Stephanie Hu, Designer
Briana Villaverde, Environmental Policy Analyst
Rounak Bhunia, Game Designer
Jenna Hahn, Mentor
This project started when I noticed a prevalent sense of guilt and paralyzation in my peers and I whenever we discussed the fate of the planet and ourselves. I sought to find a way to change that fear into action that could actively combat climate change.
2/20/2021 ~ 3/01/2022
Climate change is an urgent issue that will shape our futures. However, the sheer scale of the problem often paralyzes people and causes inaction. How can we get the average person involved in making actual, effective changes?
Initial Statement Research
- We are at a critical stage of climate change where emissions must fall by half by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050 in order to avoid a climate crisis (source: United Nations)
- Current green-tech and individual lifestyle choices alone are not effective enough to meet those climate goals. (source: Mashables)
- The leading cause for climate change is greenhouse gasses, of which fossil fuels are responsible for 75%. (source: U.S. Energy Information Administration)
- Fossil fuel companies have amassed enough power and influence in the government and public opinion to stall climate action. (source: The Guardian)The most effective voice against fossil fuel is activism. (source: Time)
We are currently charting for the worst of the four emission scenarios modeled by the IPCC in its fifth Assessment Report in 2014.( source: Science Daily
Final Product Mission Statement
“To facilitate climate action by creating accessible tools and knowledge for potential climate activists in order to combat the Fossil Fuel Industry's misinformation and government corruption.”
Target Audience and Stakeholders
I started with researching what group would be the most inclined for climate activism. It quickly became apparent that younger generations, especially teens/college students were the most interested
Collaboration and Resources
Looking into youth climate activism lead me to the Sunrise Movement, an organization dedicated to:
“stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. We’re building an army of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people”
Their mission aligned closely with my own, so I reached out to Briana Villaverde, a climate scientist and the political engagement lead of Sunrise UCI. She was impressed with the concept and went on to become my co-creator, bringing in scientific expertise and lived experience where my own research was too shallow.
Brainstorming and Synthesizing
We started by mapping out and understanding the Sunrise Movement’s organization and internal goals.
we then translated those ideas into possible game formats
To validate and play-test these ideas, we made a playable online version using playingcards.io and set up online game sessions any of our classmates, club members, and friends that matched our target demographic. The feedback was overall very positive and there were some great suggestions on mechanics, gameplay, and art style
With the idea validated, we started thinking about the best way to distribute this tool at the right scale, through the right channels, and with maximum accessibility to those who need it.
- Organization partners such as Sunrise would fund the production and distribution of this tool within their own networks
- Crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter would have backers “Buy One, Give One” to a local hub in their county/state.
- Online + Printable versions would be made free to partnered organizations and through advertising + donations to other users.
Most importantly, this product would non-profit and target “grassroots” funding from its own stakeholders to prevent distortion of its confrontational values though corporate or philanthropic money.
Iterating upon the initial prototype, I revamped the graphics for a cleaner, friendlier look and collaborated with Rounak to improve gameplay.
We then could print out all the cards along with the board, buy game pieces, and start play testing it with our friends!
Acknowledgments and Next Steps
Climate mobilized was a 2021 finalist in the Rudd Family Foundation Big Ideas Competition, which is provided us with mentors such Jenna Hahn, a sustainability analyst for the city of Sacramento. Full grant proposal available upon request.
We're currently looking avenues for funding/manufacturing and have been in talks with the TESA Collective, a co-op board game creator that has worked with organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the Labor Movement.
Featured Article from the University of California Irvine: