Global Leadership Simulation
How It Works
Players are divided into countries. When kids play, we divide them up by grade level.
The players take on the role of national leaders. Each country has a different population. Each country has a GDP. Each population has its own unique interests. And each country has its own national resources (some have markers, some have crayons).
Each day, the players deal with global and local challenges, from incoming killer asteroids to devastating tornadoes.
All of the choices are made by the players. The game reacts to their decisions. War, peace, forming a government, rejecting a treaty - there are no pre-set "right" answers. The environment gives our young leaders the space to be creative and learn through failure.
During our Summer Leadership Academy, special guest adults visit and play a role in the game.
The typical day consists of strategizing, negotiating, researching, budgeting, meeting a special guest, and working on at least one long-term project.
The game can be played in a few hours or over a few weeks, like we do during our Summer Leadership Academy.
Day 1: Nation-Building
The young leaders gather around their national tables. Only moments ago, they were told to "build their countries." What does that even mean?
The leaders open a large envelope, one that says "Confidential" on the front. In the envelope are a few pieces of paper: A map of the world, a form asking the leaders for their national orders, and a secret memorandum stating what the people of their country value.
Some people want a great education system. Some want fantastic healthcare. Some want their country to be respected for the arts. Some just want nice roads.
It's up to their leaders to determine what will be funded.
After a few hours, the leaders present the names of their countries, their national histories, and anything else they want to share with the world.
In the afternoon, the national leaders learn how to use the military.
Day 4: Global Pandemic
The countries of the world agreed to hold a friendly sports competition, calling it the Olympics. It's scheduled for tomorrow, but there's a problem. A disease called Candy Pox is spreading all over the world.
Everyone seems to be working on it together. The 2nd and 3rd graders are hard to predict, but their neighbors - the Kindergarteners and 1st graders - are very committed to peace.
There's also a rumor that the secretive queen of Kittissippi has ordered her scientists to develop a powerful weapon.
Day 8: Destroyer of Worlds
Yesterday morning, Kittissippi tested an ESM, a devastating weapon, in international waters. Hours later, the 2nd and 3rd graders dropped an ESM on Kittissippi in violation of an international ESM ban treaty they had signed with the other major powers.
The fallout from the ESM explosion spread into the teenagers' country.
Today, the middle schoolers and teenagers enacted a trade embargo on the 2nd and 3rd graders. The Kindergarteners and 1st graders refused to join, believing that trade could lead to peace.
The countries also started building rockets in an attempt to be the first to reach another planet.
Day 15: The World's Fair
The days of rebuilding after the ESM explosion brought the countries closer together. Even the 2nd and 3rd graders had moderated from their warlike ways, aside from a major skirmish with the Kindergarteners and 1st graders.
Even amidst the international turmoil, the world came together one last time to hold a World's Fair. Each country showed off its arts and culture. And, as a last competition, each country's leaders participated in International Chopped, a cook-against-the-clock competition involving random food items that brought parents to the program and an end to another magical summer.
I Want To Play!
You do!? So do we!
We're almost ready to play with a lot of new friends. If your group wants to host a game, sign up using the form to the right.
And be sure to sign up for our emails too to get updates about when we'll be playing next!
Support Our Programming
Come visit as one of our summer special guests, serve as a supervisor or support staffer, help us with fundraising, or volunteer in another way!
We rely on donations from folks like you to keep working with families in St. Louis. And your donations are tax-deductible. We'd be honored to have your support!