Agenda Setting


As we transition from the last unit on problem definition to the current readings on agenda-setting, I’d like for you to take a few minutes to play a game (the game is called Free Rice, sponsored by the UN World Food Program) (Links to an external site.). Part of this activity pertains to problem definition because it helps us to understand various aspects of the global hunger issue. And yet, it also leads us to think of agenda-setting by encouraging you to play and earn more free rice.

There’s no minimum time requirement; in fact, I’m curious to hear if you felt compelled to play for a longer or shorter period of time, based on how the game was set up. (I, for one, wanted to see my bowl of rice fill up, so I kept playing even when some of the questions cycled back through.) 

1. At what point did your attention begin to wane? 

2. Since most of us in the United States are fortunate to have more food stability than to count out grains of rice, did you find the game relevant to your life?

3.  What does it make you think, in terms of global policy issues like hunger?

4.  How can we, as public administrators, policymakers, nonprofit organization employees & volunteers, etc. bring issues like this to the forefront, when the people/countries who are in the biggest position to help are likely the least affected by the problem?

Talk it over, and let’s see what agenda setting insights you have to share. Jordan Williams & Alex Street are our discussion facilitators for this unit.

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