Task Force Energy Award


Our final award is the Task Force Energy Award, which was chosen on the basis of being an outlier idea. 

The Task Force Energy award goes to player kenhub, a 3D Sim Producer from Davidson, NC whose area of expertise is serious games.  He earned this award for his outlier idea on how to reduce energy consumption in the face of the 2022 scenario:

Congratulations to kenhub and for all players who contributed outlier ideas.  

Play the game, change the game.

One Set of Awards Deserves Another

Time for another round of energyMMOWGLI awards.  With so much excellent material to analyze, we wanted to draw your attention to these superb contributions.  

Interested in sifting through the material yourself for the gems in the data?  Take a look at these 5000+ Idea Cards or the 37 Action Plans.

This video by player PotentialFutures wins the Accessible Action Plan award, for providing a clear and concise overview of an Action Plan via video in order to make it more accessible to other players.

And the Unlikely Collaborators Award (given to honor convergence on the same topic by people you would never expect to see at a dinner party together) goes to player dynamite (who has a background in anthropology/polysci & international relations from UC Berkeley), player Wolf359, a game theorist and capability escalation developer from Scotland, Player SSGEnergy, who is from the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Energy Group) and Player Janiz98, who simply self-identifies as being from the US.

Because one of the primary goals of any alt energy technology is to free vessels from having to ship fuel around the globe to get to the right place at the right time, when and where refueling happens will become even more important in the next decade.  Here's a sampling of the convergence between these unlikely collaborators:

And lastly, the obligatory meta-mmowgli award, for game methodology conversations inside the game via an exchange between two players from our top 10 Leaderboard, Gardener and PotentialFutures:

Congrats to these award winners and thanks to all who contributed,

-Gamemaster Rachel

And the awards go to...

The first batch of awards are ready to be issued!  Today we'll share the first set, with more to come:

The RiffMaster Award (for riffing on first order cards played by other players) goes to NavyMIT.  Just check out their idea profile to see what we mean:

Players littlebear and FuriousHat win the Repurposing Award (for repurposing techniques from non-military contexts for the use in the Navy) given this exchange:

And you never know who will be watching for your ideas.  Exchanges like the one above got players like littlebear noticed by player SSGenergy, of the Chief Naval Office's Strategic Studies Group on Energy, who buddied littlebear to follow the cards they played.

Look for the next batch of awards coming soon, including a special award given by Task Force Energy.

Thanks to all who played.

-Gamemaster Rachel

Game over... for now

The current energyMMOWGLI game is over.  Many thanks to all players for tremendous contributions.  We've made a lot of progress, most importantly on serious game topics and also on our game platform infrastructure.

Please see Game Changers for finish-line details. Player contributions include over 5000 Idea Cards and 37 Action Plans for ongoing consideration. Further awards will be announced in coming weeks.

Play the game, change the game!

Leadership in Energy


I've just finished a new book on the leadership skills that will be needed to thrive -- given the  the external future forces of the next decade.
Here are just a few of the ten future leadership skills speak directly to this MMOWGLI energy conversation:
CLARITY: to win in this energy-starved future, leaders will need to be very clear where they want to go--but very flexible about how they get there. Military leaders call clarity "Commander's Intent," where leaders are very clear about the WHAT, but very flexible about the HOW. As you play this game, what's your clarity of direction?
BIO-EMPATHY: leaders must learn from the principles of nature that are embedded all around us. Leaders need to plant seeds, fertilize, nurture, and harvest in order to succeed. Organizations are not machines.
A game master asked how we can look to nature to guide energy efficiency.  

Players like Fernaguli, an Industrial Engineer from Peru, applied their ingenuity and proposed dynamic ideas:
COMMONS CREATING: leaders need to grow shared assets that create opportunities for more people and organizations to win. The only way to do this is through what Howard Rheingold calls SMART MOB ORGANIZING (as you are doing in this MMOWGLI game) and RAPID PROTOTYPING what could work in the future. Leaders must learn how to fail early, fail often, and fail cheaply. Gaming is a great way to do this, if the lessons from gaming get re-applied in the real world.
Good luck to all of the players of energy MMOWGLI!  
Best from Palo Alto,
Bob Johansen

Game Changers


Congrats to all players!  Since the game opened on Tuesday, May 22 at 8am eastern/5am pacific, we've seen some amazing contributions from 559 players through 4527 idea cards and 35 action plans.

The Leaderboard is now final, with the following players in our Top 10:

We know that the game platform had intermittent downtime that may not have allowed you to finish sharing your thoughts, so we'd like to offer you an "extra inning" so to speak, in case you had more ideas to share over the weekend.  Points will keep accumulating but the leaderboard is final, as listed above. 

