Madeupsville is an activity for fostering a culture of learning and collaborative discussion about anticipatory action. The activity provides a safe, inviting, and easy environment for stimulating persona reflection and group learning. 

Facilitation tips

  • Use this exercise to spark deeper discussion.
  • Create a quiet moment for individual reflection before small group breakout.
  • Facilitate a simple warm up or icebreaker (or guide small groups to do one before they start sharing).


Engage with a virtual (or in person) audience while stimulating individual reflection and increasing group understanding of anticipatory action lessons.


Step 1 – Setting the stage

Tell the group that you will be traveling together to a place that they might think they haven’t been to yet, but one that will be very familiar. Madeupsville is a place that will allow individuals to share their experiences and/or listen to experiences of other participants without giving any specifics about locations, organizations, people, or other entities involved in. the experience. For this step you can ask participants to close their eyes while you describe the journey and arrival to Madeupsville. Be as creative as you can setting the stage.

Step 2 – Story sharing demonstration

Once you have set the stage for the arrival into Madeupsville, be prepared to demonstrate how participants can share stories. Demonstrate a story, or have a participant who has been briefed ahead of timeshare a story, about an anticipatory action lesson they learned through their experience, while taking care to keep the story rooted in Madeupsville – leaving out names or identifying characteristics to ensure safety of all involved and to keep the focus on the lessons learned and how they can be utilized for other contexts.

Step 3 – Personal Reflection and Individual Stories

Once there is an understanding of how to share a lesson learned in the context of Madeupsville, have the group take a moment (1-3 minutes) to think about their own experiences before sending groups of 2-4 into breakout rooms (virtually), or to gather together (in person). Allow groups 2-3 minutes per person in these small groups.Those who do not have a lesson learned to share can also share a reflection of other anticipatory action experiences or other thoughts or questions they might have.

Step 4 – Group Sharing

When you bring groups back, you can invite one representative from each group to share one lesson learned, or another relevant anecdote from their small group discussion.

Step 5 – Reflection and Debrief

Debrief by reviewing the messages shared by the groups, reflecting on outliers and main themes. 

Step 6 – Sharing the stories

Share the stories in different ways, inject them into presentations, reports, trainings etc. Be creative – we have found that visual illustrations of the Madeupsville Tales can be effective communication tools.

Download the facilitation card

Download the story

For this game is needed:

Participants: 3-100
Facilitator skill: *
Minutes for gameplay: