Utopia and me

quick talks about utopias

Learning objectives

The participants…

  • get a playful approach to questions about utopias.
  • explore the concept of utopias by sharing their individual thoughts and discussing the group’s perspective on the topic.
  • get a sense that utopias are a broad and complex subject intertwined with various aspects and questions.



We have dealt with the topic of utopias to varying degrees, or not yet. Our ideas of utopia or visions of the future can be very different. The aim of this method is for participants to share their initial thoughts on utopias with each other. It is not about right or wrong. Rather, it is about an initial exchange on the topic.


Above all, the method requires space to walk. Chairs can be set aside if necessary, or the group can meet outside. The following questions (+ evaluation questions) can be visualized on a flipchart and gradually revealed:

  • To what extent have you already dealt with utopias?
  • What do you understand by utopia and what associations come to your mind?
  • Complete the following sentences
    • In my utopia…
    • Utopias (do not) help me…
    • I think we (don’t) need more utopias in society, because…


1. (2 minutes) Introduction

The facilitator introduces the background to the method and adds that it is okay, if people have not yet or hardly ever dealt with utopias. By exchanging ideas with each other, participants can gain new impressions and get to know new perspectives from each other. The realization that others have just as little an idea about utopias can also be an insight.

2. (2 minutes) Perceiving the body

The participants walk all over the room. The facilitator can give different impulses while they are walking around to make it easier for the participants to arrive in their own bodies, in the room and in the group:

  • Lower your gaze and become aware of your own body
  • Pay attention to your own breath without trying to change it
  • Feel the ground under your feet while walking
  • Feel which different muscles are tensed while walking and which muscles can relax
  • Get a feeling for the room and how others move in the room by lowering your gaze
  • Let your gaze wander while walking and notice what the surroundings are made of
  • Perceive what thoughts are going through your head at the moment
  • Noticing whether or what has changed in the body after a conversation

3. (2 minutes) First Exchange

The facilitator gives a signal and the participants come together in pairs. The participants should start a conversation with a person with whom they have had little or no contact so far. The participants now have a total of two minutes to discuss the first question „To what extent have you already dealt with utopias?“.

4. (15-20 minutes) Further Exchange

Another signal indicates the end of the two minutes. The participants thank each other for the brief exchange and continue walking around the room. Steps 2. and 3. are repeated until all questions have been asked.

5. (2 minutes) Body-Check-Out

After the last question, participants have time to walk around again. In this phase, the facilitator can encourage the participants to pay attention to their own thoughts and to notice whether or what has changed in their bodies after the discussions.

6. (5-15 minutes) Evaluation

Popcorn-style sharing in plenary: The group meets again in a circle. The questions below can be used as reflection questions. The aim is not for the participants to answer all the questions. Rather, the room provides the opportunity to share final thoughts with the group. If you want to say something, say something – everything can, nothing has to!

  • How did you feel about the exercise?
  • Do you have any thoughts on utopias that you would like to share with everyone?
  • Are there perhaps new thoughts that have emerged from the discussions?


Walking around between the two-person conversations can be omitted. Instead, the group can be divided into two at the beginning. One half forms a tight circle with their faces facing outwards. The other half forms a larger circle and turns their faces inwards so that one person from the inner and outer circle is facing each other. The first question is asked and the participants start talking to each other. When the signal is given, the outer circle moves on by one person so that everyone has a new counterpart for the next question. This variant is only about an exchange of content. There is no need to arrive in the body, in the room and with other participants. This variant saves time.

Tips and notes for facilitators

Facilitators should make sure that there are an even number of participants before the participants are asked to pair up. Being left as a single person can be an uncomfortable feeling. If there is an odd number of participants, one person from the team can take part. Alternatively, the participants are told that there will be a group of three and that everyone should make sure that they all have someone to talk to.

Possibilities for further work

Theoretical input on utopias, value building blocks

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.