Global Change Seminar "It's Your Move!"
Group Exercise

Forced Choice Ranking - Global Problems

          Distribute copies of this exercise, and take a few minutes for each person, individually, to do the ranking as described below. When you've finished, use the Talking Stick and go round the group sharing your responses. Then spend some time discussing why each person chose what they chose and what struck each one about the exercise.

  1. Consider the global problems identified in the following step and then rank them. Give a "1" to the world's most pressing problem, a "2" as the next most pressing problem. etc. While they all seem to be problems, many are of equal weight and are inter-related. Nonetheless, there is something to be learned from forcing a ranking. To do the ranking, compare each choice against all the others by pairs.
  2. _____ overpopulation
    _____ access to clean water and sanitation
    _____ pollution
    _____ diseases (AIDS, etc.)
    _____ racism
    _____ ignorance
    _____ fundamentalism
    _____ climate change
    _____ failed governance
    _____ consumerism/materialism
    _____ malnutrition and hunger
    _____ energy
    _____ corruption
    _____ nuclear proliferation
    _____ destruction of the environment and habitat/species loss
    _____ globalization of commerce
    _____ terrorism and armed conflict
    _____ poverty

    Discussion Questions

    • What are the primary criteria or values that drove your internal ranking process?
    • What surprised you most about the way other people did the ranking?