I used the Meet Today’s Climate Justice Activists mixer in my 300-level college class Globalization and the Environment. This allowed me to shift the focus of the class away from doom-and-gloom prognosticating and give students real examples of how positive change can work.
Because the class is small (fewer than 20 students), I pre-selected activists whose work seemed most relevant to the course content. I chose an activist to portray myself and I joined the mixer, balancing out an odd number of students to maintain 1-to-1 conversations at all times.
After class, I had students choose an activist to profile. In their essays, they were asked to analyze how the activist had accomplished their work and with whom they had partnered. Because we had been discussing international political actors (NGOs, IGO, nation-states, TNCs, etc.) in class, I directed them to discuss the activist’s partnerships with any such entities. This essay deepened the connection of the activity to the course content.
The students loved it. When I collected midterm feedback, many students asked for more exercises like the Climate Justice Activist Mixer.