SDGs Game

Hello, my name is Takeo Inamura, and I’m a 43-year old Japanese man. It may be difficult to express ourselves in an ordinary way, so let me introduce it in the story.

How it started

It all started in February 2016 when a friend and I developed the 2030 SDGs Game. (My friend’s name is Nobuhide Fukui; we have known each other since university days. He is a genius who develops games for corporate trainings; for example, one of the trainings he designed is used by Toyota in their hiring process. He has developed more than 100 business simulation games.) Within a day of launching an event page for to hold an 2030 SDGs Game event with a capacity of 25 people on my Facebook feed, the event was packed and had received more than 750 “likes.” These responses were mostly from people I do not know directly. Word of this workshop continued to spread even after that, and it became difficult for me to respond to those demands alone. So in autumn 2016, I established the nonprofit corporation Imacocollabo with another friend, Takeshi Muranaka (I call him Mura-san). By the way, “Imacocollabo” is a mixture of several words: Ima, which means “now” (rather than some day), and coco means “here” (as in not somewhere else); the last part also is meant to evoke both collaboration (“collabo”) and experimentation, such as in a laboratory (“labo”). In other words, Imacocollabo is our way of saying, don’t expect someone, some day, to take effective action; instead, take action yourself, right here and right now. It does not matter if it is imperfect. Actually, imperfection leads to collaboration and creates the possibility of creating something new and unpredictable. At Imacocollabo, we offer 2030 SDGs Game events and train certified facilitators. In addition, we offer programs that support transformation of the consciousness and behavior of both corporations and individuals. Approximately 15,000 participated in in corporate and open public game events in 2017.

Embodying the transformation

Many people are unaware that the official title of the of the United Nations’ SDGs document is “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” I believe that for this transformation to occur, it is essential to have individuals and groups who make up those systems transform their own consciousness in tandem with the social systems they are trying to change. This is why, through a long process of trial and error, we have come up with a fee structure for the 2030 SDGs Game that reflects that belief. After giving much thought to options such as simply selling the game kits, providing the cards free of charge while raising money through crowdfunding, and various other methods, we decided instead to give the game kits only to people who have completed the facilitator training program. There are two pillars to our current methodology:
  1. Getting the game to the greatest number of people without sacrificing quality
  2. Making use of the power of money. So those who can afford it are asked to pay, and those who cannot afford it are not. We do not want there to be people who cannot have the experience because they cannot pay for it.
First of alI, we believe that it is crucial to have as many people as possible become familiar with the concept of the SDGs in order for society to transform and become sustainable. In this sense, the more people who discover the SDGs through the game, the better. In other words, we are aiming for a high “quantity of experiencers” of the game. At the same time, it is also important that the experience of the game participants be a positive one, from which they both enjoy and learn. If it’s not a good experience, there’s no point in having the experience in the first place, and the number of participants would probably quickly peak if more and more of them reported feeling the game was boring, or that they didn’t learn anything from it. In other words, the quality of the experience” is also very important to us. In order to simultaneously grow the number of game experiencers and reliably maintain the quality of the experience they are getting, it is indispensable for us to work with professional facilitators, people who regularly charge for their facilitation work. Put another way, this aim cannot be reached with facilitators who have insufficient commitment and skill. At one point in the past, something happened that galvanized our decision: although the game itself is outstanding, some facilitators were offering the game events free of charge. While in itself, this is a nice concept, the quality of the experience dropped, halting the spread of the game despite its intrinsic value. This is why we charge fairly high fees for our facilitator training program: basically, we have set it up so that non-professional facilitators cannot afford to take the course. Meanwhile, if the events held by those facilitators do not earn more than a certain level of income, or they are being used in schools for educational purposes, they do not have to pay user fees for the game events. It is not that we believe that all valuable activities involve money. In fact, in our view, it is the monetization of everything that has contributed to creating the failure of the current global system. While making use of the power of money, we do not want to be at the effect of money; therefore, our aim is to take a balanced approach. What approach is best will probably change a great deal moving forward, based on how our own values and the collective consciousness and the social systems change. The important thing for us is that in order to transform the world into its next stage, we believe it is crucial for the structure supporting the use of this 2030 SDGs Game to be a model of transformation as well.

