The Marketplace is a high energy, 20 to 30 minute exercise that can be used to help people identify and exchange gifts, favors, and advice.
This exercise is optimal for groups of 10 to 50, and it’s FUN!
The Marketplace brings to life our interconnectedness by acknowledging that we all have gifts and we all have value. When a diverse group of people gather to engage in real life, real time exchange, we take the time to:
- see each other as part of a support network
- learn to ask for what we need,
- continually explore and reveal the value that we have in our community.
As a result, we increase abundance in our community and build relationships across differences.
- Marketplace Leader
- Market Time Keeper
- Market Recorder
- Market Helper
- Flip chart paper
- Explanatory Posters
- Timing devices
- Cards to exchange info
How does it work?
Members sit in a circle. The market leader goes around the circle as members bid for time. Members can also choose to “pass.” When everyone in the circle has had a chance to bid for time, the leader gives each person who bid for time an opportunity to make an offer, a request, a declaration or an announcement. During their time, members can also receive responses.
Brief Description of the Exercise
- Host calls members into a circle, standing or seated.
- Host describes the exercise using explanatory posters.
- Host goes around the circle asking people to bid for time: 30 seconds, 1 minute, or pass —to make an offer, request, declaration or announcement.
- Scribe records the names of the neighbors and the time that they requested.
- The Host goes through the list one by one as the neighbors make offers, requests, declarations and announcements.
- The Timekeeper helps to keep people to time limit with a fun timing device – bell, applause etc.
- Scribe records all offers, request, etc. and responses on the flip chart paper.
- Helper distributes “match cards” for those who respond to offers and requests, and assists the market scribe.
- Based the amount of people in the group and the amount of time you have, you can change the time bids available. We find that 30 seconds or 1 minute works well when we have a large group (30 people and 20 minutes, for example). However, this doesn’t allow time for deep exchange of information. If you have a small group with more time (10 people and 20 minutes, for example) try allowing for longer bids of 1, 2 or 3 minutes. This will give folks the chance to hear responses during their bid.
The Marketplace was developed by Frankie Blackburn and Bill Traynor of Trusted Space Partners. They shared it with Neighbor Up in 2012 and we’ve been using it in Cleveland ever since. We hope you’ll give it a try! Join Community of Practice from 1 to 3 p.m. the 2nd Wednesday of every month.