This is a quick activity to generate funny stories, interesting knowledge, and common ground among participants in a room. It’s also a way to get the energy up in the room if people seem tired. People walk around and share interesting and surprising facts about themselves, building on what other people have said.

Group Size
  • Any Size
  • None


  1. Clear a space where everyone can walk around.
  2. Tell people that they will start walking around, greeting each other. They can introduce themselves to each other if they don’t already know each other. They can smile and give eye contact (if culturally appropriate.) If they know each other, they can even hug or high five each other (again, where culturally appropriate).
  3. After about a minute of this greeting, you can tell them that they will all now walk in silence. But at any moment, any person can stop and announce some interesting fact about himself/herself. For example, a participant can say, “I lived abroad in Spain for a year.” Everybody stops and gives the speaker their full attention. Then when the participant is finished making the one-sentence announcement, everyone resumes walking and mingling.
  4. At that point, someone else can stop and make an announcement about themselves that builds off the first sentence. In other words, there must be some connection, even if it’s tenuous. The second person might say, “I took Spanish in school for three years, but can’t remember more than three words.” Or she might say, “I studied in Costa Rica for six months.” Or she might say, “I’ve never been ten miles outside of my hometown.” (Again, even this last sentence is related, because one person’s statement about having traveled far is matched by the second person’s statement of never having traveled.)
  5. This goes on for up to 10 minutes, or until it seems to be dying out on its own.
  • There needs to be plenty of space where everyone can mingle, and where they won’t keep bumping into each other, or going in circles. If the weather is nice, you can do this outside.
  • It’s best to do this in a group of 15-20, so if your group is much larger than that, you can might want to divide this into multiple sections, all doing it at the same time in different places.
  • The point of this exercise is not to have a game of one-upmanship, where each person is trying to brag about how great their lives are, or how wealthy and privileged and connected they might be! (You can imagine how this would get out of hand if one person says: “I have been to more than 100 countries,” and the next person says, “That’s nothing! I’ve been to 120 countries, and have vacation homes in Fiji, Tahiti, and the south of France.” This would obviously not go over well, nor form deep connections with anyone, let alone the participants who don’t have access to such wealth and privilege!
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This activity typically does not need a debrief. It’s just a great way to get energy in the room to a crescendo, and also to get people to feel like they belong to a community. People seem to appreciate getting to know each other. They are probably used to gatherings where they are anonymous, lost in a sea of people passively listening to a lecturer on a stage.


The idea is to talk about interesting, funny, and often humbling experiences. People sometimes talk about embarrassing moments, or about personal qualities. When people express vulnerability, they are more likely to connect. The idea is all about connection – finding common ground and links between people’s experiences.


Transformative Action Institute, adapted from improv activity