An Innovation Game for an Innovation Society

Luke Hohmann propagated the idea of an “Innovation Game.” An innovation game in its classic form is nothing but primary market research that engages customers in games to seek feedback on product launches. But what is most unique about Innovation Games is that they allow for open-ended exploration of the product and the idea.

When we ask ourselves what steps India needs to take to become an Innovation Society, it is nothing but asking Indians to think about a new paradigm, a new product or a new service as a citizen. But to ask them to do so by citing examples of other societies and nations is like asking an Eskimo to build an Igloo in the middle of the Sahara desert. There is no context, no experience and no application. For Indians to appreciate and acknowledge the premise of building an Innovation society, it is important that they understand and experience the three unquestionable principles on which an innovation society is built: trust, collaboration and inclusion.

At India@75 our commitment has been to allow Indians to realize the dream of a developed India by 2022, and building an innovation ecosystem is a driver and imperative change agent for such a dream to come true. During our thousands of workshops, Indians from different walks of life have resoundingly asked for a nation that becomes a leader in innovation, a nation that invents and not just adopts, a nation that becomes a natural home for innovations and innovators.

How does one build such a nation? What steps one will have to take? What steps will India and Indians have to take?

At Design Public we will have the opportunity to have different stakeholders together to discuss and debate on what steps can India take to become an Innovation Society. But since at the heart of such a society are principles of inclusion and collaboration we thought it best to take a leaf from Luke Hohmann and create an Innovation Game to allow participants to experience an open ended exploration of what constitutes an innovation society through the guiding principles of trust, openness, collaboration, ideation and inclusion.

If citizens are the consumers of this new paradigm then it makes perfect sense to involve them from the word GO. We will use simulation, collaboration, and information processing to allow participants to play a role in what could be a suggestive model to build an innovation society.

*This is part of a series of guest blog posts by panelists and participants at the third edition of the Design Public Conclave. See other posts in this series here.

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1 Response to An Innovation Game for an Innovation Society

  1. Luke Hohmann says:

    Bhairavi –
    What an inspiring post! I hope your team takes the time to explore the many ways in which Innovation Games® have been used to help accomplish goals of making society more effective.

    One game to explore is “Trilicious, I game I designed for The Triple Helix Foundation. In this game, teams are formed to design innovative solutions to complex problems by looking at ways in which industry, government, and academic institutions (the “Triple Helix”) can join forces. The game has been used to tackle such problems as creating affordable housing in slums and improving women’s rights. I donated this game to the world through a Creative Commons license, so that you and others can leverage this game in a ways that are relevant to Indians.

    Another game is our in-person Budget Games, which we have used to help citizens of San Jose, CA prioritize the city budget. This is an example of a broader class of initiatives known as participatory budgeting, which the UN formally supports as a way to improve civic engagement and fight corruption. You can read more about our Jan 2012 budget games here <a href=";)here.

    Lastly, I encourage your team to explore this post: A Realistic Vision for Citizen Engagement Through Games, as it contains many additional examples of in-person and online games that you could play with Indians.

    I would be honored to offer both Design Public and India@75 non-profit access to our online gaming platforms to help you accomplish your goals. Our in-person games, are, of course, free, and I hope that you find them valuable.

    Lastly, I’ve had the great fortune of visiting India to teach Innovation Games classes. I am hopeful that life will smile on me in such a way that I could visit India again and perhaps meet you and others in person. Our work is mutually inspiring.


    Luke Hohmann
    CEO, The Innovation Games® Company
    Author of Innovation Games®: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play The seriously fun way to do serious work — seriously.
    Follow me on twitter at lukehohmann
    Knowsy knows…

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