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You think that being sustainable is way too serious to have something to deal with games ? We don’t !

Visual Thinking workshop facilitated by Visuality

Energy transition is a much-discussed topic nowadays. By 2030, the European Union wants 32% of its energy to be renewable. In 2019, in the framework of Clean Energy Packages the EU also defined the concepts of Citizen and Renewable energy communities. In line with the EU, more than 10.000 mayors decided to support a sustainable energy transition at their local scale. Their goal is to accelerate the decarbonisation of their territories (less 40% of carbon emissions by 2030) and to allow their citizens to have access to “secure, sustainable and affordable energy”. 

It takes time, a deep change in mentalities to reach such objectives as well as a perfect understanding of collective patterns to make a common future. This is exactly why WeSmart thinks gamification is useful, marking a shift towards energy transition. 

A definition of gamification is the use of games-oriented approaches to a non-game context (Deterding, Sicart et al. 2011). An example could be to use the point scoring principle – usually associated with games – in a context not associated with playing. We could then count points on how well people manage to improve their energy consumption thus encouraging them in their energy transition. 

Basically, we think that Gamification offers two main interest in this context :
First, it enables the implication of a broader audience in the energy transition, an area that used to be for experts only. It is a democratic way of getting things moving which not only involves citizens by informing them and empowering them to act but also collects their feedback and good advice. It is a crucial step to co-create together.
Secondly, it is a great way to motivate people to change their habits. In 2014, researchers noticed that most learners give up quickly when not feeling motivated (Monterrat, Lavoué et al. 2014). Gamification is a great tool to teach people how they can change their habits but also to motivate them to initiate this change. . 

Education has actually a lot to learn from Video Games as mentioned by James Paul Gee in his book What Videogames have to teach us about learning and literacy  (González, Mora et al. 2014) ! Indeed, when asked or needed, information is given to players. Players do not only receive information, they can also interact and co-create while playing. Not to mention that videogames are based on different cycles, players usually acquire experience and move up to the next level through gaming routines – once a task is mastered, they can enter another cycle with more complicated tasks. 

WeSmart decided to make the most of all those characteristics in order to bring energy transition to the next level, namely towards Citizen and Renewable Energy Communities ! 

Most people are still unfamiliar with the concept of energy communities and the positive impacts they can have on energy transition. Joining an energy community yet offers a lot of advantages: starting from economic benefits up to the creation of stronger local social links.. We just created our first energy community at GreenBizz in Brussels: 40 companies and 20 workshops share the 203 MwH of electricity produced by our 943 solar panels. This will allow us to prevent the emission of 1.98 tons of Co² in just one year! 

How will we concretely raise awareness about energy communities using gamification? 

In 3 words : ACTIVE, FUN and PEDAGOGICAL.
We developed a new approach along existing frameworks like Design Thinking, with the motto that you could learn actively by doing. We currently work on several formats with our partners including workshops, events and exhibitions. Our only one goal is to make you discover what is an energy community and how you could act at your own scale. 

We specifically base our action on:

  • Interactions 👋 :
    Not only experts should explain what an energy community is. It is also about the way YOU want your community to be. We hence create interactive events so that you can fully participate in.
  • Reverse learning 💫 : 
    Enough repeating things you already know. With us, feel free to ask for the information you need
  • Collective moments 🤝
    We need to define a common future, so we encourage you to share your hopes, thoughts, knowledge with others. Let’s start collaborating together.
  • Gamification 🎮 :   
    Have fun learning ! 

You’d like to participate in our interactive workshops and events? 
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