The Game: Nine meals from anarchy?

In January 2018, we published our horizon scanning project report Back from the future. It highlighted the scale and urgency of the threats on our food supply system, and exposed the inability and/or lack of capacity within governments and other institutions to respond.

Throughout 2018, we’ve been developing and piloting a scenarios-cum-war-game.

Its purpose is to strengthen the understanding of strategists in local and national government, and senior leaders in the food sector, about the threats to our food system system, and possible response to them.


The Game
is played in groups of 4-6 Players. They can either play as a solo team, or with more groups who play either collaboratively or in competition with each other.

The Game has three rounds. The first takes place today, the second a mid-term future (five years’ time) and the third and final one a longer term future (tne years’ time).

All of the elements in the first round are data from reputable cited sources or events that have happened in the previous few months. We have a bank of foresight data and possible events for the future, again from reputable cited sources.

The Players are in charge of a city. It is their responsibility to make decisions and undertake actions to protect their citizens’ access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food.

Our team (or one from the client organisation) represents the dark forces threatening a city’s food network — climate change, resource depletion and population pressures and, if a client requests it, some of the responses to and mitigators of these forces.

The Game as a scenarios workshop
We have a variety of ways we can play The Game, and a bank of relevant data and events. We prefer to work in collaboration with a client to co-develop:

  • The storylines and scenarios which would benefit their organisation the most, in terms of content and in terms of the placing of The Game along a pessimistic-optimistic continuum.
  • The facilitation of the Players’ review of The Game, to include their emotional responses to playing it, and how the content and their responses to it are relevant to the work of the client organisation and the wider society.

The Birmingham Food Council is a Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales number 8931789
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