Your Next Move!
December 2013
Santa came early! Buy a Feature 2.0!

Today, we're thrilled to announce two dramatic improvements to Innovation Games® Online: the launch of Buy a Feature 2.0, and the redesign of the Innovation Games® Online Lobby.


Buy Feature 2.0 -- iPad ready!

While the most apparent change to Buy a Feature 2.0 is its modern look and feel, this redesign is more than a mere paint job. Easily our most popular game engine, the virtual market game Buy a Feature is now playable on all modern browsers and tablet computers--including the iPad and IOS 7. 

In This Issue

Best Practices in Participatory Budgeting
CEO Luke Hohmann responds to the White House's Open Government Plan.

Because we have produced or co-produced successful Participatory Budget initiatives since White House 2011 in cities around the world, I was thrilled to see that the White House has promoted the use of Participatory Budgeting in its Second Open Government National Action Plan.  
In this plan, the White House has specifically requested for "tools and best practices" for implementing Participatory Budgeting. That's sharp thinking, and having experienced practitioners share their work helps the global community. It's also timely as we're in the midst of preparing for the largest ever Participatory Budgeting event ever held: We're recruiting 10,000 citizens for a series of Budget Games Jan 23-25, 2014 for the city of San Jose, CA.
Read more

Budget Games 2013
San Jose residents get feedback on policing initiatives during 2013 Budget Games
Calling All Citizens!
The 4th Annual Budget Games for San Jose, CA

On January 18, 2013,  Conteneo and the City of San José, CA, will host the 4th annual Budget Games event at City Hall in San José, CA, followed by online Budget Games sessions held on January 23-25, 2014. 


San José -- like many cities around the world -- has faced budget shortfalls, resulting in reduced city services and spending, directly affecting its citizens. The annual Budget Games has helped the City better understand its citizens' priorities, and its citizens better understand the tough choices their city government must make. Road repair, fire/police department staffing, community centers funding, public library hours and potential sales tax increases are just a sampling of the issues that citizens have prioritized using Budget Games.


Introducing Online Budget Games

In the past, we have conducted the Budget Games solely in-person. With addition of online games in 2014, we hope to reach 10,000 San José Citizens. 10,000 citizens playing online is a big goal, so we need your help!  

Read More


Serious Games for Civic Engagement 
One-Day Workshop on January 17, 2014

I hope you'll join us for a one-day workshop on using serious games for civic engagement on January 17, 2014. Thanks to the generous support of Adobe and Chevron, the workshop is only $50!

At Conteneo, we've been actively using games for good, founding the Every Voice Engaged Foundation, and supporting Budget Games events for the City of San Jose, CA, and in Kotrijk, Belgium. We're thrilled to be partnering with Every Voice Engaged, along with the generous support of Adobe and Chevron, to offer a low-cost workshop to enable citizens, governments, nonprofits and businesses to use serious games to build stronger communities.


The "Innovation Games for Civic Engagement" workshop will feature:

  • Luke Hohmann, inventor of Budget Games
  • The Development team behind the Kettering Foundation's new game, Common Ground for Action. (Currently in development; special sneak peak for attendees!)
  • Deb Colden, Executive Coach and Innovation Games® Qualified Instructor
  • And other special guests. 

More details and how to register on the website.

Cyberspace Round-up 
Field reports from the front lines

Define your Minimal Viable Product with Innovation Games  
Buy a Feature for Up To Wine at event
Vincenzo Pallotta guides participants at through a Buy a Feature game.
There's no denying the successes of the Lean Startup movement, but like most techniques, there are things it simply doesn't do well. For example, everyone knows you must first develop the minimal viable product-- but how do you know what the MVP really is. "How do you learn not only what your customers want, but what they'll pay for? " writes Vincenzo Pallotta. 

That's where Innovation Games comes in.
Buy a Feature, in particular. Pallotta, during an introductory workshop on Lean Startup, had participants play Buy a Feature to determine the Minimal Viable Product for a wine discovery service. And the resulting features were different than what the company had expected: "Gathering 20 potential consumer brains on a game about potential new features helped us to learn a lot. I personally was thinking a 'wine book' was the most awaited feature that we had to develop soon. However, people spent half of the virtual money they could bet on the list of 8 features all around a wine social community. It helped us analyze where we needed to pivot."

How Are Serious Games Reinventing Businesses?
B2B Marketing Expert Paul Dunay sat down with Conteneo CEO Luke Hohmann, the creator of Innovation Games® and Knowsy®, to talk about one of our favorite subjects -- how serious games are changing Sales and Markeing at major brands. Here's a few snippets of the conversation: 
Paul: Why are serious games becoming so popular?  What's driving their popularity? 
Luke: "The reason serious games are becoming so popular is because we're learning that when people are playing games, their brain is literally in a different state. When you're playing a game like Angry Birds, tiny amounts of dopamine are released every time you achieve the next level in the game or create a new high score. This dopamine, in turn, makes you happy and motivates you to play more - achieve the next level, reach a new high score ... We're finding we can take some of those feelings of positivity that occur when people accomplish a goal and put them into a work context."

Luke: Traditional ROI approaches to portfolio management often leaves you feeling beat up and hollow when you're done, because you're trying to argue about uncertain futures using only half of your brain.


Collaborative games-based approaches to making these choices leaves you and your entire team feeling energized because in the game you can explore both ROI and non-ROI factors to selecting your social media investments.

Read More 


Upcoming Events & Certification Courses
Meet face-to-face with the Conteneo Community

Innovation Games Meet-upInnovation Games India8 Jan 2014Valtech, Bangalore, India
Civic Engagement Workshop*Luke Hohmann, 
et al.
17 Jan 2014San Jose, CA
4th Annual Budget Games
18 Jan 2014San Jose, CA
4th Annual Budget Games
23-25 Jan 2014Online
Innovation Games for Customer Understanding*Jason Tanner21-22 Jan 2014Waltham, MA
Innovation Games for Customer Understanding*Cesario Ramos27-28 Jan 2014Utrecht, Netherlands
Innovation Games for Customer Understanding*Cesario Ramos3-4 Feb 2014Utrecht, Netherlands
Innovation Games for Customer Understanding*Cesario Ramos13-14 Feb 2014
Innovation Games for Customer Understanding*Luke Hohmann20-21 Mar 2014Mountain View, CA

*Certification courses. Completion designates participant as a Certified Collaboration Architect.

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Save 50% off Innovation Games® Online, and we'll donate 50% of the fees to the Every Voice Engaged Foundation to support its mission to build better communities through collaborative play.  New Pro or Standard subscribers only. Sign up today!
Offer Expires 01/31/2014.