Our shared B Corp values made working together easy from the very start.
With more than 7,400 companies worldwide, the B Corp community provides a space for like-minded businesses to connect. As the community grows, so do opportunities for collaboration. ‘Let’s play equal – the most unfair game in the world’, which launched in May 2023, is a result of one of the countless impact partnerships we witnessed this year. The business tool is the brainchild of a radical collaboration between four B Corps –Blyde Benelux, BR-ND People, Misteli Creative Agency, and Greenjobs.nl– and B Lab. The board game for teams caters to organizations that want to kickstart conversations around complex social issues and build better practices around JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion). During the game, participants will face their own privileges and prejudices and become aware of the unfairness and inequality of life.
Let’s play equal – a board game co-produced by four B Corps collaborating
We had the chance to talk to Anne van der Poel, Copywriter and Strategist at Misteli Creative Agency, to learn more about the collaboration project between the four Certified B Corporations.
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are hot topics worldwide, and most organizations understand the importance of creating a fair and empowering environment. However, while JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) is being discussed more than ever, only 2% of European organizations’ policies reach the highest level of maturity when assessed against the four dimensions of the Diversity and Inclusion maturity model (Evidence from research conducted by PwC in 2021, based on 970+ responses across 19+ countries and 26 industries).
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace, thus, do not arise organically. Instead, it requires understanding, dedication, and work from everyone in an organization. These are serious topics that most people need help to discuss or create policies around. We designed a solution: playfully increasing awareness and understanding around sensitive issues. Games are incredibly effective learning and discussion tools. By putting the JEDI topics within the context of a game, we created a safe and relaxed environment to face them.
Let’s play equal players step into somebody else’s shoes, and see the world through their eyes. They are confronted with the privileges (or lack thereof) of their personas and themselves and recognize how this helps or hinders their experience of the world. They slowly become aware of the unfairness in the game of life, reflecting on diversity, equality, and inclusiveness.
It all started during the first COVID-19 lockdown when companies shut their doors, businesses slowed down, and the world came to a grinding halt. At that time, we faced the same issue: what to do with our creative talents and time while clients and projects were on hold?
The creative teams of several Amsterdam-based B Corps and B Lab decided to come together in Vondelpark in the city’s center. At a safe 1.5-metre distance, we decided to use our expertise and creativity to design something impactful and good for the world. After pitching many original ideas, we selected the most challenging one! These social sustainability issues are more critical than ever in the face of the pandemic and core to the B Corp philosophy. This is how Let’s play equal, the most unfair game in the world, was born. We began working tirelessly on the game. Of course, the collaboration extended beyond the initial companies; countless experts were pulled into the development process for interviews, advice, and guidance. The support of B Lab from the start and throughout this process was crucial – providing us with critical guidance and support on terminology and methodology.
How ‘Let’s play equal’ started: Several members of B Corps and B Lab met to discuss how to collaborate
As B Corps, we exist to address society’s most critical challenges. We all harness the power of business as a force for good. This shared ethos, vision, and mentality steered all the Let’s play equal elements – the design and the development process. And our shared B Corp values made working together easy from the very start.
The B Corp movement understands the complexities of everyday life and looks at people and society from a holistic point of view. We also implemented this way of thinking into Let’s play equal. Hence, each character is fully formed with characteristics that affect their world experience. These experiences are nuanced and complex. The game forces players to look at their qualities and personas not in isolation but in interaction with one another and their lived environment. In this way, it simulates the reality of everyday life.
Being a group of B Corps also influenced how we went about the development process. We pulled in many experts on diversity, inclusion, and social issues. We based the character cards on actual interviews with real people. We conducted a variety of test plays and put checks in place to ensure the game creates a safe and secure environment for players.
Our shared B Corp values made working together easy from the very start.
We have also pledged to donate the profits from Let’s play equal game sales to initiatives that contribute to a more inclusive society. This way, we use the game to directly impact and work towards a fair and just society.
The partnership between us and our B Corp peers highlights something core to the B Corp movement: the power of radical collaboration in addressing complex social issues. Therefore, we were proud to officially launch Let’s play equal during the B for Good Leaders conference in Amsterdam in May 2023, a summit that was attended by over 1,200 international company directors wanting to contribute positively to the world.
We started creating a game promoting JEDI–crucial workplace components three years ago. In the development process, we looked at which aspects of a person’s character and life impact their experience of equality or inclusion. The answer: the nuanced characteristics of a person and their interaction. This is what we based the game on.
In Let’s play equal each character card has features including gender, age, country of origin, country of residence, education level, sexual preference, mental well-being, and physical health. These characteristics we cannot choose for ourselves, but they hugely impact the opportunities we are given throughout our lives. They determine the starting position of players on the board and influence their privileges and progress throughout the game.
The game shows how various life events impact people differently and how unfair this can be. It reminds players of the challenges in people’s personal lives. Our uneven playing field must be leveled out to create true inclusion and equity in the world and in organizations. Overall, the game stimulates awareness and generates discussion: two critical elements for change.
Of course, organizations prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion create safe and fair working environments for their workforce. But these issues go further and impact the partnerships and investments businesses make. This way, organizations start to be the driving force behind a regenerative economy that prioritizes equality.
Let’s play equal – a game by B Corps designed to reflect on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion
If we want a fair society with equal opportunities, we must build it together. But this doesn’t happen organically – we must put the conversations, structures, and policies in place to ensure it. This is the change that Let’s play equal intends to initiate.
Let’s play equal facilitates essential and often uncomfortable and vulnerable conversations crucial at all organizational levels. The game poses a series of confronting questions and bitter realizations. How does the hand we are dealt help or hinder us as we move through the world? How does it affect success, love, careers, mindsets, and everyday life? What does privilege look like, and how does inequality impact different people?
The main goal is to create more awareness by putting ourselves in other people’s shoes in a vulnerable and secure way. The game provides an opportunity to create change from the ground up, starting with each player. Incentivized to become more aware, open the dialogue, and begin to recognize the importance of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, the players are the ones who spark the change. Let’s play equal can form the foundation of policies and changes when used as a springboard for JEDI workshops or training. This seeps through into the DNA of organizations, making them more fair at every level. And a world full of fair organizations will be a fair world.
Learn more or order the ‘Let’s play equal game’ for your organization.