An Invitation to Stakeholders: The Planning Game
(From "Five Year Action Plan Report", July, 1996)

The proposed Five Year Action Plan is a product of a close collaborative relationship between the working group and the consultant team. It is also the reflection of an open, inclusive proces that encouraged and considered input from a larger group of stakeholders embracing students, parents, teachers, other user groups, and the larger interested community who responded to the invitation to participate in two interactive workshops.

The first of these, held on March 26, 1996, sought to get a wider perspective on the overall goals and objectives for the Campus. The primary goals identified as key to advancing the selection of Action Plan projects are recorded here.

The second workshop held on May 9, 1996 was a hands-on Planning Game designed to invite groups of participants to create an Action Plan within the real parameters and constraints of site and budget. Each group was given a game board (site plan of Berkeley High School), a set of game pieces (colored chips that represented potential program elements such as classrooms, administrative areas, library, plazas, physical education facilities, utilities etc.) and 20 million dollars in cash! (Remember your Monopoly?)

The objective was to purchase 20 million dollars worth of improvements and locate them on the game board in the form of a Five Year Action Plan. Payments had to be made for each item placed on the board, trade-offs were permitted, compromise was encouraged, and dissenting ideas or alternatives were noted on the board and recorded by a facilitator. Building a set of actions that fit the budget and represented some level of balance and consensus among group members was the essence.

The Game resulted in four boards with colorful pieces, notes and ideas representing the preferred Action Plan of each group. Some of the overriding ideas that surfaced in the plans included:
The plans that evolved from this workshop formed the basis for three alternatives that were developed and analyzed by the consultant team and evaluated by the working group. The final Five Year Action Plan is a product of further refinement and selection among those alternatives.