• Radical Plays

    Change up your workshops with

    new types of games designed by

    futurists and activists


    Melbourne, Australia

    24 & 25 July 2019

  • About

    What is the workshop about?

    This is a two-day workshop on using game design (and play) to tackle organisation and community challenges.


    This workshop is very hands-on – a combination of playing different types of games and discussing with peers how to adapt them to different challenges. You will walk away with new activities, resources and a summary of all the games in the workshop.

    What are the benefits of this approach?

    In a world that won't stand still and where conventional approaches are not enough, games are one interactive zone where there have been fresh creative approaches. We believe there is a lot to be learned from this new wave of games which:

    • open up new routes to experience rather than just talk about complexity
    • people collaborate in new ways
    • democratises futures

    We also have a set of applied games inspired by these which have been developed by futurists, climate change scientists, and community workers who show how these approaches can be used by organisations and in the community.


    “Games are about developing empathy, generating systems thinking, and helping us figure out the future.” 

    Colleen Macklin, associate professor of Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design and maker of Metagame, a card game designed to spark fresh discussion on pressing social issues.

  • Agenda

    Not-as-usual training

    game framework

    We give you an academic framework developed by a game designer. We think it works even better for facilitators.

    game components

    We take the best and most relevant new games for facilitators which have been influential. You play and break down how they work.

    game experience

    You will experience a lot of different games, helping you understand what works and why.

    applied games

    The best games designed by futurists, climate change activists and an award winning participatory game Viv helped design

    game variations

    How to adapt games for the contexts in which you work. We give you the skills and tips on how to tweak games.

  • Your Hosts

    We play well together!

    Viv McWaters and Lee Ryan

    We have been designing and running workshops and experimenting for years. Living in different countries means we bring different experiences and ideas. And our professional backgrounds are quite different too, so we bring different perspectives while sharing a sense of fun, discovery, curiosity, and experimentation.

    We've hosted events on the edge

    We have designed and hosted events on the edges - Radical Acts 2018, Policy by Design, Design for Social Innovation, Creative Leadership UK. Each event provides a new canvas for us to experiment and create experiences around topics as diverse as inclusion and diversity, disaster preparedness, policy development, and climate change.

    We continue to experiment in different places and spaces

    We work with different people and see what we can learn about games in fields like UX, Design, Policy. We have also run workshops with The Australian Story Guild on using board games for creating stories, with policy makers on unearthing the key issues and inter-connections around their decision-making, and on how to spread key information amongst diverse community groups.

  • Why Games

    What can I learn from games?


    Research from the fields of creativity, innovation and strategy tells us to evolve our practice we need to continue to be inspired and learn from other fields. We believe we can learn how to bring even the most difficult topics alive, develop a shared language for complex issues, and learn how to tap the aliveness just under the surface.


    Games have always been used to tackle the most challenging issues alive in a society, whether it’s ethics or unaffordable housing. Games are increasingly used in futures work because they are visceral, interactive and they enable people to work with complex systems. While boardgames can be loaded with information, game designers look to make it as easy as possible for their players to get started.


    The shift to cross-functional, creative collaboration requires new skills and practices. Games are a space where groups can work better together in a different way than they have learned to do in typical meetings.


    “We need to produce people who know how to act when they are faced with situations for which they were not specifically prepared.”

    Seymour Papert

    What others have said


    "I have new ideas for games and activities I can use."


    "It’s been a treat to be with other professional facilitators, focussing on how to do it rather than worrying about content."


    "It’s been a huge experience and I haven’t looked at my watch once."


    "I’ve loved the last two days - inspired by creativity, got new ideas to go home and try out.


    "It’s been lots of fun.


    "I loved the idea of how we might change activities that are familiar and having fun with them."


    "I like the idea of these immersed games where we can use them for different situations."

  • Book Now

    Early Bird registrations available until May 31

  • Contact Us

    How can we help?

GST of 10% is included in your registration fee.

Cost includes refreshments and lunch on both days.