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  • To experience an unequal distribution of resources
  • To experience how conflicts can develop and to think about how they can be avoided
  • To show how dialogue and cooperation can be used to avoid conflicts

What to do

  1. Ask the group to quickly shout out what you need to bake a cake. Then distribute a cake recipe and explain that in groups they will try to bake a cake.
  2. Split the participants into 2 to 4 small equal groups.
  3. Distribute the different ingredients and pieces of equipment to the groups but make sure that it is done unevenly. No one group should have all of the ingredients or equipment they need to properly bake the cake. For example, you can give one group almost all of the things they need but lacking one crucial component or the equipment. Another could get half of the ingredients and a third might have lots of only one ingredient.
  4. To begin with, do not facilitate the activity too much. Leave the groups to discuss, experiment, steal or trade from one another, or enter dialogue and cooperate.
  5. After 15 minutes or at an appropriate point, bring the group back together with their ingredients and debrief.
  6. After the debriefing, you can all help make and eat the cake together!

Discussion Questions

  • What happened?
  • How did you feel during the activity?
  • What was the plan or solution of each group to try and bake the cake?
  • Did your approach change at all over the course of the activity?
  • How did the unequal distribution of resources at the start make you feel?
  • Would it have been different if you all had the same?
  • Can you think of any conflicts in real life, either your own everyday life or in history, that have started because of the unfair distribution of resources? Why?
  • How do capitalist power structures in the world today have an influence on peace and conflict?
  • Now what do you think would be the best way for each group to bake the cake?

Tips for facilitators

  • Baking and checking on the cake can become distracting so ensure you set aside time for a proper debrief with the whole group before you start baking.
  • You could give each group a different recipe, for example a lactose free, gluten free or vegan cake, to add an extra dimension to the activity and cater for different dietary requirements.
  • If you don’t have access to a kitchen, this could also be done with imaginary ingredients and equipment represented on flash cards.
  • This activity can work well on camps, and can be combined with outdoor or campfire cooking.

Resources Required

A cake recipe (of your choice) and all the ingredients and materials needed to bake this cake.


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