Workshop 2: The Case for Social Impact Games

Presented in collaboration with NetHope, this intimate workshop will enable funders, implementing partners, and game designers to share in-depth their collaborative experiences on games covering a range of subject areas, including: public health, global development, education and civic engagement.

The proposed audience: Decision-makers from NGOs, corporations, government, non-profits, and foundations interested in a high-level overview of social impact games – from the best strategies and practices in this emerging field, to the metrics evaluating impact.

Opening remarks by Connie Yowell, Director of Education, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 9:30am
Until: 10:30am
Venue: Kimmel Center

Spearheaded by Justice Sandra Day O’ Connor, iCivics is a web-based education project designed to reinvigorate civic teaching and learning. iCivics features free lesson plans, web quests, discussion forums, and games. With these tools, iCivics empowers the first generation of ‘digital natives’ to become knowledgeable civic participants and leaders.

Developer: Filament Games (Dan White, Founding Partner, CEO. Dan Norton, Founding Partner and Creative Director)
iCivics: Jeff Curley, Deputy Directory, iCivics



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 10:30am
Until: 11:30am
Venue: Kimmel Center

At-Risk is a suite of online role-playing games to prepare specific groups to identify, approach, and refer those exhibiting signs of psychological distress including PTSD and suicide ideation. Its avatar-based learning is used to train 900,000 families of Veterans in NY/NJ, faculty and students at 95 universities, and ED personnel at 80 hospitals.

Developer: Kognito Interactive (Ron Goldman, Chief Executive Officer. Glenn Albright Ph.D., Co-Founder & Director of Applied Research)
Organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Wendy Katz, psychologist)



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 11:30am
Until: 12:00pm
Venue: Kimmel Center

At the time of the beta, EnerCities was the first serious game on Facebook. In this city building game, players are challenged to build a sustainable city. It runs online ( and on Facebook, and is available in six languages. The game is part of an educational platform dealing with energy issues, backed by European
Commission funding of $1.4 million.

Moderator: Nick Fortugno, Co-Founder, Playmatics

Developer: Paladin Studios (Derk de Gues, CEO and Co-Founder)



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 12:15pm
Until: 1:30pm
Venue: Skirball Center


All Access passholders and Pre-Festival Summit Passholders will automatically receive a complimentary ticket to this keynote when they check in for Monday’s workshop. If you are purchasing a Festival Only Pass (Tues-Wed), you can also purchase a ticket to Al Gore’s keynote by selecting the “Festival Only + Al Gore Keynote” ticket on our registration page. Individual tickets for the Al Gore keynote will be available for sale to the general public through the NYU Skirball box office.

Former Vice President Al Gore is co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management, a partnership that is focused on a new approach to sustainable investing. He is also co-founder and chairman of Current TV, an Emmy Award-winning, independent cable and satellite television news and information network based on viewer-created content and citizen journalism. In addition, Gore is a senior partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a member of the board of directors of Apple and senior adviser to Google.

Gore spends the majority of his time as chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection, a non-profit focused on solutions to the climate crisis.

Gore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982 and the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the forty-fifth Vice President of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served eight years. During the Administration, Gore was a central member of President Clinton’s economic team. He served as President of the Senate, a Cabinet member, a member of the National Security Council and as the leader of a wide range of Administration initiatives.

He is the author of the bestsellers Earth in the Balance, An Inconvenient Truth, The Assault on Reason, and Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis. He is the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary and is the co-recipient, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.”



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 1:30pm
Until: 2:15pm

Lunch will be provided.



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 2:15pm
Until: 3:15pm
Venue: Kimmel Center

EVOKE is a ten-week crash course in changing the world. It is free to play and open to anyone, anywhere. The goal of this educational social network game is to help empower people all over the world to come up with creative solutions to our most urgent, social problems. The game’s first season began on March 3, 2010 and ended on May 12th, 2010.

Developer: Natron Baxter Applied Gaming (Nathan Verrill, Co-Founder)
Funder: World Bank Institute (Robert Hawkins, Senior Education Specialist, World Bank)



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 3:15pm
Until: 4:15pm
Venue: Kimmel Center

Voice questions or ideas that arise throughout the day. Engage fellow attendees on what topics have been most relevant and most challenging.



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 4:30pm
Until: 4:45pm
Venue: Kimmel Center

What are the limits and potentials for designing games for ethics? Karen Schrier discusses the collaborative design process of Mission US: For Crown or Colony?, a game developed by Channel 13/WNET, Electric Funstuff, EDC, and CUNY, and supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Based on this case study and extensive research, she describes the best practices for designing games for ethical thinking and inquiry.

Karen Schrier, Media Director and educator



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 4:45pm
Until: 5:00pm
Venue: Kimmel Center

In making serious games, don’t ignore the classic ingredients that make a good game; fun, challenge and competition. Just as Uncle Tom’s Cabin fit cleanly into the template for a good novel to create sweeping social impact, the games you create should leverage the success of proven popular games to get the message across.

Nick Fortugno, Game Designer and Co-Founder, Playmatics



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 5:00pm
Until: 6:00pm
Venue: kimmel Center

Macon Money is a community-wide social game designed for the residents of Macon, Georgia. Using a new local currency with a fun twist, the game builds person-to-person connections throughout the community while supporting local businesses.

Developer: area/code (Kati London, Director of Product, Zynga New York)
Funder: The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (Mayur Patel, Vice President/Strategy and Assessment, and Jessica Goldfin, Assistant to the President)



Day: Monday, June 20
Start time: 6:00pm
Until: 7:00pm
Venue: Skirball Center

Limited to Pre-Festival Summit attendees only.