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Exercises on Power

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This exercise helps people deepen their analysis of the society they are living in. You want to lead them through a process that starts by asking people why they are active, what they want, why they came. Solicit this; see if anyone says to build power. If not, after harvesting some reasons from the group, ask if anyone is doing it to build power?

I believe that building power is really at the core of our work if we want to manifest all the things people articulated as to why they are active.

Next, ask the group who has power in our society. Create a list

  • Money
  • State, Government, elector’s
  • People
  • etc

The people have power and potential power. But ultimately it is based on our numbers and our willingness to not cooperate in their unjust systems.

The “State” and the people who control the money do a lot of things to keep us from getting the power we need to manifest the world we want.

What do they do? Brainstorm a list – really work it. You will get all kinds of stuff, but make sure you also get drugs, TV, malls, consumerism, liquor stores, prison, and bad food on the list.

The goal of this exercise is to see that everything in our society is set up to keep people from getting the power they need to manifest the world they want. It also teaches us some about why we have to start where people are.


This exercise is a small group process that is good for a group that has some pre-existing relationships.

Get people in groups of the three and have them go one at a time talking about the most radical thing they have ever done. This could be anything, not just actions.

After people have completed that process and shared back some of what they learned to the larger group, the facilitator can then ask how people felt in that process. Share these answers in the same small groups. Often what emerges is fear, courage and liberation. It is an opportunity for people to experience a sense of their power.