Business 10: Needs vs Wants

Scenario: You are a group of strangers who have been cruising around the Caribbean enjoying all the luxuries of a top class cruise liner. Last night, a bad storm left your ship in pieces and your group are the only remaining survivors.

You are in a small lifeboat, but there is very little room and you are only just managing to keep the water out. You have some things in a small rucksack that will help you to survive once you reach the desert island. However, you can’t take them all with you; you can carry five of the items listed below and you have five minutes to decide.

Possible Items:

  • Survival bag
  • Flares
  • Beans
  • Cigarettes
  • Torch
  • Whistle
  • Matches
  • Set of keys
  • Rope
  • Blunt knife
  • Mirror
  • Bottle of rum
  • Hooks
  • Water
  • Sleeping bag
  • Magazine
  • First aid kit
  • Pen
  • Mobile phone
  • Tin cup
  • Sunglasses


  1. Work in your natural group of threes (i.e. your nearby neighbors). Each person has his/her own task:
    • Youngest member will keep track of time: 5 minutes.
    • Oldest member will be recording on a sheet of paper.
    • Last member will be presenting the group’s final selections.
  2. Discuss which items are the most useful and which are the least useful for your survival. Remember that you can only bring five items. Justify your final selections. There is more than one right answer.