Some of you have asked what happens next.  We'll begin our initial analysis and post awards to players on the Energy blog next week!  Follow @mmowgli to hear the latest.

Play the game, change the game.



Buzz is building around smart grid on energyMMOWGLI.  Players want to see the development of smart grid on Navy bases (and micro grids on ships) in order to boost energy efficiency and system resilience. See Action Plan 27 and Card IDs 1372, 3222, 1438, 3653, 317, 995, 1449.  Players note that improving the energy efficiency of base buildings including housing represents the first step toward achieving this.


In contrast to the conventional grid, a smart grid uses information technologies to improve how electricity travels from generation source to consumers, allows consumers to interact with the grid, and integrates new and improved technologies into the operation of the grid.  With its diverse mix of housing and other facilities situated relatively closely together, a military base offers an ideal smart grid deployment project.   

energyMMOWGLI players have offered a range of ideas for building out a smart grid.  For example, electrification of on-base transportation (Card IDs 2744, 2773), including tug boats in ports (Card ID C1613), and linking together a diverse mix of generation sources such as solar and wind but also wave power (Card ID 837) and nuclear submarines while in port (Card ID 517).  Some well-informed players have been quick to note that there are legal barriers (i.e. protection of local utility interests) with this (Card IDs 540, 557).

Countervailing views are surfacing questioning whether bases (and all government facilities) should be taken completely off the grid.  Some players contend that a linkage should be maintained in order to contribute excess power to the community and available power in case of emergency.  See Card IDs 709, 402, 694, 368.  Entrepreneurial players suggest that the Navy could supplement its budget by selling power to the wider grid (Card ID 3709).


The Moffett Field smart grid project provides an example of a public-private partnership with local smart grid and other companies as well as local municipalities. For other examples of U.S. deployment projects and the broader economic impacts of smart grid, see recent Silicon Valley Smart Grid Taskforce report.


The first step to deploying the smart grid on Navy bases, as many players noted, is improving energy efficiency of all facilities including housing.  The Navy has made a critical move by having promotion boards consider an officer’s energy management when considering promotion; however, behavior at home is a separate issue (Card ID 3622). 

A problem noted with base housing is that it tends to be in private hands and of low quality. Residents are not likely able or willing to make investments in the installation of insulation or upgraded windows and doors.  The Navy Installations Command recently announced the expansion of the Resident Energy Conservation Program (RECP) for Public Private Venture (PPV) housing in the U.S.  This means that residents of privately-owned housing will begin paying their own electricity bills in an effort to transfer responsibility for usage to the residents.

The deployment of smart grid on bases could take the RECP efforts to the next level by empowering residents with the realtime information about their own usage patterns and thereby heightening grid reliability and productivity.

Guest blog by Tracey Grose, Institute for the Future

Asking the Right Questions, Not Settling for Easy Compromise Answers

energyMMOWGLI Player Green_is_the_New-Navy gets to the crux of the matter that we posed to players with our opening scenario with this card:  


Although this is one potential answer to the question of how do we reduce consumption, we want to challenge the collection of mmowgli players to think deeper, to think longer, and think together on this question. A hallmark of the burgeoning field of Design Thinking is the ability to hold two apparently contradictory premises in tension simultaneously, and not to prematurely resolve that creative tension into an unsatisfying either/or outcome. 

Bob Johansen, author of Leaders Make the Future:  Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World calls this skill, Dilemma Flipping.

So…while it may ultimately prove to be the case, in 2022, that scaling back our goals, or giving up on our interests in the Pacific, is the only answer, the fundamental question posed by this game is: can we, by thinking together, and by thinking about it in advance, emerge with some third way…..a way that allows us to reduce our overall consumption while at the same time preserving our operational effectiveness????


Left undetermined so far is the whole notion of what “operational effectiveness” really means. You can see below that Green_is_the_New-Navy’s card chain is starting to coalesce in that way. Perhaps a deeper examination of the rubric behind the DoD’s Fuel Directive of 2018 (from the 2022 scenario video) is in order here? Anybody up the challenge of fleshing that out? 

-Gamemaster Garth

Trash Talk


Looking through the masses of ideas flowing throughout this game, there seems to be a lot of trash talk going on. (Please excuse the terrible puns.)

From converting garbage (both created on-board and pre-existing garbage patches) into energy…


…to utilizing found items into raw materials for 3D printing…


…to utilizing a pre-existing garbage-related technology to gather data…


…to utilizing plastic in mulch for on-board hydroponic gardens…


…garbage appears to be everywhere. There has been so much trash talk, in fact, that an action plan sprouted out of a chain suggesting the Navy emulate NASA’s models.


Do you have any trashy ideas? Add to the conversation. There isn’t much time left!

