the Human Security Challenge


The Human Security Challenge takes place on a board that symbolizes a virtual world. Six fictive nations invest in security and aim to gain the most power by the end of the last game round. The dynamics are similar to issues that world leaders grapple with: limited resources, crises, conflicts and international negotiations. The players face crucial trade-offs between long-term stability and short-term national interests. The game is designed in a way that ensures the participants gain an improved understanding of the complexity of security issues and also helps them reflect on how they, as individuals, make decisions and position themselves in relation to each other. The debrief that follows the game encourages an appreciation of the benefits of mutual cooperation and of long-term sustainability.

We at Human Security Collective (HSC) have integrated this challenge/game in our work with young community leaders in the MENA region and beyond. We think it might be useful to play it in multi-stakeholder settings (with players representing both the traditional ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ security sectors).

We have found that playing the game is a useful way of discussing conflict and cooperation on a macro level, before then contextualizing the conversation to human security on an individual/the community level. The Human Security Challenge has been designed by Perspectivity in partnership with Human Security Collective.

How to Play:
The workshop takes approximately 2.5 hours and consists of a short introduction, 75–90 minutes of the game followed by a debrief. The debrief can be tailored towards specific topics upon request. The recommended group size is 24 although smaller and larger groups can also be accommodated.

Track Record:
The Human Security Challenge has been played in a variety of settings (educational institutions, workshops, trainings, in the community and in offices) across the world with an equally wide variety of participants – students, trainees, human rights defenders, youth leaders, policymakers, security stakeholders and others.

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