Liberating Structures

15% solutions

Discover and focus on what each person has the freedom and resources to do now.

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15% solutions
Educator prep: None
Student prep: None
Synchronous or Asynchronous
Breakout rooms, Shared online space, Cameras off option
Duration: 5-30 mins

Activity purpose

“Discover and Focus on What Each Person Has the Freedom and Resources to Do Now” as described here:

Useful for

Helping students (or teachers) see small changes within their reach to improve something they care about.


Minimal - just a space for people to take notes such as Google docs or Google slides.


  1. Tell participants the exercise is to ask themselves, in response to a particular context and prompt the teacher gives, “What is your 15 percent solution? Where do you have discretion and freedom to act? What can you do without more resources or authority?”
  2. Give participants some time (5-10 minutes to write these down).
  3. In pairs or small groups, invite participants to share their 15% solutions. 
  4. If you have time, you can invite participants to give consultations to one another as well.


15-20 minutes depending on group sizes and whether you include the consultation.

Adaptations and examples

Pair with Troika consulting or Wise Crowds (see Troika video here:

Technical requirements

  • Shared slide deck or any other note-taking.
  • Breakout rooms or done asynchronously in small groups.

Useful resources

Liberating Structures page on 15% Solutions: 

More 'Liberating Structures' activities:
Equity Unbound Activity
Appreciative Interviews
To invite students to use their bodies to represent, collaboratively, an image of something that is worth discussing.
Maha Bali, Autumm Caines, Mia Zamora
Equity Unbound Activity
Troika Consulting – Adaptation for Class Community Building
Get students used to supporting each other without always turning to an “expert” for solutions.
Maha Bali
Equity Unbound Activity
TRIZ can “Stop Counterproductive Activities and Behaviors to Make Space for Innovation”. Try it out!
Maha Bali

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