In Poland, a board game prompts people to save energy

With a Monopoly-style board game, FOSa is bringing together people affected by energy poverty and empowering them to make changes that reduce energy costs. 

After formal efforts – such as group workshops led by experts – to help people understand how to reduce their energy costs proved ineffective, the Federation of Social Organizations in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship (FOSa) looked for a way to make learning more fun.  

They designed a game that improves the ability of individuals to effectively manage their household resources. Tackling topics such as energy, waste and health, the game gives players tips and solutions that they can apply in daily life.  

In early testing, FOSa has found that relatable in-game situations can engage people who are not keen on traditional education formats. The gamified way to learning can also prompt healthy competition among players.  

Importantly, the game is available online for free: anyone can download and print the pieces, and start playing when and where they wish. 

With the game currently being tested in different communities, FOSa has found those who have played often make the suggested changes, such as switching to energy-efficient lighting. They are also much more likely to accept invitations to future workshops and events.  

FOSa recognizes that to fight energy poverty, it is necessary to develop solutions that reach across social groups and are scalable. Moving forward, they hope to partner with community groups, organizations, businesses and social workers as well as individuals to improve the game and expand the number of players. 

During the mentoring phase of the initiative, FOSa will work on strengthening its marketing and communications, as well as finding ways to grow the network of those developing and using the game.  

Federation of Social Organization in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship is one of 15 finalists in the 2019 Social Innovation to Tackle Energy Poverty Program, launched by the Schneider Electric Foundation and the Ashoka Foundations of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania.  

Photo Credit: Dawid Żuchowicz