Adaptation Labyrinth


To reflect on communication and leadership within a group
To explore the importance of a joint vision for adaptation and DRR processes


1. Draw a labyrinth on a sheet of flip chart paper and set it out on the floor in the middle of the room. Gather the group around the flip chart and ask every participant to take one string until all strings are allocated.

2. Explain the task: You as a group will have to navigate a challenging task - encountering unforeseen obstacles. Insert a narrative that suits the group: e.g. you need to plan and implement and Adaptation Project (or DRR project) - mark the middle: "you have successfully implemented the project!"- Navigating the pen with the string puller, move through the labyrinth. Start on the outside and only move the pen by pulling on the strings. Participants are allowed to talk and strategize. Indicate where the starting point of the labyrinth is.

3. The group navigates the labyrinth. You can introduce obstacles such as climate events (e.g. flood or landslides) that block the way and will force the group to find an alternative way.

Once the group has reached the middle - have a short round of reflection.


The debriefing process includes a sharing of the experiences of all participants:

What was your experience? What made the task easy? What made it difficult
How were decisions reached? What happened when an unexpected event occurred?

Materials needed:

String puller with pen, drawing of labyrinth

Relevance for adaptation and DRR processes

This exercise explores group decision making and the challenges that people may experience with  communication while implementing a joint vision! It is interesting to also reflect on what would happen if for example men and women were trying to get to different final destinations - and to compare this with experiences of participants involved in adaptation processes.