With Risk&RACE, VITO has developed a ‘business game’ in which the players step into the roles of circular entrepreneurs – ideal for inspirational business workshops or a team-building event. International interest has since grown. The game is now even being translated into Chinese.

Players of Risk&RACE are leading a company and are presented with all manner of challenges that are typical of the circular economy. ‘For example, they have to deal with scarcity of raw materials, legal obstacles or shifting consumer demand towards more services,’ says Saskia Manshoven from VITO. ‘They then have to respond to this by investing in circular business strategies. They could handle raw materials more economically, for example, replace them with alternatives or focus more on recycling, remanufacturing or turning products into services. The end of the game will reveal whether or not they've made their company more resilient, and whether their choices were the right ones.’

Training or team-building

Known as a ‘business game’, this was developed by VITO in 2018 – with support from the European subsidy programme EIT Raw Materials. It cannot be bought freely, but is offered as a training or team-building tool. ‘We're targeting consultants guiding businesses with an interest in the circular economy, as well as lecturers at universities and schools who want to use the game in their lessons,’ says Manshoven. The training courses for game leaders are organised by VITO and take two days. The next training session will take place on 26 and 27 November 2020.

The aim of Risk&RACE is that the participants are inspired by the circular economy, circular entrepreneurship and circular business models. The game is embedded in a half-day workshop, led by a trained game leader. Manshoven: ‘The intention is for the players to take on an active role. The game raises questions, provoking discussions with the other players. The game leaders explains the underlying circular principles that come up. That's how an afternoon's Risk&RACE becomes a leverage towards more circular thinking within an organisation.’

Interest from Asia

In the meantime, the business game has been catching on abroad too. In Hungary and Slovakia, the game (conducted in English) has already been picked up by organisations affiliated to VITO. And interest is growing in the Far East as well. In September 2019, Risk&RACE was demonstrated to Taiwanese sustainability managers and CEOs during a large event around the circular economy that the island organises every year. This has since prompted the demand for a Chinese translation of the game to be brought to the Asian market (i.e. in China too). ‘Business games have been popular as training tools in Asia for a long time,’ says Philip Marynissen, Business Development Manager at VITO. ‘And they know of Risk&RACE in Singapore now too, where consultancy bureau Terra is using it in training courses organised by the government and in schools.’

Earlier, in 2019, Risk&RACE won the prize for best non-digital game at an international conference on business games in Lisbon.

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