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Home » Methods » Treasure Hunting

Treasure Hunting

Lack of trust
Min. 10 project managers or partners or citizens
Ca. 30 minutes
  • Digital whiteboard: Miro or Mural OR shared document (e.g., MS Teams)
  • Video conferencing: Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.

Explanation of the method

  1. In preparation for the Treasure Hunting method, the project leaders must formulate questions that the participants should later ask each other. You can adapt the questions individually to your project. The questions can be related to the personal and cultural background of the participants as well as to developments or challenges in the project.
  2. Each participant receives a list of the questions developed beforehand. In order to find answers to these questions, the participants now get into breakout rooms and talk to the other participants for about 15 minutes. For this, they can ask any person for the answer, but it is not allowed to get more than one information from one person at a time. Also, there should not be asked more than one person at a time.
  3. Ask the participants to come back to the main room after 15 minutes. Go through all the questions together. The people who have received an answer to the question raise their hand and state the answer.
  4. Now conduct a retrospective of the activity by discussing the following questions:
    • Who feels that he/she received a unique or surprising answer?
    • Who was asked the same question by other participants, why do you think that happened?
    • What did you learn from the exercise and how did your confidence in the other participants change?


  • The method enables newly formed groups to gain a deeper understanding of people in other disciplines and to build personal bonds.
  • It is very helpful with transdisciplinary groups or when there are many different cultures, ages, experiences and backgrounds.


  • It should be avoided to ask delicate/socially undesirable questions.

Advice from practice

  • You can use this method at any time - but it is especially helpful to use it as an ice-breaker at the beginning of a workshop, in the early stages of a project, or after a long break - whenever you feel some "trust work" is needed.
  • You should adapt the questions for the Treasure Hunting method to the project, the team and their background.
  • Reflecting on the exercise together is part of the method and reinforces your mutual understanding
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