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Come play with us! Empathy Building via Serious Play

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Open Strategy Partners
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Director of Innovation
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Open Strategy Partners
Experience level
2 hours (workshop)
3.05 radon
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We've created a cooperative, empathy-building board game, that draws on ideas from Serious Play and cross-cultural movements like DevOps. Come play Rhino Rescue with us!


It doesn't matter how smart your strategy or technology might be if you're not working with people who trust each other and collaborate. Developer teams and business teams, for example, don't always understand each other. A lack of empathy can lead to poor communication and a culture of mistrust, blame, and lack of respect. This, despite their best intentions, prevents individuals, teams, and organizations from realizing their visions and delivering the value to their customers and stakeholders.

Solving these problems helps build strong, productive organizations. Communication techniques and technical frameworks can all help bridge the gaps and build empathy, trust, and great teams and products.

“You and your animal friends have left the safety of your sanctuary to help save last white rhino …” In this workshop, we’ll be play-testing “Rhino Rescue,” a cooperative, empathy-building board game we’ve been working on that draws on ideas from Serious Play and cross-cultural movements like DevOps. Players need to work together to cross the game board and reunite with their partners back in the sanctuary.

Come play Rhino Rescue with us! We’d like your help and contribution in crafting an experience that reflects and reinforces the ideals we’ve set forth. You can expect gameplay sessions to last about 45 minutes. We’ll take a break between the two sessions.

Workshop Outline:

  1. Introduce project background and concepts

  2. Discuss our goals and why spreading empathy across technology and business communities is important to us

  3. Play round 1 of Rhino Rescue

  4. Discuss the game, gather input, insights, feedback

  5. Play round 2 - same game, different teams.

  6. Discuss the second round, gather additional input, insights, feedback

  7. Wrap up, conclusions, feedback

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