“No pilot would dare to fly a commercial airliner without significant training in a flight simulator … yet decision-makers are expected to make critical decisions relying on ‘theory’, ‘experience’, ‘intuition’, ‘gut feeling’, or less” - de Suarez et al 2012.
The Long Game Project is an organisation focused on helping institutions improve decision-making, enhance team collaboration, and build resilience. We aim to do this by a) Producing tools and resources to improve access to effective tabletop exercising; b) Providing advice, thought leadership and full-suite consultation to organisations interested in tabletop exercises; c) Encouraging a culture of running organisational games and building a community around tabletop games. Follow us on twitter and LinkedIn, play with our scenario-generator tool, provide feedback for some cash prizes and spread the word!
🌄Set the scene
Imagine a world where organisations are prepared for the unexpected, where decision-makers can more confidently navigate crises and create positive outcomes even in the face of chaos because they have regular, simulated experience. Dynamic decision-making under uncertain conditions is a skill that can and should, be practised.
Play it now,
before you live it later.
🎲 Roll for Initiative: Introducing The Long Game Project
Our mission is to help organisations improve decision-making (IIDM), enhance team collaboration, and build resilience using tabletop exercises that are rules-light but experience heavy.
Why we exist
The world is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable, with organisations facing various challenges. Institutional decision-making in practice is often ill-equipped to handle such complexity, leading to sub-optimal decision quality and severe failure modes. 80,000 hours lists IIDM as one of the best ways to improve existing levers, interventions and practical suggestions for our long-term future and lists this as a neglected issue. While IIDM is a complex cause area, requiring some disentangling, there are existing levers, interventions and practical suggestions that are under-utilised in practice. The Long Game Project exists to bridge this gap by applying several levers to a diverse range of sectors, helping organisations adapt and thrive in an ever-changing landscape. Our toolkit of levers includes; tabletop exercises, role-playing, future simulations, facilitation, probabilistic thinking games, goal and value alignment, decision design and other methods that combine game design and ideas from behavioural economics, psychology, and organisational theory.
🎯 Critical Hit: Our organisational aims
- Be the place to point to for tabletop scenario advice and tools- Provide expert-level thought leadership and consultation on running serious tabletop exercises.
- Lower the entry bar to effective tabletop exercising by producing tools, giving guidance and providing expertise.
- Empower institutions to tackle complex challenges effectively by transforming how they plan, react, and adapt in an increasingly uncertain world.
- Focus on scenarios of the world's most pressing problems and long-term horizons.
- Encourage a culture of running organisational games and building a community around tabletop games.
Theory of Change
Our theory of change is rooted in the belief that effective decision-making is a learnable skill. By providing organisations with simulated experience, we aim to create a positive feedback loop in which participants develop stronger decision-making abilities, leading to better outcomes and increased resilience.
This, in turn, creates more efficient, effective, and adaptable organisations, ultimately contributing to a more stable and prosperous future world. By equipping decision-makers with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to navigate crises more effectively, we believe that The Long Game Project can contribute to a world where organisations are more resilient, adaptable, and capable of tackling complex challenges of the future.
🌟 The Heroes Journey
What we are going to do this year
- Free, open-source tools, including
- Affordable, high-quality tools
- Educational content
- Ad-hoc Advisory services
- Assistance with game or scenario design or a design brief
- Review of current practices
- Defining the problem, goals, or behaviour targets
- Optimising resource utilisation through time, budget, and participants given organisational constraints
- Modular full-suite consulting
- Custom game design for tabletop exercises and scenarios
- Design Briefs
- In-game materials design
- Operational outline
- Data gathering during the game
- Post-game analysis
- Follow-up reporting
Meet Our Team
Dr Dan Epstein is a Medical Doctor and an academic with a PhD from Monash University. Dan has been an indie tabletop games designer for 10 years and has played Dungeons and Dragons since he was 11. His research expertise areas include Decision Making | Behavior Change | Tabletop Game Design | Behavioral Economics | Pandemic Prevention | Forecasting | Philanthropy.
His previous lives included being an academic consultant across public and private sectors, working in the behavioural economics 'nudge' unit during the pandemic, a medical educator, an amateur forecaster and a high-performance athlete. He is transitioning from academia to this role to work on the world's most pressing problems by utilising the centre of his ven-diagram of expertise and comparative advantage.
