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Andrew Simon
            October 18, 2012
Simon Associates Management
                  Consultants
Why Every Voice Engaged? Why Budget Games?

 Meaningful Play….including games gives “permission” to
  be fully creative.
 Serious Games utilizes multiple forms of intelligence
  (verbal, visual, strategic) resulting in greater volumes of
  information.

 Encourages collaborative behavior & shared goals.

 Collaborative play builds consensus.




                                                                2
To Say it Another Way…

 Games involve a high level of emotion.
 Emotions help us to
 Focus
 Remember
 Decide
 Perform
 Learn




                                           3
Play = Fools the mind
 The human brain is a pattern-making machine.
 We seek and find patterns everywhere we look.
  We’re so good at it that once we find one, it can be
  difficult to see anything else.
 Creating randomness is a way of fooling the mind so
  that you can more easily search for new patterns in
  a familiar domain.




                                                         4
                                                             4
City of San Jose
 Limited dollars available due to current
  recession.
 $28 Million shortfall
 Can’t be all things to all people…..need to
  establish priorities.
 Budget Games conducted in 2011 and 2012.




                                                5
Goals of Budget Games: San Jose

 Gather input from citizens on
  city’s programs and
  services.
 Educate both citizen and
  staff on issues, values,
  roadblocks and alternatives
  to city challenges.
 Provide actionable
  quantitative and qualitative
  citizen feedback to city’s
  leaders in a non-threatening
  environment.




                                  6
Who Participates

 Diversity critical to process
 City residents and
  leaders……Neighborhood
  Associations, Youth
  Groups ……other
  Commissions.




                                  7
Team Effort Requires People-Power

 City Subject Matter Experts
  on hand to answer technical
  questions




                                 Game Facilitators to explain
                                  and manage the game.
                                 Game Observers to capture the
                                  “why”.



                                                            8
                                                                8
Additional Stuff

 12 to 20 items
  including costs and
  benefits.

 5 to 8 players at
  table with limited
  “dollars”.




                        9
Budget Game Play and Rules

 Small “items”
 Each participant at table has a little amount of play
  money.
 Can join with other allies at the table to fund certain
  activities.
 Does NOT require unanimous agreement at table.




                                                            10
Budget Game Play and Rules
 Large “items”
 Need to fund new initiatives two ways:
   New taxes.
   Current program reduction or elimination.
  Requires unanimous consent for program
   reduction or tax increases.




                                                11
Before We Started Negotiations
 List of items ranked by each participant.
 Reason for ranking.
 Table feedback that refines an understanding.




                                                  12
Results of individual ranking & group feedback

 11 Tables
 10 tables funded increase in library hours.
 8 tables funded major initiative thru tax increases.
 8 tables funded increased police patrols.




                                                         13
What Happened?

                  Citizens were willing to bear
                   consequences of tax
                   increases.
                  Wide range of
                   programs….public safety was
                   not the only priority.
                  Much more agreement than
                   expected.
                  Built community “teamwork”.




                                                   14
Why Budget Games Works?


 Experienced facilitators and observers
  provide support and manage the
  structure/process ..but not the outcome.
 In-person discussion creates dialogue
  leading to a collaborative environment.
 Quantitative and qualitative feedback.
 Measurable results.




                                             15
Next Steps

 Understanding that every initiative can not be
  funded.
 Great Neighborhoods created.
 Goes from a macro to a micro basis.
 Further builds on collaboration to shape ideas
  for potential projects that are self-funded.




                                                   16

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Innovation Games Meaningful Play Presentation

  • 1. Andrew Simon October 18, 2012 Simon Associates Management Consultants
  • 2. Why Every Voice Engaged? Why Budget Games?  Meaningful Play….including games gives “permission” to be fully creative.  Serious Games utilizes multiple forms of intelligence (verbal, visual, strategic) resulting in greater volumes of information.  Encourages collaborative behavior & shared goals.  Collaborative play builds consensus. 2
  • 3. To Say it Another Way…  Games involve a high level of emotion.  Emotions help us to Focus Remember Decide Perform Learn 3
  • 4. Play = Fools the mind  The human brain is a pattern-making machine.  We seek and find patterns everywhere we look. We’re so good at it that once we find one, it can be difficult to see anything else.  Creating randomness is a way of fooling the mind so that you can more easily search for new patterns in a familiar domain. 4 4
  • 5. City of San Jose  Limited dollars available due to current recession.  $28 Million shortfall  Can’t be all things to all people…..need to establish priorities.  Budget Games conducted in 2011 and 2012. 5
  • 6. Goals of Budget Games: San Jose  Gather input from citizens on city’s programs and services.  Educate both citizen and staff on issues, values, roadblocks and alternatives to city challenges.  Provide actionable quantitative and qualitative citizen feedback to city’s leaders in a non-threatening environment. 6
  • 7. Who Participates  Diversity critical to process  City residents and leaders……Neighborhood Associations, Youth Groups ……other Commissions. 7
  • 8. Team Effort Requires People-Power  City Subject Matter Experts on hand to answer technical questions  Game Facilitators to explain and manage the game.  Game Observers to capture the “why”. 8 8
  • 9. Additional Stuff  12 to 20 items including costs and benefits.  5 to 8 players at table with limited “dollars”. 9
  • 10. Budget Game Play and Rules  Small “items”  Each participant at table has a little amount of play money.  Can join with other allies at the table to fund certain activities.  Does NOT require unanimous agreement at table. 10
  • 11. Budget Game Play and Rules  Large “items”  Need to fund new initiatives two ways:  New taxes.  Current program reduction or elimination.  Requires unanimous consent for program reduction or tax increases. 11
  • 12. Before We Started Negotiations  List of items ranked by each participant.  Reason for ranking.  Table feedback that refines an understanding. 12
  • 13. Results of individual ranking & group feedback  11 Tables  10 tables funded increase in library hours.  8 tables funded major initiative thru tax increases.  8 tables funded increased police patrols. 13
  • 14. What Happened?  Citizens were willing to bear consequences of tax increases.  Wide range of programs….public safety was not the only priority.  Much more agreement than expected.  Built community “teamwork”. 14
  • 15. Why Budget Games Works?  Experienced facilitators and observers provide support and manage the structure/process ..but not the outcome.  In-person discussion creates dialogue leading to a collaborative environment.  Quantitative and qualitative feedback.  Measurable results. 15
  • 16. Next Steps  Understanding that every initiative can not be funded.  Great Neighborhoods created.  Goes from a macro to a micro basis.  Further builds on collaboration to shape ideas for potential projects that are self-funded. 16