The Transition Game
The transition game is an adapted version of "Le jeu de la transition" developed by the French Think Tank FING (Fondation Internet Nouvelle Génération) . Operating in a defence environment, we had to limit a little bit the horizon of the possible futures, not that those may not happen, but because some decisions, mostly regarding procurement, are kind of limiting them.
What really motivated us to use and adapt this methodology is the fact that you start with the present. This argument, that might seem obvious at first sight (but is not), allows you to capture the attention of the participants immediately as the situations are the one they live today and the process should illuminate possible challenges or situations they will or might face tomorrow.
We hope to have kept the spirit of the game as we created an Excel version of the process! This will help the moderator to take notes of the different discussions, order the outputs according to the importance and provide an automatically generated summary of the workshop to support the storytelling final part.
This version of the transition game was originally prepared for the DEFTECH workshop of May 8th 2019 "The future soldier: digital and enhanced?".
The following people made this possible: Mrs. Mariella Biegeler, Dr. Sibylle Lang, Mr. Philipp Klüfers, Mr. Pascal van Overloop, Mr. Felix Gläser from IABG.
It was an honor to count on Mr. Daniel Kaplan, creator of the original "Le jeu de la transition" and co-founder of the Plurality University Network.
The Excel Transition Game
ImportantTo adapt the Excel tool to your topic, use the last sheet called "lists" to adapt the different definitions and lists. The various texts will then be automatically propagated in the different sheets.
Only the last section of every sheet (with numbers and priority rating) are supposed to be filled directly - as result of the group work - in each sheet.
Some practical remarks out of experience
- We had a good experience with groups of 7-10 individuals.
Having more, you start to have individuals focusing on other tasks (mostly on their mobile phone). Having less, the outcome might reflect too strongly the view of a person.
- We find that 4 hours is a minimum time to invest if you want to start having "non-obvious" solutions.
Never forget people like to debate, that if you work in groups, just presenting yourself and knowing your neighbours will require some precious, but normally well invested minutes
- Define what the present situation is. Do not let the group do it.
We are interested in the future, not too much about the Present (for that exercise!). As everybody might see the Present from a different angle, having to compromise for a common vision might take hours, or far more!
Please remember... this is the way and process we followed... nothing more, nothings less... if you have other experiences, we would be more than happy to hear about them and to share the best practices!
Do not hesitate to get in touch!
It is up to you to decide how do you want to communicate the different outputs of such a workshop. Rather that releasing the various stories in a text format, we decided to create a comics out of it.
By doing so, you do not only create a pleasant way to transfer the information, but having to design the complete story, you allow the reader to visualise a first materialisation of a possible future, or in that case, of all the futures combined together. The new systems get a form and are not only words; they evolve in a depicted environment.
Realistic or not; pleasant or threatning; we have now a starting point to our iterations!
... But this was our choice... what it yours?