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You don’t live in isolation. We all depend on each other and on everything around us to survive and thrive in our environment. If you ignore this basic truth, you will live a lonely life. There are many lines that connect us to all kinds of things and that you can discover if you just take the time.


  1. Form a circle with the group
  2. Give each participant a sustainable role that occurs in the community. Examples: food distribution, sustainable money, local businesses, inclusive leaders, equal decision-making, integrity, responsibility, love, nature, natural building, renewable energy, natural resources, etc. … find as many different elements of sustainability as there are participants. (ask participants to think of some).
  3. Each participant writes his/her role on an A4 sheet so that the others know what he/she is imagining.
  4. Now have them think about how these roles are related.
  5. Give someone in the circle the ball of wool and ask to throw it to someone their own role has a relationship with. Make sure that the end of the woolen thread is held so that a connection remains.
  6. For each roll, ask to describe the relationship according to the assigned roles. For example, how sustainable food production relates to sustainable money, which in turn relates to sustainable behavior of the local economy, which in turn relates to inclusive decision-making procedures, which in turn relates to integrity in human interaction, which relates to love, which relates to wilderness and nature, which relates to ecological building, and so on…
  7. So, each person throws the ball of wool to another while holding the rope and describes the relationship between the roles. Always throw it to someone who hasn’t already connected it first.



You can think of this activity as a design process, where the interconnections and interrelationships are emphasized and made more visible to everyone.

Learning Outcomes

Developing a deeper personal realization that the connectedness of life is not just a metaphor, but a living truth for which we humans must take responsibility.


A ball of wool from 30 to 50 meters long.



Discussion of this activity is best done in small groups and then with the whole group to experience and share the various experiences.

Students: Ask the youth what they discovered about the connections in a system. How does this relate to the rest of the community? To the rest of the world? What was most important in what happened in this activity? What did they miss?

Facilitators: What did you notice during this activity? How well did participants do? Did they understand the directions? Have any risks or unforeseen outcomes emerged? What would you do differently next time?


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