In A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise In Disasters, Rebecca Solnit describes how natural and man-made disasters can be utopias that showcase human solidarity and point the way to a freer society. Neither capitalism nor socialism can save you when all hell breaks loose. People— your family, friends, neighbors and sometimes, total strangers—can. The question is, can the same kind of solidarity be mobilized to create opportunities for positive change absent a life-threatening catalyst?
That is civic synergy: the collective power of people in organized networks to transform the systems that affect their lives.
Interactive networks facilitate the sharing of encouragement, insights and innovation among individuals championing specific solutions to their local problems and among others concerned with the same type of problem.
Tools such as systems maps help reveal the active or potential networks that can facilitate innovative change within existing systems while helping stakeholders envision and build new systems that are truly free, just and sustainable.
The World Game™ Workshop
To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone. – R. Buckminster Fuller
The World Game™ is a global-scale participatory, systems-based scenario planning/problem-solving tool for exploring expeditious ways of employing the world’s resources so efficiently and omni-considerately as to be able to provide a higher standard of living for all of humanity on a continually sustainable basis for all generations to come, while enabling all of humanity to enjoy the whole planet Earth without any individual profiting at the expense of another, while also re-diverting the valuable chemistries known as pollution to effective uses elsewhere, conserving the wild resources and antiquities.
The World Game™ was conceived of by Fuller as a counterpoint to military war games. War gamers use data on world resources and information about global trends to develop strategies designed to maintain advantage and dominance over “enemies”. World gamers are charged with using the same data and information to generate whole systems/whole Earth perspectives designed to reveal game-changing points of leverage. The ultimate goal is to take advantage of synergies offered by the system instead of one another; thereby catalyzing mutually beneficial levels of cooperation with the potential of transforming adversaries into allies. Since Fuller’s conception,iterations of the World Game™ have been played by hundreds of thousands around the world. The Game has reached school children, CEO’s, college students, policymakers, high school students, corporate executives, congressmen, graduate students, and citizens around the globe.
The Buckminster Fuller Institute created the World Game™ Workshop in 1986, developing and convening the Workshop until 2001. Iterations of the Workshop have been played by hundreds of thousands around the world. It has reached school children, CEO’s, college students, policymakers, high school students, corporate executives, congressmen, graduate students, and interested citizens. In 2001, the rights to the Workshop were acquired by o.s. Earth, where it was applied exclusively as an educational simulation called the Global Simulation Workshop. In 2019, the Schumacher Center for New Economics acquired the rights to the World Game™ Workshop.
Read more about the history of The World Game here.
The World Game Workshop for Today’s World
Greg Watson, Schumacher Center for a New Economics Director of Policy and Systems Design, and Elizabeth Thompson, former executive director of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and founding director of The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, are now in the process of updating Buckminster Fuller’s World Game™ Workshops.
The updated Workshops will offer a series of real-time, data-driven immersive educational experiences designed to illuminate the global systems dynamics shaping our world and to guide participants to discover their agency to create a world in which humanity can prosper without compromising Earth’s ecological integrity.
This website is the first iteration of a process to redesign the World Game Workshops for the 21stcentury. Our goal is to begin defining the operating principles and parameters of the Workshop and invite as many of you as we can to join us in updating and repositioning this powerful tool to help address the existential challenges facing all passengers aboard Spaceship Earth.
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Since its founding in 1980 the Schumacher Center has been a leading voice for building local economies.