Meet Governor Williams, an Ambitious, Community-Minded Leader

Topics: Future of Learning, Systems Change

I want this state to do well while doing well by each of its residents.

Karissa Williams
Character from IMPACT: Learning Edition

Karissa Williams was always a leader, so it came as no surprise when she was elected Governor in the year 2031. In her role, she seeks to foster productive civic discourse and bolster the state’s standing and economy. Governor Williams also works to ensure that the state has the resources needed to support its citizens, particularly those who, like her, need assistive devices to walk.

Those aspirations are no small charge. More specifically, Governor Williams wants a future in which policy and governance function well and hold people accountable to mutual goals. She also wants civic life to thrive, with people from all walks of life feeling free to participate in and influence society. Following closely behind those desires, Governor Williams wants to see strong social infrastructure provide people with the resources and supports they need and straightforward ways of accessing them.

Governor Williams is a fictional character from IMPACT: Learning Edition, a game that helps players grapple with change through systems thinking. A player competing for her interests would be scanning the environment the following kinds of changes.

  • From Hashtag to Human Right – What if gender discrimination, sexual harassment and violence in workplaces and schools came to be considered international human rights violations?
  • Flexing Their Civic Muscles – What if teenagers led the charge in protests – both online and in the streets – as political polarization in the U.S. continued to increase?
  • The Incredible Shrinking Household – What if the average household in the U.S. continued to shrink, having already dropped from 3.36 in the 1960’s to 2.52 in 2020?

Such changes would impact Governor Williams’ ability to realize her aspirations for the future. Though she has years of practice balancing constituents’ interests while pursuing her vision for the state she leads, these changes could accelerate or derail her priorities.

Considering them from her perspective can help players explore what multiple, disparate changes could mean for someone else. When seeking to influence education’s futures, all of us should be attempting to look beyond our own interests and realities. Yet that can be incredibly hard to do, especially when the stakes are so high.

Playing IMPACT: Learning Edition can be a fun, low-stakes way of exploring multiple perspectives on the future of learning and considering what changes you might want to pursue. Learn more about the game and purchase your copy to bring a jolt of play into your education changemaking efforts.

Learn more about IMPACT: Learning Edition., a new – and fun – futures thinking tool form KnowledgeWorks.