Running the world with SDG2030

2nd August 2019

We all know London is the epicentre of quirky events, so it didn’t take long for me to find one on the theme of sustainability. May I present: The SDGs 2030 game.

For the record, games are to me what (vegan) cheese is to crackers. Worth noting if you ever want to be my new best friend, have an alternative meeting, or are looking for someone who can conquer Obama Llama in eleven minutes flat.

The SDGs 2030 Game was created in Japan, drawing inspiration from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. It’s an engaging, multiplayer simulation in which a group of people must balance the world’s economic, environmental and social systems whilst fulfilling their own unique goals. In this microcosm, we’re all acting as leaders of giant corporations dealing in time, money and assets to achieve our purpose.

I’m sure many of us have had a fantasy about running the world for the better, if only we had the power to do so. This fictional game may have the entertainment factor of ruling the world, however the clear moral subtext was never far from any of the players minds.

The game is split into two parts with a session of discussion at the end of each. We play, we win or lose and then we talk about the reasoning behind our choices.

Above all else, the most refreshing element was hearing everyone’s true desperation to save the world and throw their own ability to ‘win’ the game out of the window - an attitude that needs to be taken-up more in the real world.

What insights can I share from the experience?

First off, the game attracts a myriad of people, all united through a shared goal to fight for sustainability and create a fairer world which lasts. Each player came to the evening through a distinctive path and everyone’s background was totally different - a GP, food technician, recruiter, life coach - you get the idea. The chaps who facilitated our game have dedicated their heart and soul into this, and we recommend learning more about them if your tea hasn’t gone cold yet.

Second, although there were a number of learnings from our unique game (because every game plays out differently), the overall message that stood out to us all was the importance of true collaboration and offering your unneeded resources to assist others. It seems obvious right? But if you think about a company that sets sales targets (as many do), what happens when you hit those targets? When you have essentially said “yes, that’s enough”? You don’t stop there do you? No, those targets then get raised. But imagine if you set a target which meant everyone’s bills were paid, everyone was secure and successful, but that any money made after that point was given to someone that really needed it. That’s just one scenario, but it does highlight the way we think business has to be done compared to how things could be, if we changed them.

All in all, the experience was a real mind-opener to challenge our cognitive thinking in regards to sustainability from both a moral and a business perspective. I would certainly recommend it to anyone that has a friend/colleague/client that could do with a first-hand experience to help them to come to terms with the reality of our world today. It’s suitable for anybody no matter their knowledge of the sustainable development goals, and a fantastic method of immersive application to what they teach and stand for in our modern world.

Win or lose, you’ll come away with something important to think about.