The first workshop

The first workshop on 18th March took place – as part of the Telegraph Hill Festival.

Bitter weather and a lot of flu/colds going round meant that most people who had booked didn’t attend, but we had a big enough group for a good lively generation of ideas. It was attended by Candace, Stella, Bridget, Meg, Jake, Conor, Irena, Brian and (briefly) Stephen.

Huge thanks to Kate Faragher for the free use of the BeBright Training space.

This is a summary of everything we talked about…

Who are we?

Our Hopes: solar power, affordability; the plastic debate skyrocketing; China is changing; a belief in community; more people might see the better way; that we can set a precedent.

Our Fears: Apathy, greed, fear that people fear it’s too late to act, lack of agency, ignorance.

Our Skills we bring: Art, music, graphic design, marketing, communication, psychology, dialogue, connecting with creativity, practical creative skills, tapping into current affairs.

Who is this game for?

Is it for families and young people specifically? Or households? Or simply invite people of any age to form teams that are most likely to be families or households? We like the last idea.

What did we put on the Big Ideas map?


The themes

The theme that generated the most ideas was The Green Spaces around us:

  • Events to cleanup or plant park spaces turned into props
  • More community flower contests in parks
  • Competition for front gardens.
  • Photoshop local landscapes creating dystopian derelict land.
  • Game where one visits green spaces – as many as you can – encouraging walking.
  • Quizzes to identify trees or to name trees or to spot tree diseases.
  • Put up labels about the value of trees (e.g. how much CO2 they absorb)
  • Events at times of the year like wassailing to trees.
  • Or, looking after mating frogs as they travel to find mates in Spring.
  • Events to clean up or plant.
  • Knitting wool around the tree, and leaving clues in the weaving to send people onto the next tree as part of the game.

Ideas on other themes seemed to link out from these initial ideas…

The food we eat:

  • Promote how to grow food (e.g. with local community gardens like Common Growth)
  • Have shared food days when people come together to cook for each other, to save energy and to reduce waste.

Materials we use:

  • Rewarding recycling on businesses e.g. tax cuts.
  • Less plastic-made products replace with natural alternatives.

The air we breathe:

  • Awareness of actual air status – a high viz device showing this;
  • A map app that detects air-quality in London as you walk around.
  • The idea of showing how trees improve air quality

The ways we connect and care:

  • You have to sing a song to earn a letter – or have a dialogue.
  • Timed starts to the game – collect points – philosophical dialogue at one point on environmental question.
  • Looking into each others eyes.
  • A happening challenge.
  • Shared food days.


Do we have one idea for the big green game?

We discussed how there could be a whole spectrum ranging from a toolkit of creative playful ideas right through to a very defined and expensively designed branded game. We want to hit somewhere in the middle between these two. One defined game, but the process could generate a set of other ideas and resources.

The most common ideas revolved around the idea of a map:

  • All about the place: How the area has changed since it was Garlic Hill – for the better? For who?
  • Game could be based around an old map; Or a current map of the area
  • Treasure trail with new clues or activities at each stage
  • Geotagging and psycho geography
  • Create images of the place in the past as well as the future, dystopian and hopeful.
  • Magical places on the map for example sacred spaces reminding us of the past and nature.
  • Photos of different tree types on a digital map
  • A map that plots recycling bins or electric car re-charging stations.
  • Inverse orienteering – players find their own special places which they invite other players to find rather than trying to find your way to a pre-determined. (Players can seed out activities for others.)

Also cross-cutting with place were ideas about time and seasons:

  • A year of weather and natural activity condensed into a single day of play
  • Map that includes events e.g. the solstice and special places related to times of year.
  • Thinking about the past and the future
  • What to do with Christmas trees that are dumped. And what to do with barbecues in the summer. Seasonal advice.
  • Being archaeologists of the future.
  • A map of the future.


How to make the initial game event to be very compelling?

  • Players could have special powers, potential powers to change the future.
  • Have characters actors dressed up for example a white bunny running around the park giving joker cards to interrupt your game in a fun way.
  • Involve the arts by having lots of activities for multiple creative responses.
  • It should be a quest, one overarching story.
  • A treasure trail with letters as the clue. Each letter is an action whether creative or educational or active. Then all the letters together spell something that is a bigger clue or a place to find your reward.
  • A playful environment nudges good behaviour.
  • A microsystem, scenario, a specific world like SIMS
  • It should raise awareness of impacts elsewhere e.g. showing that one small action here can lead to forest fires on the other side of the world.
  • People might be put off by the word ‘green’ in Big Green Game. Some names were put forward: Eco-me, Eco-go, Big Sarf Game. [Eco-go rolls off the tongue]

What could the rewards be?

  • Real rewards e.g. if you do good you get paid or a voucher for discount. Link up with Lewisham Local and their card for 160 shops.
  • A bowl for water to encourage frogs
  • some kind of toolkit
  • A free meal
  • After the game you download an app that keeps motivating you to take action and that is a reward in itself.

Ultimately, we would like to see:

  • An initial game play event which is a treasure hunt based around a big map, where there are multiple creative activities and live interactions with (e.g. philosopher, jokers, scientist, special power givers, artists)
  • A continued existence of a big map, with local nodes where you can get information, or more clues, or carry out actions afterwards.
  • Our favourite idea for rewards is discounts linked to the Lewisham Local card. You win by completing the hunt, and then keep on gaining rewards by doing actions afterwards.

What next? 

As there were 14+ people who couldn’t make it, we should organise a more detailed design workshop building on the ideas we formed.