Strategic games—where individuals act in response to a simulated scenario—allow real-life leaders to “live strategy” and flesh out the unknown and unimaginable in a risk-free setting. In the process, players identify what works and what doesn’t—unconstrained by fear of expensive, or even dangerous, mistakes.
In Food Chain Reaction, leaders representing nations and regions, businesses and international organizations came together to play their way to a more food-secure future. Here’s a few thoughts from our participants on the game and why playing it was so important.
“I learned the world can get it right. When we are faced with big challenges, we come up with bigger solutions. The simulation showed us we really need to get ahead of the curve.”
– Adebisi Araba, Harvard University | Team: Africa
“I wanted to understand if there was any takeaways or lessons in terms of dynamics of how you can better influence these types of decision making trajectories.”
– Paula Caballero, World Bank | Team: Multilateral Institutions
“No one region is isolated… we need to come together to find solutions to these global problems.”
– Cassia Carvalho, Brazil-U.S. Business Council | Team Brazil
“Sometimes just getting into a space where you are talking to each other might help ease a variety of situations.”
– Partha Mukhopadhyay, Centre for Policy Research | Team: India
“There is always a business as usual… mentality. So there is a hope that a [fictional] crisis will create the ability for us to do things better and reconfigure the world in a better way.”
– Professor Tim Benton, University of Leeds | Team: European Union
“I really want the global food system to work well and this exercise is giving us a chance to think about how it might operate under stress.”
– Daniel Pearson, U.S. International Trade Commission | Team: United States
“With the game environment, you get perspectives from all the different constituency groups that you don’t get every day. It just gave us a perceptive of how we all need to be working together if we are going to solve this challenge.”
– Joe Stone, Cargill | Team: Businesses and Industry