How to make toast - An exercise in group model building

This 9 minute TED Talk outlines the process and benefits of group model building exercises, using the example of 'making toast'.

This exercise could be used to help build group model building skills in a team, or adapted to tackle a real-life problem.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Suzanne Perry.

Authors and their affiliation

Tom Wujec is a Fellow at Autodesk where he helps leadership teams solve complex challenges and design their future with emerging digital technologies.

Key features

The TED Talk "How to Make Toast" is a great explanation of group model building. It describes the benefits of working together to define and illustrate processes and products in a system.

The video has great visuals and lots of descriptions of the results of those engaged in "solving wicked problems". 

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

I have begun to use this with my team and have plans to do this virtually now through PadletI have shown the video and described the process and had our staff work together to define future activities, rather than past activities, but served the same purpose--to show how the work is connected to the results.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

It is a fresh way to engage multiple, cross-section practitioners who may have a single perspective to gain new perspectives on how the work is connected and influential.


Wujec, T. (2013). Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast. TEDGlobal 2013. [Video]. Retrieved from: