Thursday, May 07, 2015
I am a fan of podcasts and I recently came across aninterview with John Hunter, creator of the World Peace game, on the TED Radio Hour. Hunter teaches the concept of peace not as a utopian dream but as an attainable goal to strive for, and he provides his students with the tools for this effort. The children learn to cooperate and communicate with each other as they work to resolve the Game’s conflicts. Most importantly, the students discover that they share a deep and abiding interest in taking care of each other. The goal of this game, is that everyone has to win, or no one wins. Does this scenario sound familiar?
Comments from the Students
“One of the things I learned from this game is that other people matter, in this game one person can’t win, everyone has to win and I think that taught me alot about cooperating with other people, being generous and having an attitude, if that, you work together you can achieve anything”
“Mr Hunter, he is a brain stretcher, my brain when I come from his classroom, just feels big and empty, if I just shake my head around I can feel it swishing…jelly”
“My brain when I come back from his class, it feels like its just learned so much”
Comments by John Hunter
“I hope that they never need me again, that I put myself out of job, that everything they could of gotten from this experience, from me, from my influence or whatever it might have been, and they take away every tool, every creative thinking tool, every critical thinking tool and they can solve any problem, they can deal with anything”
“When I look at things like the game and what happened with these kids, as I said to them today, if just one of you is in a position to leverage something good for the world, if one of you is in that kind of position, that could make all the difference. And if you picked up a tool from this game, a thinking tool or a critical thinking skill that helps you do that, you may save us all, and that is what I am naively hoping might happen”
About the Game
The World Peace Game is about 28 years old and usually involves 25-30 students. It is a hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war. The goal of the game is to extricate each country from dangerous circumstances and achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention. As “nation teams,” students will gain greater understanding of the critical impact of information and how it is used.
As their teams venture further into this interactive social setting laced with highly charged philosophical issues, the skills needed to identify ambiguity and bias in the information they receive will be enhanced and more specifically they will rapidly perceive that reactive behavior not only provokes antagonism, it can leave them alone and isolated in the face of powerful enemies. Beliefs and values will evolve or completely unravel as they begin to experience the positive impact and windows of opportunity that emerge through effective cooperation and refined communication.
In essence, as meaning is constructed out of chaos and new creative solutions are proposed, the World Peace Game players will learn to live and work comfortably at the frontiers of the unknown.
“In view of all the crisis being solved, and in view of everyone’s asset value being over 100 billion, I hereby declare this world peace game won!!!”
…declared a 4th grade girl standing on a table, in the middle of the classroom, surrounded by her class mates. This was immediately followed by squeals of joy and happy pandemonium broke out.
I long to hear these words and if they happen to be said by a 4th grader I am ok with this, as long as they are said after winning the ‘real’ game.
Let us pray those that have played the game, that have the skills and know the importance of cooperating, find the leverage required to ‘save the world’, for the happiness of all beings, for the benefit of all beings.
And a small plug for what Zenergy Global teaches.
We teach people how to cooperate. We teach facilitators in the methodology, framework and tools that will support cooperation. If you need any help with this, please contact us.