Gaming for the future: Sustainability through game play

Gaming for the future: Sustainability through game play

Port of Spain, Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Information is present in staggering amounts, problems are more complex and people are more disconnected. We need ways in which information can be converted into workable knowledge, applied collaboratively to solve these problems. How better to do this than to use something universal...game play.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all those hours playing solitaire on your office computer and video games as a kid, can help you change the world?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Sustainability is a massive issue and it is accepted that values systems guide sustainability, and no project or policy can work unless it is supported by a values system that supports collaboration, empathy and whole system thinking. However, such value systems are rarely inculcated by the formal school systems or society as a whole, so it comes as no surprise when "sustainability" attempts fall short without such a foundation to support them.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In order to create sustainable change, we must understand how best and why people work together towards positive change. Using something as primal as gameplay, through the most modern of platforms-the internet and other new technology-can help us create the environment for collaborative innovation across borders and other boundaries. Gaming has already been recognized as one of the most innovative methods of scenario development across business and academia and its applications are fast being explored on the global stage. By developing a gaming platform that both produces outputs like scenarios and encourages content driven education and values enhancement, we can fast track the enabling environment for sustainability at all levels.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Games such as a World Without Oil have proven that game playing is a scientifically credible alternative to scenario development-Play it to live it. With the right technology collaboration is possible on a massive scale. Imagine designing solutions to any of the 7 categories that can be informed with collaboration from the youngest school student to the retiree across a gaming platform usable on a laptop to mobile device. For example, whole communities can collaborate on designing strategies to reduce water consumption, government and industry can play ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions-all utilizing collective intelligence and producing tangible plans and strategies based on collaborative innovation and holistic participation.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and the Middle East are the fastest growing regions in terms of internet usage and mobile telephony with almost 30% total penetration (500,000,000 persons). The implications for innovation through online tech are vast with strong multiplier effects. The design of an open source gaming platform for est. $50,000.00 USD would reduce the need to physically meet to develop sustainability strategies, with national/international meetings that generally cost 10-50,000 USD per event minimum. Such a platform would allow for statistically representative strategy design at community-global levels for multiple issues such as environment, water, health and conflict. The platform will create a space also for organisations without much resources to work together towards solutions at their local level to international groups aiming for big picture change.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Initially, funding will be sourced to cover the design of the game platform itself, towards creating an opensource version for use by the development community. This will be the main capital expenditure, as it is opensource, modifications will be done with no cost to the host organisation. Management budget will be gained from using advertising revenues on the game and a small license fee that can be applied to supplement income.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are organizations that have successfully implemented and run online gaming as a source of scenario building and education such as The Institute for the Future, NASA and Natron Baxter, who have designed games that are specifically targeted towards solving specific problems. However, these games are mostly designed on commission and are meant for single use. This platform is meant to be open source, which means once designed, the game will be available to anyone who wants to modify the game to suit their specific need, creating a more equitable and participatory platform for development.
Team

Founding Story

Having been involved in workshops and collaborative exercise at the community, national and international levels that are aimed at designing strategies and work plans to support development, I was always cognizant of limitations such as time, finances and space necessary to have a positive output. In many cases such limitations prove a severe detriment to a robust outcome. Being exposed to physical game play with village members in a farming community in which they used toy pieces and paint to map out where they want their community to go in 20 years, sparked an idea to replicate such gameplay 100 fold - to give communities across the globe a virtual canvas on which they can work together to come up with collaborative solutions.
About You
Organization:
Fix the future
About You
First Name

Omar

Last Name

Mohammed

About Your Project
Organization Name

Fix the future

Organization Country

, PS

Country where this project is creating social impact

, PS, Port of Spain

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

Having been involved in workshops and collaborative exercise at the community, national and international levels that are aimed at designing strategies and work plans to support development, I was always cognizant of limitations such as time, finances and space necessary to have a positive output. In many cases such limitations prove a severe detriment to a robust outcome. Being exposed to physical game play with village members in a farming community in which they used toy pieces and paint to map out where they want their community to go in 20 years, sparked an idea to replicate such gameplay 100 fold - to give communities across the globe a virtual canvas on which they can work together to come up with collaborative solutions.

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Sanitation and Hygiene, Nutrition, Water, Greenhouse Gases, Waste, Smallholder Farmers.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

The primary beneficiaries will be any group(s) that want to work together to develop solutions to sustainability problems. These can be community groups, national governments, civil society or international NGOs. They will have access to the gaming platform by nature of its being opensource and will be trained through manuals and other methods to utilize the game and have user support if necessary. The platform will be marketed through direct contact with groups and through media visibility.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and the Middle East are the fastest growing regions in terms of internet usage and mobile telephony with almost 30% total penetration (500,000,000 persons). The implications for innovation through online tech are vast with strong multiplier effects. The design of an open source gaming platform for est. $50,000.00 USD would reduce the need to physically meet to develop sustainability strategies, with national/international meetings that generally cost 10-50,000 USD per event minimum. Such a platform would allow for statistically representative strategy design at community-global levels for multiple issues such as environment, water, health and conflict. The platform will create a space also for organisations without much resources to work together towards solutions at their local level to international groups aiming for big picture change.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

The game will be piloted in Trinidad and Tobago first and two other countries that differ in profile to test the response to the game. Based on the response, the game will be modified and then released to the public as an opensource platform. The game will then be marketed as far as possible through media exposure, conferences where applicable and direct contact with key organisations in geographic/thematic groupings.
The project will utilize a leading game design firm as well as students in representative regions in the design and future support to game players which will aid in capacity development and sustainability of the initiative. It is expected that they will eventually serve as regional support.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

Initially, funding will be sourced to cover the design of the game platform itself, towards creating an opensource version for use by the development community. This will be the main capital expenditure, as it is opensource, modifications will be done with no cost to the host organisation. Management budget will be gained from using advertising revenues on the game and a small license fee that can be applied to supplement income.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Working within the international development field for 5 years, I am aware of the need to collaborate and work together, having managed partnerships for development at the national-international levels. I am also completing a Masters in Business Administration with a specialization in entrepreneurship and innovation in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as currently being involved in the design of an agricultural social enterprise in my country.

randomness