Sample categories for the Union Democracy and Power Line

These are categories we used in the power line at the 2000 National Rank-and-File Carpenters Conference in Boston, Mass. that AUD organized with Carpenters for a Democratic Union.


  • In the actual chart, the categories were much larger -- 90 point type.
  • You have to create categories that match your participants and their concerns (based on any information you can gather before the event).
  • You should always include at least two blank columns and encourage participants to add any categories they think are missing from the power line.

Sample "Problem Trees"

Some problem trees (from around the world):

"Problem-cause-effect tree diagram" from Our People, Our Resources

Another tree, from Eric Mar's Asian Studies and Activism website.

How-to description of the problem tree activity, with a link to an image (near the top), from Dublin radion station Near 90.3 FM's Community Media Participatory Learning Manual

Description of the problem tree activity, from a BBC article about women organizing in Malawi.

Activity 4.1 Robert's Rules -- matching activity

By Matt Noyes.

This activity uses a simple game to help people learn and remember the basic terminology of Robert's Rules of Parliamentary procedure. (See links to Robert's Rules sites.)

Good for:
Making the jargon and basic procedures familiar, helping people see how to use the terminology to do what they want to do.


Activity 3.2 Interviewing the Activist

By Matt Noyes. (I got the idea from the late Spalding Gray's "interviewing the audience" performance technique, which I saw him perform in Brooklyn's Prospect Park one summer night. Gray circulated in the audience prior to the performance, finding interesting people who he later brought onstage for a rambling, but very entertaining, interview and conversation.)