How do you get 55 persons to co-operate and fully trust one another in the time of three months? And what should be done in order to achieve such things? But more importantly, why are we doing this for the project?
There are several answers to the later question. Firstly, we see this project as a unique and thrilling experience to end our Bachelors-degree studies with. Secondly, we are writing our thesis about how to increase participation in groups, which then again leads us to the assignment of getting the individuals of this expedition to co-operate and feel that they belong to the team. Before the expedition we have had four meetings (fifth upcoming) to our disposal where we have discussed a specific theme, following different exercises that supports these themes (e.g. problem-solving, communication, conflicts). In between some of the meetings we have given assignments to the groups in which the members will be working in during the expedition. These assignments have been e.g. to put together a list of rules and values that the group members share. We have also encouraged the groups to do something outside the campus in order to get to know fellow group-members better. During the expedition in France we will arrange some activities that supports the cohesion of the whole group. This will also mean that we will be able to try teambuilding-activities outdoors, which we haven’t been able to do as much as we would have liked.
Building a team with 50 participants doesn’t come without its challenges; on the other hand good things don’t come easy. The fact that so many different people are involved in this intense project where progress is needed quickly in a short amount of time, makes the task of getting everyone in the same place for a specific time doing just teambuilding-activities almost impossible. Just look at NASA, who put 6 months in to their teambuilding alone. Another challenge is to apply the Socialpedagogy theory in our thesis to the much more practical expedition and teambuilding activities. Despite these challenges, we strongly believe that we are on the right track and have at least accomplished something that will benefit the expedition.
/Henrik & Vilma -social services students in charge of the Expedition Arcada teambuilding