Activity 2: Understanding Financial Interdependencies and Complexity
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 1, Seeking Out Root Causes
- Handout 1, The Southside Neighborhood Case
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Write “Southside Constraints and Needs” on a sheet of newsprint, and post.
- Read Handout 1, The Southside Neighborhood Case, and copy the handout for all participants.
Description of Activity
Let’s move from thinking about individuals to considering economic constraints and needs that affect a whole community, creating a complex, interdependent system can be resistant to fixes that focus on just one aspect of a problem.
Share the contents of Leader Resource 1, Seeking Out Root Causes.
Distribute Handout 1, The Southside Neighborhood Case, and ask participants to read it. Then, brainstorm a list of the economic needs and constraints in the case study and capture them on the newsprint sheet you have posted. Ask:
Which issues are connected, and how?
Guide the group to name direct and indirect causes, influencing factors, or related issues. As each connection is named, draw a connecting line. You may also wish to record the type of relationship (direct or indirect cause, influencing factor, related issue, and so on).
Then, ask the group to think creatively:
How would you involve or follow the lead of people who live in the neighborhood in determining what interventions would have the most effect?
After three or four people have responded, say:
We’re going to look at a couple of models that intervene in an economic system loaded with needs and constraints by empowering individuals and groups to change their economic equation.