Hello, my name is Takeo Inamura; I’m a 43-year old Japanese man.
Rather than introduce our work in a conventional way, allow me to tell you how this game got started.
In the beginning
It all started in February 2016 when a friend and I co-created the 2030 SDGs Game. (My friend’s name is Nobuhide Fukui; we have known each other since university. His genius is designing games as part of corporate trainings; for example, one of the trainings he developed is used by Toyota in their hiring process. He has designed 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 (everyone calls him Mura-san).
The word “Imacocollabo” is a blend of several words: Ima, which means “now” (rather than someday), and coco means “here” (rather than 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 people 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.”
We 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 various 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:
- Getting the game to the greatest number of people without sacrificing quality
- 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.
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 a 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 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 staff. 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 held leadership trainings and consciousness change workshops for managers in corporations. In 2016, he co-founded Imacocollabo to promote individual consciousness transformation 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 while having fun.
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.
Joel Mitchell’s Midwestern US youth was singing and music, stars, birds, the natural world, dreams, myth and also yoga, meditation, Chi Gong and even bio-feedback long before these became mainstream. While completing professional performance studies in NYC, he worked for two international banks before moving to Paris in 1990 to begin his world citizen adventure.
Appearing as singing actor in opera, concerts, theater and film, Joel is now blessed with colleagues and friends in all the European capitals.
Traveling to Japan and China, Joel developed educational programs for international business schools,networking students, alumni and faculty with business leaders,entrepreneurs, government and cultural institutions,and facilitating Paul Hawken’s WiserEarth.org (social network for sustainability) adaptation into Chinese.
Inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s vision of a world that works for everyone, Joel masterminded a series of community events in Tokyo (2014) around the commitments and vision of Lynne Twist, global activist, and her Pachamama Alliance and Soul of Money Institute.
Today Joel facilitates authentic dialogue with individuals, teams and institutions, helping them hear the essence of their true calling, and letting that move them into inspired action.
Aya Matsuyama (Lawrie)
Aya Matsuyama (PhD) is a Darwin-based coordinator and certified facilitator of Imacocollabo Global Team.
The team is reaching out to the world with the 2030 SDGs Game to transform our world and ourselves. She is an advocate of meaningful learning through experience; therefore, believes in the potential of the game to bring transformation to ourselves and the world.
She has gained a great variety of work and cross-cultural experiences, starting with working as an engineer designing inspection devices for nuclear power plants in Japan and U.S, an environmental scientist working with Aboriginal communities in Australia to develop groundwater maps, a lecturer/teacher/facilitator at all levels of education.
She also works as a consultant providing her experience to support a few philosophy-driven social enterprises.
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.
My motto, “Live Life Vividly,” symbolizes my energy and my intention to live with passion. I believe every individual has the ability to make a positive impact in our society. The 2030 SDGs Game is a transformational experience that led me to become a social entrepreneur and found my company iNNOVGoals – a company with a social mission to innovate sustainable activities for the Global Goals.
A Chinese-Canadian currently based in Hong Kong, I am an active member of the Junior Chamber International (JCI), an international non-profit youth leadership organization, and served as 2015 JCI UN Affairs Commission Committee and attended the summit at UN Headquarters in New York. I was also Executive Manager of sustainable education programs and events at UNESCO Hong Kong Association. In recent years, I have helped local organizations to develop SDGs training for primary and middle school students. As a certified game facilitator, I aim to engage people of all ages and backgrounds. Simulation gameplay arouses awareness to create collective action together for a better world. As a public relations specialist with over 10 years of experience, I am also focusing on developing the brand and promoting the 2030 SDGs Game worldwide.
I’ve lived and worked in several countries but have called Hong Kong home for the past 20 years. I have passion to share my Kiwi culture with others around the world by exemplifying the Kiwi-way into performance consulting, learning experience design, coaching, facilitation and community building that offers change agents and learning professionals a kinder way of achieving results.