Go for Goals – A United Nations Card Game
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer measurable objectives which can be used by countries, companies and communities to achieve their vision of sustainable development by 2030. Despite this, there’s still a long way to go to raise public understanding and awareness of the UN SDGs, and, more importantly, how they can create a better future for us all.
As a creative agency that drives positive change for people and planet, we tasked ourselves with the following objective: creatively demonstrate how positively contributing to the UN SDGs creates real, tangible impact for the good of humanity. Our idea? Go for Goals, a card game for 2-6 players aged 8+, in which you, quite literally, change the world by collecting and securing UN SDGs to contribute towards ending world problems. It’s like Monopoly Deal for activists…
How would we achieve our objective and show how the UN SDGs create real, tangible impact for the good of humanity? By doing what we do best; simplifying challenging topics so that anyone can engage with them. We decided to create a UN SDG game because creating a tangible activity for a nebulous topic like sustainable development can engage new audiences of any age, appealing to different learning styles and building positive attitudes to sometimes negative topics.
To begin, we developed a hand management game mechanic for Go for Goals. This means players are rewarded for playing cards in specific sequences or groups, much like they are in popular games such as Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, and even Cards Against Humanity. We decided the goal of the game should be to make the most change by contributing solutions to World Problems using the UN SDG cards. We also knew it was imperative that we made the game as fun and engaging as possible. This is why we added unpredictable Event cards can either scupper your progress or help you on your mission to drive positive change.
Go for Goals is the first card game that tangibly demonstrates how positively contributing to the UN SDGs creates real impact for the good of humanity. Unlike similar games, Go for Goals is playable by all ages and centres positive action and progress to create conversation. The game is accessible to all levels of ‘eco’ knowledge and not targeted exclusively at children or businesspeople, as similar games in the market are. Ultimately, Go for Goals designed to sit alongside any other board game in the cupboard; utilising the UN SDG language in a modern and engaging way to emphasise the enjoyment of the game, thus making education implicit and not overt.
First and foremost, through our initial playtesting, we have created a game that is both fun and educational. We’ve playtested across age groups and different levels of UN SDG knowledge to overwhelming positive praise. Part of the reason we made Go for Goals was also to create conversations in our industry about the SDGs, and so far, it has opened behaviour change conversations with organisations, businesses and brands of all shapes and sizes.
Heidi Florence from sustainability consultancy Fair Enough says, “Go for Goals centres community over individualism and reminds us we all belong to the same global ecosystem. When a player ‘wins’ Go for Goals it’s a win for the world!”
Vaishnavi Ananthan from Climate Emergency Network Business Declares says, “Quantifying the level of difficulty and exactly which UN SDGs are required to solve each World Problem has built a more concrete understanding and tangible picture for me of how the SDGs are applied to solve global problems for the good of humanity. The use of gamification also helps to provide a safe space for participants to learn, understand and discuss the UN SDGs and how they can be applied to solve world problems. Overall, I think it helps participants see themselves in the bigger picture and understand what kind of role they can play to positively contribute to the goals, and that it brings the ‘head’ (problem-solving) and ‘heart’ (thoughts and feelings) together.”
Interested in your own copy of Go for Goals? Get in touch at [email protected]