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Starter Activity 8: Guerrillas and gorillas
Guerrillas and gorillas
An activity to show how social, economic and environmental sustainability issues are often interlinked, and that decisions about designing and making involve making moral choices.


When to use the activity

Whenever you want to show that our consumption and design choices in the UK have a big impact on poverty and the lives of communities around the world.

Who is the activity for?
After an initial explanation, divide the class into six groups to discuss the impacts on the livelihoods of the people they represent. Suitable for both AS and A2.


The Activity and hints on how to organise it
Explain that you are going to look at the impact of mobile phone production on people living in developing countries like Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda. Discuss the diagram below showing how demand for a material used largely in developed countries ( columbite-tantalite) can lead to displacement of local people and increased conflict in developing countries.

Ask all students to complete the sentence, " I think mobile phones are good/bad because...." Ask some to read out their sentences and discuss with the class whether or not mobiles are good or bad.

Share the facts below about columbite-tantalite (CT) and DRC. (This could be given out as a homework exercise to read for the next lesson.)

Divide the class into six groups and give each group a different information card (see below). Each group discusses the information and decides whether or not CT has a positive or negative effect on the lives of the people they represent. Students should be asked to consider "degrees" of impact - completely bad, mostly bad, neutral, mostly good, completely good.

Each group then reads out their card in turn and says which degree of impact they chose, with some explanation. Record the results to show an overall view and when all groups have reported, ask for comments. Does everyone agree with the judgments? Should any be changed?

Ask students to go back into groups and discuss how, if at all, their views about mobile phones have changed. Ask them to think about what actions they might take as designers to address some of the issues raised e.g. reusing, reducing, refusing.

Mobile phone diagram

For information and people cards go to columbitetanta

Starter Activity 1: What's wrong with the world?Starter Activity 2: Belief CirclesStarter Activity 3: Line-upsStarter Activity 4: Product PairsStarter Activity 5: The Bigger PictureStarter Activity 6: Footprint Analysis