Mental Models Game online

Monkeys are back in business after holidays, right now on Strategy days, and it’s great! We spent extremely committed spring and thus managed to get a lot of meetings booked and gigs sold for this autumn. Now it’s time to do good jobs, get new ones, and innovate around the old and new services and products.

Mental Models Game design by Janne Palovuori.

Mental Models Game is living a process of rebirth. In July, during Finnish holiday season, Henna & Ville were active in Europe – Ville giving a speech about future organizations at Lift 2011 conference for a wide audience and Henna & Ville together organizing the first online session of Mental Models Game online. It was played from the social innovation center Eutokia in Bilbao with the dreamers of Imagine Creativity Center in Silicon Valley. Henna had met the Imagine program & the company behind it, Innovalley, while visiting San Francisco & Silicon Valley on a Learning Journey with MINN master’s program in April 2011.

The online game experiment encouraged us to believe that it’s possible to alter the game to fit into the web. We have been looking for partners to develop it with, and now it seems that the University of Lapland would have a research group ready for piloting and development collaboration of the online game. We documented the first experience in order to learn, collaborate and communicate our intentions with the game.

Here’s to you Imagine & co, our brief report of the learnings gained during that session.

Mental Models Game over the internet to Silicon Valley

What went well?

  • We tried it! It’s important to do new things and take action to a new level.
  • We had great facilities and internet connection at the Eutokia Social Innovation center. Our hosts were very nice, and all worked well. (Thanks Jordi Marti and Init for the idea of going to Eutokia!)
  • Mic and sound. The Shure mic we bought worked very well over the Skype.
  • Nice insights in the end: ”I will listen more. I learned that my friend think leading is listening. I need to do more of that.”
  • Etherpad as a tool works on simultanous typing with many users logged in at the same time.
  • We got hints about what to do with Mental Model Game online in the future.
  • We got to know this amazing group of Dreamers and doers, a great story of the first MMG online was co-created with Innovalley.

Open questions? Insights? Pondering?

  • Typing vs. talking: Do we need to type if we can hear people talk, or do we need to talk if we can type. If we are in the same space usually there’s only one documentator. Now all the 4 teams kept typing their ideas into a shared Etherpad. I think the system we used would have been more fit for a more distributed team, not as a workshop tool.
  • How much of the feeling you actually loose via video conference? You cannot touch over video. We forgot to do Tender Dynamic Greetings in the beginning.
  • The beginning is crucial. What stories to start with? What are the first questions? How to balance between play and serious stuff? Does the serious come by itself if we just ask easy enough questions? Questions that do not have a right answer. Now the best talks came when we asked about the mental models of Yellow and Dreamers. My MM is that when the question is silly enough, people really start to share their mental models. If the question is serious, we stick to the information level of knowledge and won’t reach a good dialogue.
  • While Etherpad & Skype work and are easy to use, we should discover more tools that enable similar functions and make the game experience more simple and less technology-focused.
  • We need someone who has passion for the online worlds and willingness to work on the game development as a team entrepreneur within the Monkeys team.

More sessions are already ordered from Brazil, Germany & Turku. New way of life of the Mental Model Game is beginning – online!

What are the other new beginnings of this autumn? What about yours?

With yellow regards from Sao Paulo, Brazil..writing about his journey also soon,

Henna Monkey

More Action. More Chaos. More Mistakes. More Learning.

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