Activity 1: Icebreaker

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The purpose of this icebreaker activity is (i) to give participants an opportunity to introduce themselves to each other, (ii) to clarify mutual expectations, and (iii) to create a relaxed environment in which they feel encouraged to contribute to the discussions at the tables or in the large group.

At the end of this activity, participants should be able to relate their own expectations to that of the group as a whole as well as to the programme for the workshop.


  • Participants are randomly given a worksheet (see Resources needed) with question 1, 2 or 3. Each question is marked by a specific colour of the worksheet.
  • Participants are given a couple of minutes to reflect on the question they have been given and to note their answers on their respective worksheets.
  • Participants are then asked to walk around, introduce themselves and exchange questions and answers with colleagues who have a different colour worksheet than they do themselves.
  • Participants note the answers they receive on their worksheets.
  • After a few rounds of questions / answers, participants are asked to form a group with the colleagues who have the same question – and the same colour work sheet – as they do themselves.
  • In these groups, participants are given 5-7 minutes to synthesise the responses they have received and to write them on a flip chart.

Oral debriefing in the large group. The facilitator invites one participant from each group to present the group’s findings.

Resources needed

  1. Activity 1 worksheet: one per participant; printed in different colours.
  2. Pens.
  3. Flip charts or similar: one per group per question; pens for the flip chart.


Approx. 25 minutes including debriefing (flexible). Works with 3 questions and up to 20 participants.

With more participants, more questions should be added, and the procedure takes longer – not least the debriefing.

Possible variations

The debriefing may have different modalities; it could involve e.g. a report in a Padlet ( or other digital application. The flip charts make the expectations physically visible in the room throughout the day.

It is important that participants are able to return to their mutual expectations during the wrapping up at the end of the workshop.