Current Lesson
Course Content

Theme A: Ecological Footprint 1

- What is it, where do we stand and where do we need to get to?

Workshop 1:  Living off the fair share of the world


Marvel at spaceship earth and how to share the resources as a precondition for peace.

Aims & Objectives

●        Extend social sense from small groups to global dimensions (feel & find arguments)

●        Highlight  social imbalances associated with overconsumption based on the footprint concept

●        Develop the vision of a ‘one planet & happy living’


Curiosity, Justice, Compassion


Workshop (inputs, interactive exercise, activities) both offline or online

Dimension / SDG-relation

SDG: 1,2,3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 16

Materials Preparation

Online: Prepare an online drawing board like Miro or similar and use smartphones for other possible output (like pictures, videos, audios etc).

Offline: Writing and drawing materials (and/or mobile phones for videos)

Number of participants

 2 to ~25 (if online more participants are possible)


ACTIVITIES  (details below)

Online, asynchrony:
2 days Offline:1 hour

Activity: Planet B - What would I take to Planet B ?

details see below Activity: Planet B

Online: 1-2 hours

Offline: 1-2 hours

Activity Mind-experiment: Spaceship trip to Ganymede*
* Moon of Jupiter - Now we will talk about planet earth and how to share it fairly. But our earth is huge and no one has fully understood it yet. Let's do a smaller space trip to Ganymede and use it as a mind-experiment for further thoughts on our possibilities as astronauts on spaceship earth…  details see below Activity Mind Experiment: Spaceship trip to Ganymede

Online asynchrony:

1-2 days

Offline: 1 hour

Input: Earth Overshoot Day

So planet earth is our spaceship. What about proper rules, fairness and our resources… details see Activity: Earth Overshoot Day 1

Online asynchrony:

1-2 days

Offline: 1 hour

Group Work: Move the date.
How to shift the date of Earth Overshoot Day till the end of the year - what does it take?… details see Activity Earth Overshoot Day 2: Move the date!

Reflection & Feedback offline (or online recording):

Activity: Planet B


Framing of exercise:  Imagine there was a ‘Planet B’, where we could recreate a sustainable environment and combat climate change.  Write and/or make a short video with the following:

‘Write/record a few lines with your reflections on: What do I take on ‘Planet B’? The climate crisis is far advanced. Planet A, our earth is destroyed. What is the one thing I am taking to Plant B?’ (Note: write/record things, not people).


1.       Start with “My name is … and

2.       Maybe write/record: The reason for choosing this thing

3.       Maybe ask your family and/ friends what they would bring and why to get some more reflections on your answer before you write/record it.


Upload your answer on the YINT platform (or other platform used) and name your file “Your_name_Planet_B '' before XX-day at XX-o'clock. Read 2 other participants' answers and comment on them before XX-day at XX-o'clock.

The facilitator will read all answers, comment and make a general summary at the end of the week on the YINT Forum.  Here you can ask the participants to reflect on:

●        How did you feel during the experiment?

●        What was the most important part for you that you learned?

Continue with the ‘Mind-experiment: Spaceship to Ganymede’. Instructions see below.


TIP: To the facilitator: Through this exercise you can get an overview on language- and writing skills of participants.

Activity Mind Experiment: Spaceship trip to Ganymede

INTRO/FRAMING (What the facilitator writes/says in a video or live:)

We   (this group) are the crew and we use a small spaceship - like the Spaceship Enterprise.  The journey takes a total of 3 years - out there and back. Let’s plan. What are we taking with us on the trip? Must haves: water, oxygen, food, energy, medicine, toothbrush, ...some things for social interaction (Songbooks to board games, not to heavy stuff!) (Try to get participants to come up with the answers)

OK, good plan. How much food do you eat a year? Lets estimate…. -> 500kg to 700kg per year we consume (as adults)! So around 1.5 tonnes per trip for each of us. That's too much for any rocket…. Therefore we use in our mind-experiment a freezing machine. The idea is to freeze half of the crew on the way to Ganymede - save the food, oxygen, water and unfreeze the very important crew at Ganymede. On the way back we make a shift change and freeze the other half for the may back. OK - let’s go for it…     The freezing machine freezes half of the group at once or always 2 out of a pack of 4.At Ganymede we unfreeze the frozen ones. And they are weak, with no energy in the muscles and they drag themselves to the pantry/storage room. They have their chocolate share, chips share in mind, but realise - everything “good and tasty” is gone. Those who were in charge ate too much and ate from the others' share. That's unfair...

