Reflecting on FutureCityGame in one of the world’s oldest cities.

Tomorrow I will be giving a presentation on FutureCityGame at the inaugural Gaming Forum in Athens. In the preparation for this I have had a chance to reflect what were the key elements for successful the Future City Games. There are many reasons why the game has been successful, not least the strong partner organisations, like Centre for Local Economic Strategies (full disclosure: I am a CLES board member) and Architecture + Design Scotland but also DODO in Finland and CKPZ in Czech Republic.

Preparation
The start up pack for Future City Game which explains how to plan a game, which stakeholders to involve, how to recruit players for the team – the game is not just one or two days but takes place at least 3 months before and 1 month after the actual event. The Start up manual is one of the key elements of FutureCityGame’s success can be downloaded from here

Diversity in the teams – a cornerstone in any innovation process is to get as diverse experiences as possible together.

Practitioners as external advisers Practitioners who work with city issues on a daily basis can provide the teams with indispensable support in building a strong business case around their idea. The teams decide when and how to consult the experts. To give the experts, or practitioners as we prefer to call them, a stake in the ideas, we sometimes allow them to be part of the voting process at the end of the game.

Real world testing
In addition to talking to practitioners, the teams are given almost half a day to test their idea.

The fun factor and the gaming element
The GamesMaster and often co-GamesMasters have a key role in ensuring that the dynamics in the teams flow. Sometimes we have small competitions during the steps. Our experience is that professionals and amateurs forget their place in hierarchies when they are in a team together and under pressure to do better than other teams. While we encourage people to create a friendly atmosphere it is important for us that people in teams do not feel intimidated by fellow team members.

You can read more about FutureCityGame here:

FutureCityGame was developed by British Council in partnership with Centre for Local Economic Strategies and URBIS.

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