How do you inspire policymakers to create innovative global transportation policy? Through play! In Spring 2015, we designed an interactive experience in multiple cities around the world, using public transit as the gameboard. Hundreds of transportation experts took part in a transportation-themed game played in Istanbul, Bangkok and DC simultaneously. The results were both hilarious and profound.
Have you ever seen policymakers do the funky chicken in the metro? Or coordinate The Wave on a vintage tram? Or write love letters to rickshaw drivers? Before this game, we hadn’t either. But two hours of gaming around the world produced some epic moments of creativity, problem-solving, discovery & delight.
Working closely with the client’s source materials, we designed a game that would bring key policy concepts to life. The game was built to collect public insights and cultivate memorable learning moments with special emphasis on urban planning, geospatial tools, social welfare, risk management, & cultural heritage protection.
In the course of the game, players traveled throughout their respective cities using local public transportation. They interviewed commuters, assessed disaster preparedness strategies, analyzed accessibility, solved puzzles and developed new ideas. Their tasks ranged from simple to complex, and touched on issues related to social inclusion, community resilience, civic engagement and government accountability.
The purpose of this game was to take theories OFF the whiteboard, and put them directly INTO the urban environment. And it worked! The experience was educational, engrossing, and wildly entertaining.
Players learned how to build sustainable and resilient communities across rural and urban areas, engage citizens, enhance social inclusion, and boost shared prosperity through visionary public transportation policy.
This game also provided a space for international teams to learn from each other, to celebrate innovation champions and provide practical tools that built a sense of community around a common vision.
“This was an unprecedented policy-driven global adventure with impressive results. We hope to see more global leaders use play as a tool for innovation in the future!”