Play the game, change the game.

-Guest blog post by Sara Skvirsky, Institute for the Future

Lightweight, Near-Term Results vs. Cultural, Long-Term Transformation

After three days of game play, each MMOWGLI card played in conjunction with another is forming a telling narrative and revealing possibilities for categorical improvements with both near-term and long-term implications. 

A series of cards played around the complementarities of energy research and the social sciences and an exchange around funding for academic research on the subject has led to the co-creation of an action plan for enhanced energy education that is multi-disciplinary as well as bridges academic and military knowledge in order to “create a culture that is aware of the central role of energy”. 



Of the solutions posed for self-sustaining vessels, one of the most recurring proposals is the utilization of in-situ energy resources (grouped as one action plan) aboard ships to allow vessels to maximize efficiency, even sharing power back to a local base.



Players regularly take into consideration the life cycle of the naval value chain and propose smaller scale, more lightweight solutions – such as incorporating net zero buildings to hybrid vehicles and vessels to more efficient shipyard planning

It will be interesting to see how the growing cultural acceptance of and interdisciplinary fluency in energy efficiency will influence energy planning and policymaking.  It will also be interesting to see which institutional dynamics set forth in the MMOWGLI 2022 Scenario Trailer will be most impacted in the next decade.


- Game Master Deepa Mehta

ADAPT: Adapting Surfaces

Of the 3735 discrete idea cards played so far, below are some ADAPTIONS that were put forward.

Several adaptations were about rethinking surfaces as potential sources of energy generation:

How would you build on these ideas?

Play the game, change the game.

-Gamemaster Rachel

<24 hours to go!

Less than 24 hours of game play to go! Time to the final push to play cards and  develop Action Plans!  

The leaderboard has seen some real shifts today, as player Gardener (based in Silicon Valley) takes the lead:

Want to know the nitty-gritty of how to win?  Click here.  We know the game connectivity has been spotty for some of you--thanks for your patience and for sticking with it!

Play the game, change the game,

-Gamemaster Rachel

THE FUTURE OF SHIPS: New Sources for Electricity Generation

energyMMOWGLI is generating extensive activity surrounding the types of fuels used and even the design of ships (e.g. bimimicry in design Card ID E1312, sailing ships Card ID E1877, and many more) and the use of advanced materials (e.g. Action Plan ID 9) to improve fuel efficiency.  What about harnessing the movement of the ship to generate the electricity needed for on-board use?  There has been a bounty of cards played and action plans launched. 

And it seems that the Navy’s USS Makin Island (LHD-8) already demonstrates the viability of some of these technologies.  By trailing the propeller shaft, electricity can be generated. (Card IDs 1273, 1414, 1455, and others) A recent white paper describes this and other efforts the Navy is currently pursuing to improve energy efficiency of non-nuclear ships and other innovations.


The Action Plan (ID 7) related to this topic is developing enthusiastically with members digging into the details.  For example, this issue is framed as follows:

“Regenerative braking allows for a hybrid vehicle to passively generate additional electric power from a simple user action: slow down / braking the vehicle.  Unfortunately, for a modern ship, “braking” is accomplished by reducing the propeller shaft RPM and adjusting the pitch of the propellers, so no frictional brake pads can be supplemented by a direct electric motor.  However, a passive energy collection system – such as a stator / rotor assembly directly affixed to the propeller shaft – would serve to act as the equivalent of a regenerative brake, though it would not serve to actually reduce the speed of the rotating shaft upon command.”

The group has come to agreement that such a passive energy capture systems could work:

“A passive energy capture system will harness energy from the rotating propeller shaft, with significant consideration for sustaining a high propulsive efficiency.  A stator / rotor apparatus will be affixed to the rotating shaft, and electricity will be generated accordingly.  The electricity will feed into to main electric bus for the ship.”

The Action Plan includes a video demonstrating some of the concepts, and Card ID E 395 suggests that cruise ships have been implementing similar technology over the last decade.  MMOWGLI activity is revealing there’s great potential for the Navy to find new opportunities for collaboration and for driving their “Watch-Partner-Lead” approach to creating a green fleet.

Atttribution:  Guest blog by Tracey Grose, Institute for the Future

Thank you for your patience!

We found some problems caused by large Action Plan text. We've limited the size of Action Plan text to 510 characters in each of the plan sections (who what when where etc.).  This patch s fixing some emergent problems, and we are still watching for other things to tweak.  Apologies if you draft a long masterpiece and then it won't save because of going over the limit, so we wanted to give you a heads up here.

Keep playing as you're able, and if you run into trouble we suggest you clear your cache and restart your browser.  If you need further assistance please file a Trouble Report.

