The Oasis Game

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The aim of the Oasis game is to realize the most common dream of the neighbourhood/ community in an interactive, accessible and fun way during a short time.


The aim of the Oasis game is to realize the most common dream of the neighbourhood/ community in an interactive, accessible and fun way. The game is designed to be carried out by the community members themselves, however here we describe a shorter version of it which helps the participants learn about a particular community and its needs, as well as honing their skills for negotiation, democratic decision making and organization.


Steps of the activity

  • Appreciative gaze: learn to see abundance where others see scarcity.
  • Building relationship
  • Find the common dreams
  • Collectively creating it
  • Implementing it.

1. Appreciative gaze and building relationships

The participants are divided into teams of 3-4 people and went to explore the village. Their task is to find out what people really appreciate in their village and what they would like to see different. Considering that none of them was familiar to this place and only a few of them spoke Lativan, it was also a challenge to build relationship with the locals so that the latter would want to talk to them and give them information (1,5 hours).

The participants come together in the seminar room and each group shares their findings (20 min).

2. Find the common dreams and designing them

The participants share their discoveries and decide on one concrete action they can organize in their limited time in order to respond to the needs the village.

For this we used the negotiation methodology commonly used by activist affinity groups – each team assigns one person which is „the spokesperson“; spokespersons sit in the middle in small circle and the other members of the team sit behind their spokesperson.

The spokesperson are the ones who negotiate; but before the negotiation they agree upon their options within their team; moreover, at any given moment any of the spokespersons can turn back and consult with her/his team and conversely, the team members can ask their spokesperson to turn back for a clarification talk. The decision which is finally taken is a consensus decision.

  • Before the start of the negotiations the teams had 10 min to discuss what common actions they want to propose,
  • Then the spokespersons proposed and justified their proposals (15 min).
  • They turned back to their teams to discuss which options are preferred among all the proposals (10 min).
  • The spokespersons negotiated and came to a final agreement about what action to organize – taking into consideration the needs of the community, their own skills and the limited time (5 min).

3. Concrete planning and implementation

Finally, the tasks were divided (who‘s doing what for this common action) 10 min – the facilitators already proposed 4 possible responsibilities

  • Logistics,
  • Inviting villagers to participants,
  • Documentation/photo/blogging,
  • Content specific).

It would be good to have overall 20-30 min more for this part of the game.

After the decision is made and the roles are divided, there is less than 1,5 hours time left. So the group took about 1 hour for the preparation and about 15 min for implementation (they did a dancing flashmob with the local children and a poster).

This part of the game could be extended for another 30-60 minutes or be postponed to the evening and in that case more options for activties would be possible.


A reflection round (30 minutes) addresses feelings, evaluation of different processes of the game and its results. The time was quite short and we did not manage to go deep enough. Would be useful to have another 30 min for the reflection.


  • Bridge It! programme for young active citizens from the Baltic Region, applying the methodology from Elos: Pocket Manual