The Futures Game is an innovative new regional and community-planning tool that engages communities and organizations in a debate about their future together.
The board games are available in four different regions around the world: the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest USA, the Western Australian Wheatbelt, and The ‘Rez’.
There were two tables of players actively participating in this game on Thursday evening. This reporter sat in with Jean Nelson, Linda Miller, Sharon Chaytor, and Rob Taylor. Their board represented the Western Australian Wheatbelt. They had been presented with two choices: 1) receive a large sum of money but local schools and hospitals will close and services centralized to the larger center; or 2) decline the funds, keep local services and meet with local people to discuss options.
As the game progresses and decisions are made, the teams receive new maps showing how their decisions impact regional land use and condition, town populations and services, and the economy.
The game has five stages represented by the years 2010, 2012, 2015, 2020 and 2030. At the end of the game, 2030, each team has charted a course for the future, which reflects the choices made along the way.
Communities can use the game to assess where they are now and where they would like to be in 20 years time. Community members can then begin to explore the steps necessary to achieve their preferred future.
The Futures Game is an excellent tool for individuals, organizations, and communities to explore decision making, and to better understand their own leadership and decision making styles.