Thanks for your patience and for hanging with it!

Captain's Log: energyMMOWGLI, Day 3


Captain's Log: energyMMOWGLI, Day 3
Exciting game continues exploring a variety of energy themes. 3227 Idea Cards have been played and 28 Action Plans developed...proof that energy challenges appear more important than ever! Only 24 hours of moderated play remains.
The energyMMOWGLI Blog tells the game story so check it out to come up to speed.  So far, the distribution across categories of cards are:
Here's a glimpse into the action plans so far.  To visit the Action Plans in the game, click here.
Note to self...get  ideas in now...contribute to the collaboration.
Play the game, change the game!

Action Plan Synergies

Today we'll begin looking for connection points between Action Plans.  In some cases, there are overlaps that hint at the possibility for two Action Plans to join together.

In others, action plans may be related, but bear out important distinctions by remaining separate.  One example of an area where Action Plans seem to have potential synergy are Plans 5 and 8.  

What if the authors of these 2 Action Plans were to collaborate regarding bullding modifications and new Military Construction (MILCON) projects?  What would we gain, what would we lose?

27 Action Plans in <2 Days

With less than 2 days of game play under our belts, some Action Plans are beginning to emerge.  We have 27 so far, and more are still forming, based on the topics that have emerged as conversation hot spots.

Some Action Plans are focusing on the supply side of the energy equation, like this one one nuclear power:

Others focus on the demand side of the energy equation, asking what can be done to change behavior in terms of energy consumption--especially in the context of Naval housing.  

Players have added videos to bring to life some of the principles of behavior change, as well as persuasive technologies that can help nudge people who live in Naval housing to consume less.

Some action plans are delving into energy technologies, like this one focusing on hybrids:

Others are focusing on infrastructure:

While others still are fleshing out governance implications:

Even the very scale of action is being rethought:

What's an Action Plan and how do I work on one?  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Play the game, change the game.

-Gamemaster Rachel

Re-Inventing Supply Chain Ecosystems

Many players have spoken to the Navy's ability to pose new productive challenges to its suppliers to boost energy innovation in a larger ecosystem.

, an expert in solar, sensors, and RADAR in Fairfax, VA,

suggests making reduced energy consumption an evaluation criteria for all USN solicitations


Yesterday, Seahawk91 brought up the idea of a DARPA-style challenge to spur industry and innovation partnerships.

NavyMIT, as part of an active chain of discussion earlier in the game, proposed a DOD Joint Energy Program Office with all uniformed services, research institutions, and academia, which could drive such efforts with more clout...but might compromise some forms of agility.

Re-inventing the supply chain also includes actions like overhauling the logistics and sourcing system, so that fleets are incentivized to source more supplies locally, as suggested by smarteis and Leadfoot.


Attribution:  Guest blog post by Lyn Jeffrey, Institute for the Future Technology Horizons program and co-author of Reinventing Energy Futures.

From Ideation to Action Plans

Ideas-->Chain Reactions-->Action Plans

Many ideas have been provoked by the 2022 video scenario around the future of energy, and those ideas have sparked conversations that have come to life via chain reactions.  Now it's time for the rubber to meet the road.

It's time to build a bridge to that future, by putting our ideas to work in Action Plans.  Here's how:

1.  Click on Action Plans in the upper right hand side of your screen:

2.  Review the Action Plans that are underway.  

3.  Review an Action Plan and give it a rate it to let us know what you think by giving it 1 or more thumbs ups!  Check out the card chain that started the action plan in motion.

4.  Think you'd be a good match for the Action Plan?  Let us know by clicking the "Help Wanted" banner and telling us what you hope to contribute.

Play the game, change the game.

-Gamemaster Rachel

Combinatorial Energy

A number of player’s submissions have emphasized the renewed potential of energy systems that have been relied upon in the past. For example, a number of suggestions call for retrofitting existing vessels to rely on wind, coal or nuclear power.


There are also some interesting variations on this “back to the future” theme. For example, GrendelPrime has initiated a lively discussion around the deployment of a few next-generation nuclear powered super-tugboats to help groups of traditional petroleum-fueled vessels to get to their destination. Specifically, GrendelPrime suggests that we:


Create nuclear powered "Sea Trains"; link multiple gas-powered ships to a larger Nuclear Sea Locomotive for distance, separate at location.

The idea of bringing a number of different types of energy solutions together in novel combinations is a theme that is being echoed throughout the energy sector. 


Moving forward, it may be that many of the biggest energy innovations are not based on new cutting edge technologies, but on thinking about how to bring existing, even historic, capabilities together in new ways.


  -Guest blog post by Devin Fidler, Institute for the Future, co-author Reinventing Energy Futures

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