The Game

The Game is an engaging, informative scenarios thinking tool to enable decision-makers in local and national government, emergency planners, senior leaders in the food sector, university researchers and other policy influencers to better understand existing and emerging risks to our food supplies, and to explore what resilience means for their communities.

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Players have to:

  • Decide on social and economic trade-offs in a complex system
  • Quickly understand the magnitude of the task in supplying sufficient, safe, nutritious food in a fair and equitable way
  • Recognise and assess emerging supply threats, and take action to avert them or mitigate their impact

The Alumni Community
Players are invited to join our growing alumni community. This offers unique networking opportunities as their collective experience is diverse, coming from across the food sector, academia and socio-political decision-making.

Even more importantly, over the coming months and beyond, we will be exploring the potential of this community as an authoritative lever for change in the socio-political landscape.

 

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Our latest assessments
The 21st century challenges we’re facing are radically different from any that humanity has experienced in all our recorded history. This begs two questions: How many people can the Earth support? And how are we going to get there?

See also our one-pager ‘note’ for the National Preparedness Commission regarding resilience to food shocks, submitted to Professor Tim Lang in November 2023.

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Within a month of  The Game run at the Warwick Crop Centre in June 2023, some of the worst fears of the damage climate breakdown will wreak on food supplies were already being felt. This was reflected in our report about this event: UK food security in the Anthropocene.

As the report concludes, we need to listen to scientists — and to ethicists, too.

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On the subject of ethics, see also this article about the Leadership Matters event at Aston Business School on 23rd November 2023, where I was privileged to be on the panel.

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About our 2020-22 assessment of what we could be facing . . .
See:

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The second iteration of The Game took took place during the pandemic . . .
Just before the first UK lockdown in March 2020, first iteration Players called to say The Game is playing out in front of our eyes. We’re in it, aren’t we! (see our Covid-19 Commentary series of posts).

Three months later, in June 2020, we began to develop a version of The Game to explore with them, and others from deep within the food supply system, how the UK food supply system could be better prepared for future system shocks; see this Future System Shocks series of posts and this Report: One Scenario: Buffer contingency food stocks.

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The origins  of The Game
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 at that time.

We were sufficiently concerned that no-one in national government appeared to grasp the challenges ahead. We therefore decided to devise The Game.

We ran several pilots through 2018, culminating in delivering The Game to over 30 Players from different organisations and professional background, each person contributing to one of five Games run simultaneously.

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