Sustainable Economic Development? Green Jobs? Hawai'i? All in One Board Game!

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Scott Cooney, resident of Hawai’i, founder of, and author of ‘Build a Green Small Business’ (McGraw-Hill), has created the ‘Green Economy Board Game’ that brings sustainable economic development, green job opportunities and Hawai’i all together!

“This game makes sustainability come to life in a fun, interactive way. Players are investors looking to make more than just financial returns by helping local entrepreneurs in Hawai’i develop sustainability-oriented businesses like organic farms, geothermal plants, green building companies, solar installers, and bike shops. The game is ideal for those who are interested in sustainability as a better way to do business, and can be played by 2-6 players ages 13+.”

Image Credit: Green Economy Board Game/ Scott Cooney

Why a sustainability game that involves Hawai’i?

Hawai’i relies on oil for 90% of its electricity, imports 85-90% of its food, and has an economy largely dependent on tourism and the military. Hawai’i is blessed with ample sun, great climate for growing, steady trade winds for wind energy, and geothermal reserves that rival the world’s best. Yet at the same time, tourism and the military are the top two economic drivers, creating low wage jobs and transient peoples, as well as lots and lots of disposable plastics and fast food. Scott would like to see those trends reversed!

In this game, players win by investing wisely, navigating the unpredictable nature of public policy, and producing the best “Triple bottom line” return on their investments. Players are rewarded for creating clean green jobs, making money, and reducing Hawai’i’s dependence on foreign oil, imported food, and limited landfill space.

Writing about the game, Scott says,
“We’ve been developing and testing this for about 6 months (we’re about 2-3 months off from market). The game is intended to help people learn about sustainability in a fun, interactive way. The influences for the game include Settlers of Catan, SimCity, Monopoly, Stone Age, and many other popular games, trying to tap into the way peoples’ minds work to help make sustainability real and fun.”

Scott has started a Kickstarter campaign for the game, to help him bring this product into the market in a strong meaningful way.

What else is cool and green about this game?

The ‘Green Economy Board Game’ is attempting a zero-waste game. So if you end up hating the game (something that Scott hopes will never happen), you can simply throw the whole thing into your garden and watch it biodegrade into compost

What’s in it for contributors? 

There are awards for each level of contribution, including the game (of course), organic cotton T-shirts, collector’s edition stuff, getting your company name onto the box, and the grand award, an all expenses paid, week-long trip for 2 to Hawai’i to do a sustainability tour, plus of course surf lessons and snorkeling, all done with a biodiesel powered vehicle and a personal guide to the island’s coolest stuff.

Where does the money go? 

The money from this campaign will be used in a couple of ways. Scott wants to employ native artists in Hawai’i to create the artwork for the board, the box, and anything else they need created. Second, the money will go to cover hard costs/expenses in legal, marketing, production, etc.

What is (Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc.)?

It’s a business that strives to facilitate the creation and growth of mission-driven companies. They succeed by providing business owners and managers with online resources, interactive classes and one-to-one coaching and consulting to develop and implement success strategies that drive profitable and sustainable growth while making the lives of clients more manageable. Most of their clients are small business owners that deserve but can’t afford big agency consultants.


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