Enacting Policy

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ENACTING POLICY is a platform for translating complex policy into experiences, characters, and consequences that allow us to acknowledge how law affects us as human beings. Participants come together as characters that represent real dimensions of policy. Exploring complexities of different laws through the lens of a character allow people to more deeply explore issues like inheritance rights, advanced directives, and immigration.

Christopher Patten
317 385 3496

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May 5, 2013
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Participants are assigned characters with certain background experiences, motives, and opinions. Photo by Diala Lteif
Throughout the scenario, participants record the terms and concepts they perceive on Post-It notes. Photo by Subodh Divekar
After the scenario is over, we collectively cluster the terms and concepts into a system diagram that maps the complexity of the issue we have enacted. Photo by Subodh Divekar
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As a take-away, participants also map where they see themselves in the issue we have enacted. Who do they know and what have they experienced that connect to this issue? Drawing by Amy Findeiss

The goal of the project is for participants to be able to acknowledge another viewpoint exists, and explain why. Acknowledging a viewpoint is not to be confused with converting a person or convincing them of a new way of thinking.


Part narrative, part role-play, and part systems diagramming, this platform has proven enormously successful as a tool for creating lasting impressions on the minds of its participants. Participants can recall policy effects one month after the event, and have reported using this information in conversation with others.