Casnewydd Newport: The Game of Wicked Problems

Casnewydd Newport is a board game co-created with public servants within the Civil Service and across Wales.

It was designed to explore ‘wicked problems’ specifically co-created with civil servants to be played by civil servants.

A wicked problem is

a class of social system problems which are ill-formulated, where the information is confusing, where there are many clients and decision makers with conflicting values, and where the ramifications in the whole system are thoroughly confusing

Churchman, C. W. (1967). Wicked Problems. Management Science, 13(4), B-141–142

The co-operative game prompts discussions on risk, policies, and its impact on service users – while helping to build relationships between players.

Players a split into two roles – Government or Service Users with the common goal of getting all the Service Users to the centre. Government players can use Policy Initiative cards, while the Service Users, who represent different people living in Newport can advocate for various policies to get ahead.

Service Users have different needs, goals, advantages and obstacles that follow them as they roll the dice, while Government players must negotiate playing only 2 or 3 initiates to help the Service Users, all while mitigating unforeseen risks that effect everyone in addition to the individual circumstances and health conditions of the Service Users. The game was first played during a Civil Service Leadership Group event in Newport in 2024.

Commissioned by the Leadership College for Government to explore topics in a different way.

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