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EVOKE was developed by the World Bank Institute, the learning and knowledge arm of the World Bank Group, and directed by alternate reality game master Jane McGonigal.

EVOKE is *alive*

Posted by Gene Becker on 09 Mar under Mentor Reports

My long-suffering mentor Calida asked me what I thought about our recent efforts to grow the EVOKE network’s capabilities. I know she and Alchemy have been concerned about our ability to scale up EVOKE operations, given the rising frequency and severity of ‘black swan’ negative events around the world. Rather than just giving Calida an immediate response, I said I would spend several days studying the situation. I have done so, and what I discovered is so profound that I feel you all need to hear it.

Our recruiting campaign has been successful. One week in, there are more than 8,671 new agents in the network! We have agents embedded in dozens of countries on 6 continents, representing a wide spectrum of knowledge, experience and cultures. This is a tremendous expansion of our reach and human capital. We are very fortunate in this regard, but I would like to ask for your help on two issues:

1) If you know of any potential agents on the continent of Antarctica, I urge you to recruit them to EVOKE. We require better coverage and analysis of the critical south polar region.

2) If an enterprising agent or team can compile a list of all the countries represented by one or more agents in EVOKE in a comment on this blog entry, I would be very grateful for their analysis.

The network is finding its voice. In support of the initial LEARN, ACT and IMAGINE missions, together we have posted over 3,235 blog entries, 1,099 photos and 278 videos. Our agents have impressively committed to shadowing over 300 unique social innovators in fields ranging from clean water to microfinance, working around the world from the South Bronx to South Africa. The range and scope of your ideas is large and growing, quite literally by the minute. This is wonderful progress! However, amid the great outpouring of your evidence, I observe that there are many agents whose voices we have not yet heard.

We are weaving a fabric of connections. Through thousands of comments, forum posts and messages that are flowing in the community like a deep, strong river. Through friendships, collaborations and challenges, and through generous sharing of your power votes to recognize each others’ contributions. Many of you are skilled communicators and social collaborators, highly visible and engaged; but also there are many agents who have yet to activate their powers. Again I will ask for your help:

3) EVOKE thrives on diversity of knowledge, experience and perspective; help us strengthen the network by opening yourself to new connections and new voices. Set a positive example by listening carefully for the hidden signals in between the lines. Step out of your comfortable shoes. Not all of us are seasoned ARG veterans and social media pioneers. Not all have broadband access. Not all are familiar with the customs and conventions of the so-called Ning platform. So see with new eyes. Listen with different ears. Value the subtle alongside the spectacular.

We are superstructing, building capabilities, infrastructure and tools. Did you know that we have guilds? A library, a reading group and a map? And Twitter lists, wikis, even games-within-games. Powerful developments! (But given the ongoing presence of CX I caution you to be vigilant as always).

We are bringing the world to the game, and the game to the world. Agents are doing more than just talking about social innovation. We are moving out into the world to understand, learn and document our firsthand experiences, like Agent Falconer in the Lynedoch Ecovillage. We are making contact with social innovators, and they are responding. Did you know that Agent Araguz received a message from visionary educator Roger Schank, that Agent Beare connected with Eve Annecke of the Sustainability Institute, and Agent Trott exchanged email with Derek Lomas of Playpower? And you, have you gone out, reached out, made contact?

So here is my conclusion, to Agent DeBello and to each of you. EVOKE is becoming…something more. Something greater than the sum of its parts. Here is what I believe: the network is coming alive. In the coming weeks, something amazing is going to happen. To us. Through us. Watch for it. And prepare.

13 Responses to “EVOKE is *alive*”

  1. Darryl Coleman

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work :)

  2. Emil Dimitrov

    We’re a powerful bio mechanism and I’m proud to be part of it.

  3. Nathaniel Fruchter

    “2) If an enterprising agent or team can compile a list of all the countries represented by one or more agents in EVOKE in a comment on this blog entry, I would be very grateful for their analysis.”

    Stats? You’ve got stats. http://evoke.redct.info/country_stats.pdf, as of yesterday. Note this is missing the around 600(!) agents that signed up today.

  4. Gene

    Redct you are indeed a resourceful agent! Those are some sweet stats too.

  5. Alessandra

    think this is an excellent situatio for the first week! congrats for your summary

  6. Hugo

    I have said it more than once and I will say it again.
    Participating in Evoke is a dream come true.
    Thanks for the opportunity and for making me feel more alive than ever before.

  7. Kevin DiVico

    well, what about making this more then a game. what about creating a real NPO with international reach after the game runs its course. Of course then the level for complexity goes up in maintaining, funding, and deployment, security , politics ( both from companies and from governments) and all the other things but it can be done.

    we can even get the sat system up and running… it can be done.

    my point here is this is way more then a game… it could be a movement for some a lively hood for some a way of life

  8. Changer le monde avec EVOKE, une semaine plus tard « Fais-Moi Jouer !

    [...] bilan est intéressant ! Une fois n’est pas coutume, place à quelques chiffres (fournis par un billet de l’EVOKEblog le 9 mars 2010) [...]

  9. Lee Hamr

    I enjoyed the stats posted by redct. As of 4:03 AM EST, I can add the following to your stats:

    Total agents: 10544
    Male agents: 7375
    Female agents: 2810
    Agents gender undeclared: 359

    I have an interest in this statistic, because I am a female science and technology teacher, and this is the kind of game in which I would have anticipated a greater number of female participants.

    Excellent game btw.


  10. Jason Davis

    Hey, I noticed that you are putting out a call for agents from Antarctica. While I am not there currently, I did work at McMurdo Station during the austral summer of 2000-2001 and am currently working on my dissertation concerning bioprospecting in Antarctica. If you like, I would be happy to put you in touch with an organization that you might find a good match: the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS, http://apecs.is/).

  11. Dezorian

    Great uplifting article. Though im still not sure wat is going on here. I only started yesterday (watched the presentation on TED from Jane McGonigal and got interested), but i’m trying to find my way in this network. Any clues on where active discussions are?

  12. Buffyb

    Hi Dezorian, welcome! Check the Evoke blog, link is at the top of your profile and look for something that interests you, or else the number of responses there’s sure to be exciting discussion happening. Hope this helps.

  13. Buffyb

    Dezorian, hi, sorry forgot, also check out the ‘Discussion’ blogs, fascinating discussions going on there, link is at top of your pofile.

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