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Let's Talk About Solutions
Personality, psychology, and human tendencies in everyday life too often work against democracy. It’s too easy to complain about overwhelming problems.
We miss out on opportunities to brainstorm tangible solutions. Instead, our daily experience is dominated by polarization.
Democratic Champions: The Card Game acts as a facilitator, guiding participants through the discussion of problems that they care about, and inspiring them to brainstorm how democratic actors, institutions and values can be used as part of the solutions.
How to Play
Each person writes down a few problems they see facing Canada and its democracy on the cards in the ‘issues’ deck. They also fill out 4 wild cards, to be placed in their ‘solutions’ deck. The wild cards name a democratic actor or institution, a democratic behavior, a democratic value and one funny solution. They are then dealt more 3 cards from the solutions deck made up of similar cards to complete their hand (democratic institution, behavior, value and funny).
All completed issue cards are placed face down and shuffled. During each round, an issue card is turned over and the person who wrote the card explains the issue.
Each person then picks a solution card from their hand that they want to use to help fix the problem. Each player then explains to the group why they played a particular solution card. The group discusses until they reach consensus on the best solution. The person who proposed the winning solution wins the round. The player who wins the most rounds is named the Democratic Champion.
"Playing Democracy Champions, we learned we all have diverse ideas and logical reasoning for each idea, and at the end of each round were able to support each other’s ideas."
- SFU student tester
The game was developed as part of a collaboration between the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue’s Strengthening Canadian Democracy Initiative and the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Her Honour, the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia wants to host Conversations on Democracy across British Columbia, and approached the Centre to create a facilitated process in which British Columbians could come together to discuss democratic problems and solutions. Democratic Champions: The Card Game acts as a facilitator, guiding participants through the discussion of problems that they care about, and inspiring them to brainstorm how democratic actors, institutions and values can be used as part of the solutions.
We chose a game because it reduces the barriers for organizations, friends, and teachers to host events, help people practice discussing problems and solutions, and bond with one another. The game will be downloadable and requires minimum set up. The format inspires collaboration, belonging, and connection by asking participants to discuss and identify the solutions they believe will work best. Through their discussion, participants learn what interests and political viewpoints they share and how to constructively listen and discuss opposing ideas.
The game has been piloted by community groups in Kelowna, by SFU students, and in private homes. The game received positive reviews and is now ready to launch.