Network Discovery

One of the keys to most peoples’ success is their network and networking ability. astronaut

In business, it is important to have referrals when meeting other people. People like to help those they know, like and trust and will often help you, if properly introduced and a clear and impassioned ask is made. We have all heard of six degrees of separation; the idea that we are just six people away from any person in the world, as the six people we know also know six people, who know six people, ad infinitum. In the arts, at times we may be only two or three degrees of separation, as the fields of artistry are often so small.

Learning Outcome:

Students learn how they can gain access to influential or important people, if they are willing to inquire and ask around. 

How to Play:

Students define a list of career types, such as listed below. They are encouraged to think about types of people associated with an entrepreneurial pursuit and then consider their own networks and those of others. How can they gain access to such people?

Students are given twenty minutes to leave the classroom and, if applicable, go throughout their college or university hallways in search of those who have such people in their networks.

Ex. Search for:

  • An entertainment lawyer
  • A CPA
  • A Marketing Specialist
  • A Congressperson
  • A Lobbyist
  • A Venture Capitalist
  • Angel Investors
  • A Journalist
  • Just for fun, I always in include An Astronaut (and inevitably, someone knows one). In my mind, this demonstrates how one can reach just about any type of person, no matter how rare their skills.


It’s about the approach. Like so many of these games, students must first identify someone to speak with, approach them, demonstrate they are not threatening and encourage the person to cooperate. Their story, as per usual, typically engages a person’s desire to participate and help. People love a good story and if properly approached, will often want to participate and help, if they can.

If you would like to use these games in your own classroom, please do! If you do, let me know how how it goes and if you have suggestions for modifying a game. 

I can be reached at

Creative Commons License
Network Discovery by James David Hart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


About James Hart

Jim Hart serves as Director of Arts Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts. Hart is also the founder of The International Theatre Academy Norway and co-founder of the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education. Hart is a multi-award winning educator, often recognized for innovation and pedagogy.
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