To deliver the game experience all over the world to people who need it

We are pleased to report that we are receiving inquiries about the game from countries and regions in all over the world. Indeed, 2030 SDGs Game events have now been were held in the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Thailand, Australia and others to high acclaim. On the other hand, it has now become difficult for us to respond to these ever-growing demands. We are currently exploring how we can support this game experience to be offered everywhere it is needed. Considering the nature of the topic of the SDGs themselves, in our view the 2030 SDGs Game does not work with the standard business models to profit from the gap between those who have and have not, or know and know not, such as copyrights and patents. And by saying “the 2030 SDGs game does not work with the standard business models,” we do not mean that it cannot generate a profit or that the model doesn’t work, but rather that this approach would conflict with the very essence of the SDGs. In that sense, we are exploring the possibility of donating everything we have now, including the copyright, to an organization or people who are the best fit for developing and spreading the game to the world. Or, for example, establishing a global NGO and entrusting the game to that organization. At the same time, rather than reject the power of problematic systems such as money or business, we believe there is a need to maintain a sense of balance in our operations, moving forward while including these systems. Concrete movement toward that vision has already begun; it is my hope to co-create this path with like-minded people from all over the world.

Members

Takeo Inamura

Takeo Inamura
Takeo started his business career in 1999. He has a wide range of experience, including launching start-up companies and international subsidiaries. In 2012, he joined Doors Co., Ltd. as Executive Vice President and COO, where he was engaged in the creation of innovative talent development methods. His contribution includes the international training program by Doors which won the Best Professional Award by Japan’s Human Resourse Department (Nihon no Jinji Bu). Through the experience of facilitating business similation games, Takeo realized the power of positive approach that uses games as a tool. Thus, in 2015, he established Imacocollabo with his belief that the ‘game x positive approach’ can be enormously effective for the social systems, which has been his main interest since his 20s.

Takeshi Muranaka

Takeshi Muranaka
Takeshi joined IBM Japan as a new graduate. After his career of IT engineer and project management experience, he received the best performer of the year due to the success of intra venture business in IBM business consulting services. He also worked globally such in England and China where he managed 1000+ Chinese. Although he made a lot of achievements and expected to be an executive, he didn’t feel anybody could be happy in the short range of goal achievement cycle and excessive capitalism of shareholder supremacy. he decided to leave IBM to create new type of management, organization and society beyond. In 2013, he co-founded Co-Creation Creators LLC with a vision “Create the real world that we dream of from individual consciousness change” and gave a leadership training and consciousness change workshop to managers in corporations. In 2016, he co-founded Imacocollabo to promote individual consciousness change and social change through the 2030 SDGs game. Messages: I believe “We can achieve the SDGs starting with a 15-foot radius around us. Social reform starts from a transformation of consciousness of each of us.” I really hope that the 2030 SDGs game can be reached and played by ones who want to start with a 15-foot radius around them. But don’t too be serious. The 2030 SDGs game is just fun. Fun is a good tool to make us move forward lightly. Let’s work together for a better world with FUN.

Skip Swanson

Skip Swanson
After 25 years of finding and bringing the best transformational and evolutionary tools and practices in the world to Japan, to have this opportunity to bring this unique and transformative experience from Japan to the world seems both fitting and timely. Fitting that such a game would come from a country that has been inspiring the world through games for decades, and timely, as humanity faces daunting real-world challenges that we need to face for the sake of our species’ future. Over those 25 years, I found myself constantly in the role of bridge builder: bridging cultures and paradigms as a multilingual entrepreneur, an English-Japanese interpreter, a social activist, a cross-cultural trainer, and as a personal growth professional and transformational coach. One of the most daunting and rewarding bridges that I have ever experienced, however, is between the possible and the actual. That is the territory of the SDGs. That experience has taught me that there is a delicate tightrope walk between lighthearted play and serious facing of reality; this is not easy territory to navigate. In the 2030 SDGs Game, I see a tool that helps us explore that territory, inspiring a sense of engagement and connectedness, and reminding us that we can all make a difference—the ingredients of all of humanity’s future success scenarios.

Nathaniel Whitestone

Nate
My life’s purpose is to support the global transition from a society of toxic power to one where being powerful means benefiting others and helping them become powerful as well. I do that through learning, play, and the cultivation of integrity. I was the youngest co-founder of the Ecovillage Network of the Americas. I have worked as an ethical investor, a coach & facilitator for an agile software development team, and as a computer game designer. I have trained and coached business leaders in Africa, South- and East Asia, South- and North America, Oceania, and Europe. I am a certified life coach, facilitator, and sociocratic expert. I currently help people create cohousing and ethical businesses with A Fairer Society. The 2030 SDGs Game is a perfect opportunity for me to serve my life purpose and build a better world.

David Nevin

David
I’m a global leadership development specialist and I help individuals and organizations transition into new cultural contexts and manage conflict. I work mainly in Japan and the APAC region as a consultant, executive coach, professional facilitator and trainer. My mission is to help global leaders evolve in order to promote sustainable social and economic development.

Ryoko Homma

Ryoko
Professional Life Coach, Certified NLP Trainer Associate, Project Manager and Global Coordinator of 2030 SDGs Card Game Project. 20 years experience in leadership and management in the financial industry. Eager to bring this game to Africa.