Soft Power - In Communities

PLAY PUBLIC: engaging, creating and transforming the world around you.

Play Public is an amalgamation of two curriculum subjects – PHSE and CITIZENSHIP

It was written for schools but it can be easily adapted for any age group - many of the issues addressed have different explanations today than they may have had ten or even five years ago.

Play Public responds to ordinary questions teenagers - or anyone new to the civic space might ask –

a sample of which might be:

  • How do I make something happen in this country?

  • What is society – is my family in it?

  • Who looks after the people who can't look after themselves?

  • How does the government work – what's it got to do with me?

  • Am I good enough to do anything useful?

  • How do I get to be a leader?


Given that the underlying question is “how does stuff happen?” PLAY PUBLIC begins with an understanding of -

  • What power is An introduction to the different ways of power – hard (force), soft (attraction) and smart (balanced) power

  • Where does it come from? An overview of authority - dependence (children), independence (adolescents) and inter-dependence (adults)

  • Who has the power? Looking at relationship: between parents and children, politicians and voters, celebrities and fans, media and readers.

B HARD SKILLS – How to do stuff / what action to take

A broad range of skills adding up to competence, including:

  • Making connections – to public services, like-minded people, the media, council, politicians, banks, anyone!

  • Growing networks – how to get attention, build groups, make friends, gain influence

  • Be an activist – join a party, write a blog, get the vote out, leafleting

  • Management – what does it take to be in charge? What is a boss, what is a leader?

  • Managing conflict – how to be a successful mediator

  • Campaigning – what is a pressure group and how do I join?

  • Caring – how to look after others, where to meet people who need help

  • Charity work – more than just selling stuff in shops

  • Re-cycling – how, where, when, why?

  • Talking in public – speeches, presentations, asking questions

C SOFT SKILLS – How to be in the world

A broad range of skills adding up to confidence including:

  • Self awareness – what do I sound like to other people, how do I react to things?

  • Clarity – can I make decisions?

  • Empathy – can I imagine what other people are feeling?

  • Emotional intelligence – can I tell what is going on underneath the surface?

  • Anger management – can I let anger be useful rather than destructive?

  • Motivation – can I get myself going, make myself do even difficult stuff?

  • Relating – can I work well in a team without being the leader?

  • Patience – can I wait for the effects of the causes I make?


A series of role playing events which allow participants to experience some of the challenges of being 'out there' in public life

  • Mock Cabinet: be a minister of a government department for a day / week / term

  • Mock Mum / Dad: run your home for a week

  • Mock Campaign: designing, planning and executing

  • Mock Homeless: Living on the streets for one day and one night (supervised)

  • Mock Net: starting from nothing, build a network that blogs, tweets and flash mobs


For more email Indra Adnan © PLAY PUBLIC

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Soft Power – Advocacy




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