On the 13th of July, Gareth Priday, Bridgette Engeler Newbury and I got a chance to finally test the Futures Action Model game that Gareth had designed back in feb 2016.

We beat the drums and invited as many people as we could through the FuturesLab meetup.com group and word of mouth. While I only anticipated about a dozen people, in all we had 22 people and a full house!


Game night at Swinburne University’s Design Factory

I did a short general intro to FuturesLab and then explained FAM levels and (drawing on Conklin) the problem to solution ping pong that happens when people engage in problem solving, and how this apples to FAM and future-oriented design. Gareth then jumped into the FAM game rules and game process, and began to run the game.

The game was set up with a issue topic or research question, which is important for FAM. There needs to be a focus to guide the inquiry. Gareth prepared news cuttings on homelessness in Melbourne prepared news cuttings on homelessness in Melbourne, a problem on the rise.

The game lasted for about 90 minutes, or course longer than we had anticipated.

Each of the groups were tasked with personifying an inquiry level, and exploring homelessness from that perspectives. Then each group had a chance to engage with one other group to find out what that other group came up with, and then went back into their own groups to further refine their thinking. This happened there times in a round robin fashion until each of the four groups had a chance to engage with each other group. Finally, each group was tasked with offering a solution based on their perspectives.


The ‘Emerging Futures’ group interfacing with the ‘Core Model’ group. 

Toward the end Gareth facilitated a process where each group presented their findings, and then everyone reflected on how the game worked, what worked and what didn’t and what ideas for improvements people had.

FAM review audio link 1FAM review audio link 2 (apologies for the poor quality – I was using my phone)

Many thanks to all the participants for experimenting with us, many thanks to Bridgette Engeler Newbury for hosting the event and finally to Gareth for his great facilitation and design of a game.

The next post will consider the key learnings and will propose what would be changed and added/subtracted… the “evolve” stage.




Published by jramos

José Ramos is a researcher, writer and advocate for commons-based social change. He focuses on such areas as future political economy, planetary stewardship, innovations in democracy and governance, the conjunction of foresight and action research, and transformative social innovation.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: