Lightning Rod


This is a fun and quick energizer to embody a sense of how complexity emerges in a system where individual agents have different goals. With only a few simple rules and goals, complex systems act in unpredictable, non-linear and emergent ways.


- Warm-up to embody an understanding of system thinking, complexity theory and emergence in the room.

- You are the system: To directly experience your own effect on a system. By being in the system, you influence the system.


Introduce this game standing in a big circle.

Have everyone think of two random people in the room.

  • Imagine that the first person you think of is one billion volts of lightning. If your are hit, your are fried instantly!

  • Imagine that the other person you think of is your "lightning rod" that will deflect the lightning person, protect you and keep you safe... only as long as this person is in between you and the lightning.

The goal of the game is for you to NO MATTER WHAT have the "lightning rod" person in-between you and the lightning person.

Check if everyone has thought of two people. When everyone is ready, say GO and see the room explode. Let the game run for maybe 1-2 min and then reset.


What happened?

Everyone knows who they're lightning/lightning rod persons are. But who realized who had them as either lightning/lightning rod?

How did your movement in the room affect the rest of the room? (Once we had an aware participant that realized that alot of people had him as either their lightning or / lightning rod. Through changing his tempo and movement he realized he influenced everyone in the room as alot of people were connected to him and the other people were connected to the people connected to him)

Play the game once more with these reflections in mind.


How was it this time?

E.X: How is this related to our responsibility as leaders in the world today?



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