The Oasis Game

Many of us may feel that the work to solve the world’s biggest problems is stressful, uncomfortable or mind-bendingly challenging. Some of us shrug off responsibility because it seems like a sacrifice to change our lifestyles. The work is needed on such a huge scale that we begin to feel overwhelmed or insignificant.

So imagine if it were actually fun to make the world a better place! What if, instead of seeing this as work, we threw a party and had a blast while we cleaned up the earth and our communities? This spirited approach feels like it can inspire a lasting and genuine culture of jedi-earth-stewards!

I’ve been holding this idea of making change fun as a “design principle” for the last year or so. So I was excited when I found a project that transformed their work into play, and their strategy into a game!

My friend Benjamin introduced me to the work of a Brazilian architect, urbanist, and inspired social entrepreneur named Edgard Gouveia.

Edgard co-founded a community leadership initiative in Brazil called Instituto Elos. They have developed an awesome social technology to ignite meaningful action called the Oasis Game. Their idea is to approach a community-development project as a game, and invite a diversity people to participate, from street children to regional officials and business owners. This inclusiveness attracts more people to join the game, and once involved, each person is invited to bring their most unique and valuable talents to the table. People participate by offering their passions, skills, or any resource that is abundant and gives them joy to share. Money is avoided in the Oasis Game, the special skills and talents of the community are considered to be more valuable.

Of course, throwing a good party is not a science. So I contacted Edgard to learn the secret recipe that is driving the success of this model. We chatted over skype, and first got to know each other on a personal level. We are both involved with The Hub, a network of co-working spaces for social innovators. We both feel a clear and powerful call to step up our collective efforts to ensure a safe and healthy future. And we both seek and respect the guidance of spiritual insight; he’s heading on sabbatical to southeast Asia to consult wise elders as he steps into greater service to the globe.

He did his best to translate the magic ingredient that makes Oasis Game work, but mentioned that in his culture, it is not as customary to systematize things. There isn’t always a recipe; people just “cook” from the heart! Nonetheless, they are working on a document to outline the process so they can share the Oasis Game with others around the world.

Speaking with Edgard reminded me to trust my instincts, be a fun host, and give the party life!


7 Responses to “The Oasis Game”

  1. Jay, the sparks radiating off you are exciting and inspiring! love your phrase “jedi-earth-stewards” & will be jumping back into the email thread with y’all later today. love, christy

  2. Hey Jay,
    I just received it from Val and to read it brings me back the beatiful sensation I felt while exchanging messages with you that week.
    And it inspire me to thank you again, for your personal perspective you bring, for your clear way og describe it (much better than mine :), and for your offering open heart to the earth care mission…
    I totally agree with Christy Lee… love the phrase “jedi-earth-stewards”!
    Hope to meet you somewhere.
    Brazilins stewards hugs!

    • Edgard! I first heard about Oasis via your work in Holland, send an email immediately to Elos, now meeting collaborators in California– I run a small organization with a big vision to advance the 7 Stages – within Oasis – yet also identified in Nature, and many other areas as a whole system design – as a way of fostering, or catalyzing MASS-collaboration between grass-roots and global partners! I’d be honored to connect dots and initiatives related to Oasis Game & Elos foundation in ongoing outreach, case studies and collaborative research. Please see:

      Also Jay, did I just meet you @ One: The Event? Call me! 310-392-6909 or email me AND THANK YOU, so excited to connect with you ALL!

  3. It’s so warm and inspiring to see/feel the ideas and beautiful energy rising around all of this, with both of you offering your bright minds and open hearts to keep the embers hot

    We need to have a Hub here in Seattle already!…but in the meantime, where and when shall we gather to do some deepening and clarifying?

    love, Christy

  4. Hei Christy!

    You know… I will be travelling aroun the world. We should cross our ways somewhere!
    There is a chance to finish my journey in north EUA and Canada, about july and august. Any suggetion?

  5. Edgard, please plan to come to Seattle in July or August! You can stay with me and my family, or also I am sure there are lots of friends here who would love to host you!

    Don’t you think so, Jay?

    love, Christy

    • yodelheck Says:

      Yeah for sure! Lots of cool stuff happening in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver!! And tons of Cascadian hospitality!

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