Dive deep and get active. To know is one thing. To do is another. We've included challenging questions to start discussions, offline activities to get you moving, and creative outlets to stretch your brain in new ways. No right or wrong answers here -- just space for the curious mind.
For collaborative conversation or independent contemplation.
What's a trade-off you've recently made? What competing forces were at work? What did you lose? What did you gain? Was it worth it?
What competing forces exist at Synthesis: in the game, on teams, in yourself? In these trade-offs, how do you make the right decision?
Do all moral and ethical decisions involve trade-offs? Find an example that supports the answer "Yes," and another example that supports the answer "No."
Consider the trade-off of time and money. Which is more valuable? Explain your reasoning to a family member, and see if they agree with you.
If you could gain any skill instantly, but you'd have to lose an existing one, what skills would you trade? Why?
Would you trade your most cherished memories for a guaranteed successful future? Why or why not? What values are at play here?
Imagine that you could solve world hunger, but the cost would be the extinction of an entire species of animal. Would you make that trade-off? Why or why not? What values are at play here?
Some trade-offs are "worth it." Some are "not worth it." For you, which are which? Does your family agree? Would your friends at Synthesis agree? (Only one way to find out!)
Offline and active. Bring your knowledge into your environment.
Evaluating tradeoffs. Identify a decision you will have to make this week that involves a trade-off. Discuss it with your family and evaluate the pros and cons of both sides. What might you lose? What might you gain? Does the decision feel easier or harder after evaluating it?
Time management. Create a pie chart showing how you spend your time in a typical week. Be honest. When you're done, identify any trade-offs you're making in how you allocate your time. What do you lose? What do you gain? Is your time spent in the best way possible for your own goals? To up the challenge, do this same activity with a parent -- the results (and discussion) may surprise you.
Social Dynamics. As you move through your community this week, look out through the lens of trade-offs. What situations can you identify where people are having to make trade-offs as part of their daily routine? What competing forces are swirling around in society, and how do you see people navigating them?
Do. Make. Share.
Video debate. Team up with a family member or friend to debate a significant trade-off in society (e.g., privacy vs. security, economic growth vs. environmental protection). Record the debate, share your reflections about what you've learned, and submit your video to Synthesis for feedback.
Decision tree diagram. Create a decision tree that outlines a complex trade-off you have actually faced or could face in the future. Use arrows to indicate different choices and their potential outcomes. Some decisions might only be a few steps. Others may be incredibly complex. Pick your favorite one and submit it here.
Trade-off journal. Keep a journal for a week where you note down every trade-off you make, no matter how small. How many do you think there will be? Five? Or fifty? At the end of the week, review your journal. Create a short video summarizing your most significant trade-offs, what you've learned about your decision-making process, and share it with Synthesis by submitting here.