Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) students reflected on their personal and shared experiences by building models with LEGO bricks during a recent workshop. The LEGO Serious Play (LSP) activity was run by certified LSP facilitator Dr. Evren Tok, Assistant Dean of Innovation and Community Engagement and Associate Professor of Islam and Global Affairs, College of Islamic Studies (CIS).
The three-hour session with students from various HBKU colleges explored educational and practical experiences with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Participants started with individual models, and then progressed to shared models before engaging in systems thinking. The activity illustrated HBKU’s ongoing commitment to progressive education.
During the LSP session, the students created Lego models to gradually explore how the SDGs have been integrated throughout their education in both formal and informal learning. This session enabled the students to make connections between education and the SDGs and actively think about effective and memorable ways of how they learned about the Global Goals through their educational journeys. The session was part of a five-year QNRF research grant entitled “SDG Education in Qatar”, which focuses on learning ecosystems promoting sustainability through education.
Throughout the workshops, students of HBKU used Lego Serious Play to model connections representing their curricular and extra-curricular experiences related to Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. For example, in one of the prompts, the students were asked to build models that represent a course they took in university that somehow connects to the student’s favorite SDGs. A few examples of models showed a connection between quality education, partnership for the goals and peace, justice and strong institutions. They represented these connections with classes that were about storytelling through video production, history of Islamic architecture, and globalization and economic development.
Commenting on the session, Dr. Tok said: “the LSP sessions are extremely valuable because they help participants make connections and explore different perspectives that they may never have thought about. It is a great tool to help people and teams in many different ways to make them better global citizens.”
LEGO Serious Play can be used by individuals, groups, and organizations to improve the efficiency of meetings, contribute to more effective decision-making, and help to create innovative solutions. LSP involves a series of structured questions designed to unlock knowledge and insights on the desired topic or challenge.