to not having and/or to not wanting to have?


Version 2: After the exercise Criteria for Activists (“Dub” Island), the brainstormed criteria are put on paper (one criterion per sheet of paper). Trainers can add a few that they consider important for the discussion. Participants take one or several papers/concepts, and place them in a barometer with the poles: Excessive expectations and Realistic expectations. These are followed by a discussion: Would somebody change the position of a particular concept in the barometer? Why? (For more information on the large barometer method see p. 64.)


Version 3: This is done independently of the exercise Criteria for Activists (“Dub” Island). The task is for each participant is to write down criteria that peace activists would have to comply with, on several sheets of paper (one criterion per sheet of paper). After that, the exercise unfolds as in version No 2.

Type of exercise:


45-90 min


Very often, expectations and preconceptions of what peace activists are like are quite excessive
– they are perfect, faultless super-humans! – such that no one else would actually engage in peacebuilding because they feel they would certainly fail to make the grade. It is important to empower people and give these peace workers a human face, with flaws and shortcomings, and create a picture in which all individuals can work on peacebuilding if they want to.

Possible difficulties:

Workshop example:

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