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Board Game

60 minutes

2 to 5 players (or teams)

Ages 10+

 

Race towards sustainability in this exciting game of public policy!


As your country’s head of government you want what’s best for your population: good health, education, income, equality... At the same time, you are well-aware of how human activities around the world are depleting the planet’s natural resources and accelerating climate change. You know we cannot go on like this, but what can you do?  

 

This is humanity’s greatest challenge, the one you must face when playing ECOPOLIS!

 

ABOUT ECOPOLIS

ECOPOLIS is a serious tabletop game created to generate awareness about sustainable development.

It is centered on public policy decision-making: players (or teams) act as their country’s government in a race towards sustainability.

Its game mechanics were derived from a statistical analysis of more than 700 performance indicators for nearly 170 countries spanning 6 decades. 

An educational tool? A fun, engaging pastime? A team-building exercise? A catalyst for meaningful debate? ECOPOLIS is all of the above!

Contents

1 game board
6 player pieces
6 chance cubes
41 policy cards
16 event cards
16 booster cards
16 eco-credit tokens
Play money (5 denominations)
1 rulebook
5 quick-reference cards

 

GAMEPLAY OVERVIEW

In ECOPOLIS, players act as their country’s head government in a race towards sustainability –a space on the game board where Human Development is very high and Natural Resource Consumption is very low (globally sustainable).

 

The game board works as a grid where players can move in any direction: left-right for Human Development and up-down for Resource Consumption. The object of the game is to reach the Sustainability Quadrant, located at the bottom-right corner.

To move along the board, players need to invest their National Income  in different Public Policy cards available to them. Each card will have unique effects on a country’s Human Development and Resource Consumption.

The key to winning the game lies in thinking very carefully before deciding which Policy card to play. Will your country’s human development increase or decrease? Will it lead to your population consuming more, or less resources?

Should you build more roads? Increase school enrollment? Invest in renewable energies? Attract more tourists?.... Every play involves a tradeoff, and things may not be as simple as they seem.

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On each turn, players will also be able to:

  • Negotiate International Cooperation, where players who are interested in the Policy card you are playing enter a bidding contest to share in its benefits.

  • Invest in new research to expand the number Policy cards available to them.

  • Play Event cards, which represent random occurrences (e.g., a natural disaster hits, you receive foreign aid, etc.).

  • Accrue and play Booster cards to enhance their Policies’ performance or – occasionally – hinder an opponent’s progress (recycle more, export pollution, etc.).

  • Accrue and exchange Eco-credits to reduce Consumption at a later time.

 

THE SCIENCE BEHIND ECOPOLIS

ECOPOLIS’ game mechanics are based on a statistical analysis we conducted using real-world data. This allows players to visualize the not-so-obvious connections between public policy and human development, resource consumption, and climate change.

 

The game’s dynamic is based on the approach known as the Sustainable Development Quadrant, which uses the Human Development Index and the Ecological Footprint (a measure of natural resource consumption) as proxy metrics in the sustainability equation: 

 

Sustainable Development = Human Requirements + Nature's Requirements

Download our free ebook to find out everything you need to know about the analysis that feeds the game (underlying hypothesis, methodology, metrics analyzed, data sources, etc.). 

Sustainable Development Quadrant

The Sustainable Development Quadrant is the intersection between the Human Development Index and the Ecological Footprint per capita (shown here for the year 2015). Each bubble represents a country; its size is proportional to its population. Five countries have been highlighted for illustrative purposes.

Data sources:

Ecological Footprint: Global Footprint Network, 2019.

Human Development Index: United Nations Development Programme, 2019.

 

PRAISE FOR ECOPOLIS

"ECOPOLIS stimulates the search for solutions to nationwide issues, taking into account their social, political and economic interconnections. By playing collectively, we explore challenges that may seem daunting, and find answers that otherwise might elude us."

MICHELLE MUSCHETT

Former Minister of Social Development of Panama

 

 

 

“I would love to see this game become the 21st century sustainable alternative to a game like Monopoly.”

HUGH S. GORMAN

Social Sciences Department Chair and

Professor of Environmental History and Policy

Michigan Technological University, U.S.

“ECOPOLIS fascinates me because it allows us to learn about sustainability from different perspectives, considering both the pros and cons of each play in real life. Both young and old become engaged discussing relevant topics throughout the game.”

NYASHA WARREN

Educator and teaching consultant

Praxia Educational Consultants, Panama

 

 

 

 “ECOPOLIS is not only fun, but stimulates interactive communication, questions and insights to the inter-relationships of complex factors that impact the sustainability of communities or countries.”

RUSSELL MULLEN

Professor, Sustainable Agriculture

Iowa State University, U.S.

 “This game accomplished what none of my lectures could: to make students want to stay in the classroom after we have run out of time.”

MANUEL QUINTERO

Professor of Macroeconomics

Universidad Santa María La Antigua (USMA), Panama

“I personally enjoyed the game very much and observed it to be an excellent tool for active-learning. It has great potential to promote better understanding of the complex development and environmental problems facing our world today.”

DAVID W. WATKINS

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Michigan Technological University, U.S.

 

 

 

“Simply the best tool for raising awareness and teaching about environmental matters.”

IVIETT SERRANO

Senior Consultant for Social Innovation

Projects with Purpose, Panama

 

 

 

“This game should be in every Mayor’s Office and every Ministry.”

RAISA BANFIELD

Former Deputy Mayor of Panama City, Panama

 

 

 

“Truly a game-changer. ECOPOLIS will have a greater global impact in this generation than Monopoly during the previous century.”

EMILIO SEMPRIS

Former Minister of Environment of Panama