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Solving Complex Issues Through Play

Global risk issues impact all of humanity and life on earth with climate change being the most pressing in terms of food, economic security, and biodiversity. Top global risks have been reported out most notably by the Global Challenges Foundation,  and the World Economic Forum. Governments and international institutions have proven to be ill-equipped to take collective action placing citizens, business and philanthropists in a better position to pool their initiative and resources to work together. The issues are complex and currently being approached using linear thinking which ignores the character of complex embodied by our planet and company cultures.

By thinking differently, matching action to the character of systems, we can collectively level up human decision-making consciousness to collection action. It will not happen solely by applying cognitive power. If so, there would no longer be child poverty, ecological degradation or global risks. To tackle these problems means digging deeper into human potential and the human spirit combined with complexity principles to draw out and apply the kind of deep creative talent that is only accessible when confronted by adversity. 

Transcendence: “the ability to rise and go beyond” 

Neither our violence nor our transcendence is a moral or ethical matter of religion, but rather an issue of biology. We actually contain a built-in ability to rise above restriction, incapacity, or limitation and, as a result of this ability, possess a vital adaptive spirit that we have not yet fully accessed. While this ability can lead us to transcendence, paradoxically it can lead also to violence, our longing for transcendence arises from our intuitive sensing of this adaptive potential and our violence arises from our failure to develop it.– Biology of Transcendence, Joseph Chilton Pearce

How? The Global Action Network

By combining game design and tech innovations with local to globally inspired task actions on a platform that encourages cross-collaboration, I believe we can make quantum jumps in our capacity to respond to adverse conditions in a much healthier way.

By providing a place for genuine connection and recognition for each other, plus drawing on an element of playful competition, and tracking through the evolving grassroots narrative and, at a systemic level, the overall improvement in a Nation’s health, we can demonstrate how eco-thinking creates a butterfly effect benefiting all Life on this great planet. 

Climate Change seems like a good place to start. Psychologically, most governments are inhibited by a limited level of decision-making consciousness immune to facts and indirect effects. Citizens will feel victims of inaction unless they can become a part of it. Business and the economy are also victims unless action is taken. Because the issue is gnarly and complex there is a temptation to hand off responsibility to everyone else. Bold leadership can emerge from collective action. 

It is estimated that by 2021 there will be 2.73 billion video gamers all escaping reality. We know games develop skills through constraints. Jane McGonigal documented that in Reality is Broken. We also know that 360 live action instills empathy. What if we co-designed reality to bridge the gap in the evolution of consciousness as we morph from linear to eco-design oriented mindset

Ingredients for Global Action Network Initiative:

  • Bring the abstract into sharp concrete focus. We have climate refugees now. Document their story. Start with their leaders. Use the earth science data we have to show forecasts through Augmented Reality applications like engineering company BGC has doneVulcan Inc. has also applied their tech to work on a number of big issues, including biodiversity.
  • Use leverage point actions. Identifying actions that will ripple through the system of interactions and great wider benefit rely on refined cognition.   Leverage actions exist for climate change. These become the challenges placed as tasks. Quests in game lingo. 
  • Design the game interaction on transparency, commitment to the community and on restoring the human spirit: a sense of control, igniting initiative and generating a positive outlook on life. Offer a place for kudos, rewards both monetary and symbolic.
  • Include multiple feedback loops to constantly restore energy invested. Short term to keep the energy ignited and longer term to track the wider system impacts of actions underway. offers the big picture. Local and regional narrative recorded and shared on the platform adds another layer. 
  • Link self-leadership to the fortunes of nations and the planet’s resilience. Incorporate indigenous wisdom and the beauty of respect for nature from eastern traditions. The story of the cave rescue in Thailand is an example. 
  • Provide a skills centre in the experience where players can learn mindfulness, consciousness shifting skills, decision-making awareness and insights on transforming through adversity. 
  • Offer rewards like trips short video clips to take players viscerally into local to global challenges like child sex slavery. Provide 360 empathic experiences which put texture and meaning to the issue merging heart and mind to the decisions and actions.  

Yes, it is bold and ambitious, but it is also doable. It is a start to instigating a biosphere consciousness grounded in compassion and care for a better world.  By merging what is known about neuroscience, the biology of human transcendence, with systems thinking and game science, the best of humanity can emerge along with a redefined relationship with the earth.

Ultimately, we must open our hearts and minds to see the world as an interconnected, inter-related series of interactions, and connections. To restore care and compassion. Einstein said it well:  “Our task must be to free ourselves … by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Please contact Dawna Jones if you are drawn to co-create a better version of the emerging reality. dawna at frominsighttoaction dot com

For further reading on why human evolution seems to be peddling backward see Are Sacred Cows Blocking Evolution? by Ervin Laszlo.  Part 2 is here.