Gaming & innovation

What can games and game design teach us about making the world a better place?

You might have heard that the scientific name for human beings is Homo sapiens, which means ‘wise man’. But have you heard of Homo Ludens? In this fun and interactive gaming and play workshop, you’ll have the chance to get hands-on with what it means, and how the concept can be an essential part of making your social impact organisation more effective.

Homo Ludens, a term coined in 1938 by Dutch historian and cultural theorist Johan Huizinga, means playing human. Huizinga wrote about the essential nature of play in being human and in helping humans better find their way in the world. Which is exactly why games and opportunities to be playful help teams work better together; better plan fundraising, marketing, and advocacy strategies; better execute day-to-day work for social change.

During the workshop, you will discover how games inform, teach, and improve focus to create better fundraisers and more effective nonprofits.

Who is it for?

The session is suitable for all social change staff and volunteers.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the role of play in being human
  • Learn how to better use play in personal and professional settings
  • Discover new ways of thinking and looking at the world to find new to overcome some of your personal and professional obstacles
  • Explore nonprofit-specific games to use back in your office


Michael Johnston
Founder and CEO, hjc
Susanna Pollack
President, Games for Change