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Author's note
What is E S D?
Reorienting Education
Localizing the Global Initiative
Challenges and Barriers to E S D
Community Sustainability Goals
Case Study: Toronto, Canada Board of Education
Managing Change
Public Participation
Concluding remarks
Tools to Introduce the Concept of Sustainable Development
Tools to Create Community Goals
Tools to Reorient Education to Address Sustainability
Tools for Managing Change
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With the roll of the dice in this fast-paced game, participants race to verbalize the linkages between society, environment, and economy.


To reinforce the interrelation of the three realms of sustainable development.


This exercise is good to acquaint participants with the concept of sustainable development. Drain or Sustain and Drain or Sustain II provide a good introduction to this exercise. For a closer examination of the concept of sustainable development, see the exercise Seeing Your Community Through a Sustainability Lens.

Group size: 4 to 36 participants.

Time Needed: 20 - 30 minutes



  1. Ask participants to pick a partner, preferably a stranger.
  2. Seat pairs of participants in a circle.
  3. Three numbers are chosen by the roll of three dice, red, green and blue. The red die corresponds to the category Society, the green die corresponds to the category Environment, and the blue die corresponds to the category Economy. Each category contains six terms, as listed on the activity sheet, one for each number on the die.
  4. One of the partners rolls the dice. The partners have 1 to 2 minutes to discuss, then state a sentence or two linking the three terms that correspond to the numbers shown on the dice. Terms may be used in any order.
  5. If the partners cannot think of a linkage, the task of linking the terms is passed to the pair on their left. Play continues until the links are made or until each pair has had a try at making the linkage.
  6. Encourage discussion of each linkage after each round of play.
  7. Each pair should have a turn at rolling the dice.

Example Roll:

4 Society = "poverty"
3 Environment = "landuse/soil"
6 Economy = "markets"

Example Linkage:

A young farmer inherits a garden plot. The previous owner had not cared for the plot; the soil had lost fertility and was eroded by rainwater. The young farmer kept most of the harvest from the garden plot to feed his family. The produce market in town suffered because many farmers did not have surpluses to sell, because their land was also eroded.

Adapted from "Brain Program #12: 666" in Jump Start Your Brain by Doug Hall. Warner Books:New York. 1995. pp. 254-258.

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