At LGP, he is the core team strategy and game design director.
Sanjana Kashyap is a management consultant who has worked on strategy and implementation for Ministries under the Government of India to advance gov-tech policy initiatives in Digital Learning, Public Health, and Internet Governance.
Her previous roles have primarily been working with key ecosystem partners from industry, academia and civil societies to enable strategic decision-making for better citizen outcomes. She also holds a Master’s in Management Studies with academic specialisations in Finance, Statistics and Economics.
At LGP, she’s part of the core Team supporting strategy, operations and partnerships.
Together, we bring knowledge and insights to create practical, high-impact tabletop exercises and the operational skills to do the thing.
🏹 The Quest Ahead
Our Current Projects
- Building our library of scenarios and standard operating procedures for self-conducted exercises.
- Maximising our network effect through key partnerships and collaborations for future exercises.
- Rolling out tiered offerings across Basic, Intermediate and Advanced organisational profiles to elevate institutional resilience through our services.
- Conducting beta testing on our scenario generator (prizes!)
- Building connections and our community.
- Generative scenario engine and SOP full-guide document creation
- Thought leadership through awareness drives/campaigns/ ecosystem positioning
- Asynchronous email/forum games
- Standalone games with themes of EA concepts
- Developing a complete game system with a core rulebook and facilitators guide
- Designing and helping run larger-scale games with high-impact partners
2023 Organisational Goals
- Create: A comprehensive library of scenarios and SOP documents housing best-in-class tools and resources to support organisations self-running games.
- Vibe: Grow a 100+ member strong community of practitioners, organisations, researchers and local champions. Fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing and a culture of running games.
- Build: Strengthen our membership base by onboarding at least 10-15 value-aligned organisations to our premium community.
- Expand: Conduct scaled outreach to varied industries and sectors across sizes to successfully deploy 1-2 larger exercises.
- Adapt: Enhance service quality continuously by incorporating emerging trends, technologies, and research into our design and delivery methods.
- Sustain: Achieve financial stability for FY ‘24-’ while successfully reporting our impact KPIs.
Let's Play 🎲
Join our journey
Talk to us
If you share our mission and are looking to exchange ideas around this, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to write to us with any query you may have!
If you already have a specific problem statement in mind, use our AI scenario generator to get concept scenario ideas for your organization today!
Generate a full guide to your favourite scenario and provide us with some feedback on the process.
Partner with us
We want some domain experts that would be happy to answer our Qs during game design/playtesting. Join us as a domain expert by filling out this form.
We also are building a directory of game masters! If you have played tabletop games/roleplaying games or facilitated meetings and would be interested in hosting or upskilling for Impact tabletop exercises, fill out this form
Academic and research writing projects.
Thought exchanges on podcasts and social media channels.
Events/ seminars and other ecosystem convenings.
Organizations interested in incorporating TTX exercises by scoping problem statements and training requirements can expect the following lifecycle:
2 Preliminary problem scoping call/s
3 Presentation of customized solutions
4 Service delivery (onsite or remote)
We want to be the go-to resource for tabletop exercising info and expertise.
Please point people our way in your journey.
Thanks to support, testing, guidance and perspective from @Sean Lawrence @cassidynelson @Michael Noetel @SarahPomeranz @James Odene [User-Friendly] @AmyOdene @Nathan Sherburn @arunbharatula @Greg S @manyothers
A note on how we use our robot responsibly-
We are pragmatic that technology such as LLMs may have good use cases, such as upscaling the creative aspects of scenario design alongside expert input to improve access and lower the barrier of entry to tabletop exercising.
Firstly, we have committed to understanding these tools. We are actively upskilling our learning on the benefits, limitations and safe use principles and educating ourselves on the underlying technology as feasibly possible as non-technical inquisitive tinkerers.
Secondly, we have done a few months of prompt tweaking and safety netting for appropriate response generation for our use case. LGP also encourages user human review and performs this ourselves periodically.
Thirdly, we have incorporated clear visual representation in our content of generative contributions.
Finally, we have incorporated AI safety 'risks' as one of our primary default categories. We hope this will put AI safety simulation and exercising higher up the list for organisations we interface with and that this purposeful design encourages them to choose scenarios to exercise with AI safety themes front and centre.
🥚Easter egg for reading this far