“She is speaking. Mother earth needs me.
But I can’t hear her voice.
I can’t speak to her. Not like I can speak to you.
I can’t....really understand how she’s doing.
It’s hard. I want to do something.
But I don’t feel like what I can do could help her… you know, in the big picture of things. I find it hard to stick to the changes I know I should make.”
Or, said in another way:
‘Wlidlings’ is a platform for behaviour change. The experience of 'Wildlings' is a stewardship in the conservation, renewal and generative abundance of Earth, as an interwoven fabric of Life.
So how is ‘Wildlings’ able to do this? Well, it addresses some big issues that would otherwise create obstacles. Here are the big issues we are addressing:
- Connection: It’s kind of hard to speak to the earth. Let alone build deep empathy for her. So we’ve created a living dialogue with the earth! Yes, you read it correctly.
- Knowing vs. doing: what we know intellectually rarely translates into individual and collective action (seriously, there’s loads of research). So we’re focusing on taking sustainability out of the ‘knowing/thinking’ space and into the ‘doing’. "How", you might say? We're make it awesome fun!! You will want to do this!
- Feedback: when we do make changes it’s hard to understand there impact. “Are our actions really helping?” we might ask? Not getting clear feedback that what we’re doing is helping can mean our changes aren’t ‘sticky’. So we’re giving you heaps of feedback. In fact, we’re embodying your actions in the health of a character called a ‘Wildling’. A ‘Wildling’ is a personified earth. Think… Avatar. More on that later.
Melbourne is one of the most sustainable cities in the world. We have a deep heritage of care, for each other and the earth. We love our city.
Yet the reality is living in an urban environment and balancing care for all is hard. So we're creating an incentive - we are making it awesome fun to do. Simple. Though, at its core ‘Wildlings’ is based on the premise that the more we interact with the earth, the more real and urgent the call to action is. That is, the more we interact with the earth, the less we need the fun and the more strongly our inherent desire to act propels us into action.
We want to care for the earth, each other and the next generation. We’d be happier if we could find a way to live more sustainably. It would nourish us, fulfill us, to feel that we’re doing something good.
So why not create a generation that understands the Earth not as a collection of resources, but as our only viable habitat? Especially, when it’s awesome fun to do it?!!
(Oh and by the way this project starts in Melbourne, but it is about every city. The vision is for Wildlings to spread virally through urban populations worldwide. It is a force to rebalance the disconnection with the earth that comes with urbanisation)
First, we’re building a proof of concept. We’re focusing on a single sustainability challenge and a particular audience – we’re gamifying gardening. And we’re working with young people in early high school. It’s all about fun. Seriously, we’re making it awesome!
So how does this work? We are creating a parallel real world and app-based, gamified world. The two worlds are linked to create a conversation between you and mother earth. Mother earth is personified through a character, called a Wildling, in the app-based game environment. Based on sustainable activities you do in the real world (e.g. planting trees) you earn points – ‘vitality’ – that help feed your Wildling, so it grows, skills-up and builds a better world (in the game environment).
Through the proof of concept we will build a platform. But the platform is agnostic to the sustainability and behavior change challenge. So it’s widely applicable. The platform can be applied all over the place with different sustainability challenges and different groups of people.
Firstly, through the proof of concept, you will see a cluster of school gardens and young people who are learning and embedding more sustainable behaviours in their lives. These young people will have a stronger, felt connection with the earth.
We are incentivising sharing to support less resourced schools and we're also working with existing school gardening programs. Also we see the school as a hub for the community. So it’s not just about young people. We will have a community of supporters – parents, teachers, community elders, local gardeners – wrapped around the young people. The community members are key enablers for the young people and some sustainable habits could rub off on them too.
But that’s just the proof of concept. Our plan is much bigger.
Through the proof of concept we will build a platform, one that’s agnostic to the sustainability and behavior change challenge. We hope the platform will evolve into a ‘commons’ where the knowledge can be shared and is owned by the community. We want the platform to be applied all over the place – we even have ideas for lasers and blimps above Flinders St Station. Seriously, it’s cool. So why not model the behaviours required to replenish our earth in the architecture of the game and the platform?
People to jam with us – we do a lot of our work through embodied play, so we’re after people who just want to play and facilitators to guide us through emergent processes for design and prototyping.
Awesome people in gamification (particularly awesomely creative & fun developers!) – we’re new to this world and would love to hear from you. We could do with 15 minutes of your time to bounce around ideas, through to people to help build the platform and mentors to generally be insightful.
In kind or financial contributors – if you’re interested in what we’re doing and could help out with your skills, money or other useful things, please just get in touch!