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180-minute Workshop

Trading Places

Understanding the role of facilitators in creating culture

In this session, participants will enter a trading simulation game that will challenge their communication, negotiating, and leadership skills. They will learn what it’s like to participate in a dynamically-shifting environment where what appears to fixed can quickly shift and they will need to adapt accordingly. The simulation will involve quick interpersonal interactions and more in-depth group discussions as the room builds its own unique shared community.

Learning Objectives

#1: Better understand what habits participants may be carrying with them into group work.

#2: Practice how to create, bend, and break rules so that participants are inspired to perform as a team.

#3: Develop consciousness around how group culture forms and changes in creative spaces.

The content of this session is mostly: Emotional and personal: Likely to be deep and/or reflective

For participants the most important outcome of this session is: To reflect on personal experiences or insights. 

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“Always leave room for serendipity”

Robert Wakulat

About Denise Pinto & Robert Wakulat

Denise is a writer, urbanist, and creative strategist. As Creative Director of Courage Co-Lab Inc., she oversees design and facilitation for social impact. Denise has taught Urban Studies at the University of Toronto, and frequently mentors students at the Institute Without Boundaries. She has delivered keynote lectures in Vienna, Hong Kong, and Chicago on the importance of connected communities. She was the recipient of a Medal of Excellence from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and was named a Vital Person by the Toronto Foundation for her years of work as Executive Director of the global charity, Jane’s Walk. Denise sits on several non-profit boards and is working on her first novel alongside her greatest collaborative project to date: figuring out each new day with her newborn son, Quincy.


Robert was born and raised in Toronto, Canada where he grew up playing hockey on frozen ponds, canoeing on Summer lakes, and chugging sap directly from maple trees. He currently toggles his professional life between the practice of business law for social entrepreneurs as a co-founder of WRD LLP and the practice of facilitating deliberate creativity as a co-founder of Courage Co-Lab Inc. In his spare time, he enjoys labyrinth walking, onesie wearing, and being a conscious dad to his first child, Quincy.

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