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By Erika F. Washington
Sept. 13, 2012
Imagine if you could own a successful business that not only made a profit, but also helped better the environment and your employees. What would that look like and how hard would it be to keep that business prosperous?
These questions are answered in the brand new game GBO Hawai’i. GBO stands for Green Business Owners and its primary focus is to make the state of Hawaii a model of sustainable business ownership for the world.
The creator, Scott Cooney, teaches courses on sustainability for the MBA program at the University of Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business. He has spent many years teaching and writing about green projects and ‘ecopreneurship.’ He is also the author of “Build a Green Small Business.”
Cooney chose Hawaii as the game’s setting because despite having an abundance of natural resources including wind, solar, and geothermal activity the island state heavily depends on fossil fuels and imported goods.
Like Monopoly, the game has a banker and money and businesses can exchange hands. The difference is that in Monopoly, the object of the game is to be the one with the most money and property. In GBO Hawai’I, the winner is the player who succeeds at having the most business properties, cash on hand, eco-credits and created the most green jobs. The goal is also to learn the importance of investing wisely based on their resources and government policies while still achieving a positive social impact.
Instructions are included with the game but are also available online and include a video, which is quite helpful for first time players. The game is set up for 2-4 players. Having four players is ideal to get the most out of the game. This way, players will have more challenges to overcome such obstacles as business loss and dealing with lobbyists who represent the oil and gas industries.
The game is structured for adults 13 and up and is well suited for high school or college business/government classes. Students can learn the ins and outs of business ownership and how personal decisions affect individuals, local communities, and natural resources. The board game, as well as the card game version, is available for purchase on the GBO Hawai’i Website and would make an excellent gift for eco-minded friends and family.
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