Same with water - at the moment no shower possible after 1.5 years, the fresh water tank is empty. Just dropping…. Alarm lights on orange.
Same with energy - no music, no computer game, … possible, the batteries are empty right now. Energy alarm lights on red.

Ok. We can't change that anymore. Let's go back to the earth…
By trying the freezing machine you realise it doesn't work. And now we all have something to discuss.The question is: Under these unfair circumstances, what would be a fair solution for you on the journey back to earth?


Group Work - Divide the participants into groups of 4.

Step 1 - Ask them to listen to the framing video (or the introduction part of the exercise given by the facilitator) to the point of return to Earth and clarify any questions they might have.

Step 2 - Decide on half of them to be frozen & half “responsible” for safely flying the spaceship to Ganymede

Step 3 - Group Discussion  (e.g. in a zoom-meeting or live) what to do or how to share at least fo (trying to get participants to come up with the answers)r:

A.      food (there is enough food for this emergency situation in the storage room to reach the earth just skin and bones, but all can survive!)

B.      water (talk also about how the cycling of water works in a spaceship!)

C.      work (as a field for possible negotiations!)

D.      other things you need to define/invent/execute … so that it will work on the way back (because it did not work out well until  now…

Step 4:    The group discussion and presentation should include the need for at least THREE important things on any spaceship (try to get group to come up with answers and also details on the rules and how to implement them):

A.      RULES about how the common stocks should be consumed

B.      FAIRNESS and

C.      a BOOKKEEPING, so that there is enough for everyone (until the end of the journey!)

Step 5:  Bookkeeping:

●        Request “responsible” groups write down estimates on use of resources.  Organise!

●        Divide available supplies on the days and the persons. An ideal plan has reserves for an emergency... This is called accounting. Without this supplies can go out too fast (nothing to eat for 3 months at the end of the journey) or that one eats more than his fair share (a day or a year).  Options for facilitators in intervene on process:

●        For the quick ones a reminder to work out a detailed  “resource plan” will keep them busy with something essential! So ask for a calculation or detailed thoughts on that...

●        For those who want to keep it simple, don't work with shares in percent, but with painting circles and showing the agreement on the result/shares simply in 2 different colours for each of the 3 topics on an online board like e.g. Miro online or flipchart live.




Group Review Discussions:   Do you agree with that? We all know a spaceship where we miss (at least!) those THREE important things. On spaceship earth: There are no proper rules for commons! No Fairness! No bookkeeping for the goods!

Reflection Questions:

Q Did you talk about money as part of the solution?

Q What is the difference between a spaceship to Ganymede and spaceship earth? (limited storage for certain trips vs. regrowing resources each year).

Q Who are the “frozen ones” on spaceship earth? (Unborn generations, your unborn kids or grandkids -> They will find a spaceship with an empty or full storage room. Some participants guess: the poor people, the babies, the elderly  … which could be topics of conversations).

Q Any problems with unemployment on the way back? Why not?

Q Sum up the general thoughts on “important things in any spaceship” before XX-date and time.

Reflection Presentations:Ask the participants to gather solutions in short presentations on a PowerPoint-slide/ a role-play-video/ a cartoon etc. uploaded on the YINT-forum before XX-date and time & discuss by commenting on the other groups thoughts in the forum before XX-date and time!


The facilitator will:

➔       Tell the story and explain the exercise and discussion.

➔       Be available for questions from the groups.

➔       Moderate the presentation and discussion of the group results before XX-date and time.

➔       Lead reflection questions

What PARTICIPANTS will do:  

●        Go through the whole exercise in groups. List questions & unclarities & discuss with the facilitator.

●        Discuss in small groups & make a group-presentation-slide (or other) of their results on the YINT-forum.

●        Discuss and comment on the other groups presentations on the YINT-forum before the deadline: share their thoughts and visions coming into their minds.


●        Telling the Ganymed story can be quite a creative and theatrical act. So it gets funny and it becomes emotional. Use sound, photos and backgrounds on video if in Zoom or costumes and various utensils if live settings.

●        Emphasise that participants should discuss personally not theoretically, as if they have been frozen or having extra fat from too much chocolate & chips grabbed from the others!

