This role play activity outlines an interactive session to help people experience a political lobbying meeting, in a light-hearted way. The role play involves people being from either the Minister for Magical Creatures, or the NGO “Unicorn Revive”.

People have the experience of planning a delegation meeting (if from the NGO) or of planning how to handle an NGO delegation (if from the Minister’s office)

This activity could be done with groups of between 8 – 30, although I have mostly used it with groups of 18-25 people

Around 40 minutes

Enough space for groups of delegations and decision makers to spread out for the preparation time
tables and chairs or other spots where the delegations and decision makers can have their mock meeting


  • Each team needs 2 people representing the decision maker (1 as Minister, and 1 adviser); and 2-3 people representing the NGO
  • Divide up participants into roles
  • Handout the relevant instructions (note that the instructions are specific to the role)
  • Give all participants 10 minutes to prepare for their meeting
  • At around the 8 minute mark, encourage those who are Ministers / advisors to find a place that will represent their Ministerial office and prepare to receive their visitors
  • Go around to each NGO team and guide them to one of the Minister teams at their location
  • While the instructions mention that the meeting will be for 20 mins, the role play of the meeting generally runs its course by 15 mins
  • Bring all participants back into plenary for the debrief
  • Ask those who were from Unicorn Revive to reflect on progress and outcomes of the meeting, what they did to plan for the meeting and any insights
  • Ask those who were Ministers / advisors to share their meeting goal and strategy
  • Useful reflections to draw out: importance of trying to anticipate the attitude and reaction of Minister and of having contingency plans; need for delegation team to discuss having clear messages and ask, and for clear roles for the meeting


‘The Unicorn Activity’ was developed by Anita Tang, Advocacy Advisor and Campaign Coach, originally for Progress Fellowship.