Life on Mars!

This activity encourages Systems Thinking, focusing primarily on societal systems (Social Innovation)


This tool was developed in response to the corporate-led space-race that is the ‘Human Mission to Mars’, which is rumoured to launch later in 2024.

Some useful links to provide background or context prior to delivering this activity can be found here:

Synergia Institute (Towards Co-operative Common Wealth Systems Change  MOOC):

The Feasibility of Interplanetary activity:

‘Becoming Intentional Gods’ Podcast with Manda Scott and Indy Johar:


Life on Mars is a flexible tool which has been designed as an activity to introduce the notion of Systems Thinking and the idea of Systems Change.

The idea of establishing a new world on a blank canvas inspired me to create this activity, to encourage realistic as well as creative thinking to reimagine our societal systems - which is being opened up by the feasibility of interplanetary human existence.

Ultimately, if we can imagine a new world there, we could reimagine a new one here.


It has been designed primarily with High School students in mind, but it is an adaptable tool that can be delivered with any interested group.

The idea is to allow the group to be imaginative, to facilitate their discussions and guide them to explore their ideas.

You can use the following resources:

  • Slides with accompanying notes (click on the ‘notes’ tab in PowerPoint)
  • Facilitation sheet to guide you (as the Facilitator) through the entire activity from beginning to end
  • Facilitation questions, which can be provided to the participants to assist their discussions

The ‘blank canvas’ doesn’t have to be Mars. You can adapt this activity in any way you feel is most appropriate.






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