Finding Your Tribe
Mdaughter has always been a force of nature. She’s a spontaneous, laugh-out-loud kind of girl. She loves art and Korean boy bands, hates dresses, and wants to practice her questionable jokes on everyone. But hnding her own tribe seemed a challenge. For my son it was simple: Fortnite and football. For me, it’s always been the communities of practice we support. My wife, the fabulous Carol, reconnected with her junior high school classmates from Taiwan and rekindled friendships long dormant.
I was wondering when my daughter would find her own tribe, when along came Girl Guides. They embrace how different each girl is and how empowering it is to celebrate what makes us unique, in a respectful way. Now her Girl Guide meetings are the best day of her week.
Have you found your tribe?
One tribe I’ve happily fallen in with is a growing community of facilitators bringing a game on sustainability to the world. Inspired by the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this game was created four years ago in Japan by a couple of ex-IBM engineers who were looking to make more of an impact. They created a game—The 2030 SDGs Game.
The game is a team-based, carddriven, facilitator-led simulation that is fully immersive, taking players through time from now until 2030.
This powerful simulation is less about the end outcome and more about the learning journey you go through as you start to see that we are as much the solution as the problem. In fact, the actual name of the UN document that created the SDGs is “Transforming the World.” To achieve this, what’s really needed is to transform ourselves.
Since the game’s launch four years ago, more than 150,000 people have played it. This includes corporations, governments, schools and universities, and nonprofits. The game has even been played at the United Nations in New York.
So what have I learned in the year I’ve been facilitating the game?
1. I’m not responsible for what people think or feel, but I can create a safe space for participants to have these feelings and to openly talk about them.
2. In the game, any action a person decides to take is valuable. It’s not the size of your influence that matters; it’s making a decision to have this influence and act on it.
3. Dissenting opinions are welcome. We’re not creating an echo chamber to validate what we bey lieve, but rather, encouraging healthy debate is what makes us human and this is part of the process.
4. Diversity is powerful. I used to worry about mixed groups attending the game and not being able to connect them to tangible, actionable outcomes. But then I just let the game do the work for me. People want to connect and to find purpose. Now I embrace the more diverse groups.
5. The game is not just about the SDGs. It’s also about our humanity and our desire to leave the world a better place than we found it. When we focus on more than just ourselves and our personal goals, we might have a chance.
One thing I do know is that this is one tribe I’m happy to grow and support. If you’re in the neighborhood where we’re running a game, be sure to reach out to us. Visit https://2030sdgsgame.com/ or e-mail me at James.Bishop@Koru.hk
James Bishop is a learning experience designer at Koru Consulting Limited in Hong Kong.