Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: The Wi$dom Path: An Adult Program on Money, Spirit, and Life

Activity 2: Understanding Financial Interdependencies and Complexity

Part of The Wi$dom Path

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Preview video and Handout 1. Decide whether you will show the video (preferred, but will add 20 minutes to the time for this activity) or use the handout to introduce financial interdependencies
  • Write “Southside Constraints and Needs” or “Eastside Constraints and Needs” on a sheet of newsprint, and post.
  • If you are using the video, test your equipment queue the video to begin at 5:47.
  • If you are using Handout 1, The Southside Neighborhood Case, and make copies for all participants.
  • Review Leader Resource 1 and prepare to share contents.

Description of Activity


Let’s move from thinking about individuals to considering economic constraints and needs that affect a whole community. These constraints often create a complex, interdependent system that 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.

Show the video or 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.

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.