●        Consider what is best for the group: & whether the facilitator defines who is frozen

Activity: Earth Overshoot  Day 1



What the facilitator will say, in keywords: (script)  What are THREE important things on our spaceship earth?   Ask this question first and discuss, then summarise (and try to get participants to answer the question):

1. NO RULES about how the common stocks should be consumed. (Who gets something to eat? Who gets water? Who is polluting our air, soil, water and who has the damage…)


2. NO FAIRNESS - You know about the unfair situations; It is as strange as if the captain & his friends have a whirlpool bath while others remain thirsty. Waste of food vs. hunger. Waste of energy vs. no light or electricity ..)


3. NO BOOKKEEPING, so no one knows at the moment when we exceed the limits.   (Do you know when the time is this year, where you consume more than the fair share that the earth can provide for you on a fair basis? Who is monitoring the stocks / storage rooms of spaceship earth)

The good news is: Someone does the bookkeeping -> Global Footprint Network. But not all astronauts on spaceship earth are familiar with it.


Ignoring some important rules on spaceship earth, leads to the overuse of the stocks of the earth, which has a technical term: the overshoot. We OVERUSE the earth!

Every year, a very IMPORTANT date is calculated by the Global Footprint Network: the World Overshoot Day. In 2022, it was on the 28th of July.


Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year, and from that day onwards we take resources from the following years (again and again).


That's a Wake-up call: On World Overshoot Day the stock is consumed, which is provided for the crew, provided they arrange their stock wisely for one year.


Work on action on footprint reduction

What the facilitator will do:

●       Gather ideas on the situation of spaceship earth. (3 important things for each spaceship…)

●       Explain as described above the Earth Overshoot Day.

●       Instruct a reflection on the consequences of the situation e.g. the  need for change. What happens if we do not change? Can the change be done by politicians alone,  individuals alone, companies alone… ?)

●       Facilitator to collect inputs from reflection and feedback and posts it on the YINT Forum    

●        Reflect on the consequences of our situation on spaceship earth! & Identify NEED FOR CHANGE

TIP: With a connection to the internet, you can explore the website and reflect on the findings or use the findings as a basis for group work. (Move the date.)

REFERENCE:  If you want to know more about the NGO Global Footprint Network calculating the Earth Overshoot Day:

Activity Earth Overshoot  Day 2 : Move the date!


What the facilitator will say, in keywords: 

The participants already know that concrete actions on reducing ecological footprints are welcome (see Activity Earth Overshoot Day 1)  but let us focus on moving the date on a “human level” here. The idea is to work on a more general level where all humans can be addressed relatively easily (no matter if interested or motivated in ecological issues or not) and it will also help to improve the environmental situation.

Key Question:   How do our values & social skills on a human level matter and how can we influence the ecological impact for the better?


Group Work

Step 1 -  Values - Let us focus here on (decide what fits best to the group):   Values that count the most should be strengthened.  (Reflect on what is important with family and friends and what those values are worth in economy, politics, at work …)   E.g.: sharing, understanding the needs of others, freedom and its connection to responsibility, quality of action and things (long service life),  …

Step 2:  Social skills (Reflect what social skills would help especially if it comes to ecological, global, resource … matters) 

This list or similar can be helpful

Exchange ideas and actions in daily routine to gain or strengthen values and social skills
E.g.: share your meal, ask: “Do you need help”, talk about your own problems before asking for others problems …


After that you can work on  concrete actions/action plans to strengthen values & social skills (Optional) E.g. make a list of things to try to work on in the next week. Participants  post outcomes (actions/action plans) on the YINT Forum which will be reviewed (and commented on) by the facilitator and other participants (each participant to comment on at least two other participants' contributions).


What the facilitator will do:

●       Guide through the process of finding and discussing values and social skills.

●       Make some notes, group structure, etc. on a flipchart/ or online tool e.g. Miro.

What PARTICIPANTS will do:

●       Work on the tasks by

●       Reflecting on their own experience.

●       Coming to new thoughts together in the group.

●       And/ or search for more information on this topic on the internet.

●        Post their findings on the YINT forum and comment on others contributions

REFERENCE:  More Inspiration can be found e.g. here:

TIP:   You could split the workload into different groups (1. Values, 2. Social skills, 3. …) and then collect the results in the big group with presentations. Or each group goes for all tasks.


There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!