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Thursday, August 16 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Fixing Broke(n) Governments Through Serious Games: Luke Hohmann

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It’s no secret. We’re broke. Local, state and federal governments around the world are all facing budget shortfalls, spending cuts and reduced services. All of us — ordinary citizens, elected officials, civic and community leaders — know that we must make dramatic changes to solve these crises, and yet governments remain gridlocked. How do we move beyond this impasse? How do we create an approach to budgeting that is both participatory and scalable? The answer lies in the serious games pioneered by the Agile Community. In this interactive lecture, participants will learn to conduct in-person and online games built specifically for resolving multi-dimensional budget problems. These games are based on games that have been played for years in the Agile Community. In this session, however, we'll demonstrate that by challenging our own definitions of leadership, we can demonstrate that practices common in many Agile teams can have a massive impact. We will detail the Budget Games played in San Jose, CA, on Jan. 29, 2011 and Jan 21, 2011. In both sessions more than 100 community leaders collaboratively re-crafted the city’s proposed budget. Because the games, which were graciously facilitated pro-bono by many members of the Agile Community, generated actionable consensus, San Jose officials were able to act on the game’s results with more confidence than traditional polling. In the workshop, participants will learn how to run a budget game in their own community and help refine both the in-person and online game prototypes. Brief overview of our process and results from January 2011 (the Jan 2012 games have not been completed): 1. The San Jose Mayor’s office created a list of 18 funding proposals that community leaders could purchase using the basic game structure of the Innovation Game® _Buy a Feature_. The total cost of these items was $14,000,000. The list of items that we used in this game can be found here: [funding proposals](http://innovationgames.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/fundingproposals.pdf). 2. Community leaders organized into groups of between 7 and 9 players, with 8 players / game as the most common configuration. Each player was given $200,000 to purchase items they wanted. This was a very constrained game, and Community leaders quickly determined that they couldn’t buy much. 3. The Mayor’s office created a second list of budget cuts that the Community leaders could select through unanimous agreement to get more money. This list of potential budget cuts we used in this game can be found here: [reduction proposals](http://innovationgames.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/reductionproposals.pdf). 4. The pricing and structure of items on either list cannot be adjusted (this is a standard rule for _Buy a Feature_ games). 5. One Innovation Games® Trained Facilitator and One Innovation Games® Trained Observer managed each group to minimize researcher bias and record key aspects of the negotiations. 6. The game was played for 90 minutes. 7. There was no requirement that any items were purchased or cut. The community leaders were in complete control of their virtual money. 8. We prepared a [final report}(http://innovationgames.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/BidsOnly-Raw-Game-Data.pdf) that allowed City leaders to take action. An even more thorough review of the event results can be found [here](http://innovationgames.com/2011/02/san-jose-ca-community-leaders-budget-games-results/).


Thursday August 16, 2012 9:00am - 10:30am CDT
Texas 3