Mitch Weisburgh FRSA

Title: Mindshifting and Sensemaking: The Problem-Solving Game 

Can you use games to improve brainstorming, collaborative, and critical thinking skills? This Role Playing game uses group problem-solving and decision-making to give players hands-on experience with nine of the techniques from the courses, allowing them to compare and contrast using different decision-making styles in different situations where there is an element of urgency, but no real risk.

Location: Larchmont, New York, USA

Creative Experience 

Over the past 7 years, Mitch has been accumulating research and practices about how people make sense of situations, how they can make better decisions, and how they can maintain flexibility and resourcefulness in the face of opposition or obstacles. He has created three Mindshifting courses from this material, but the question arose, was there a more engaging or fun way to learn the material than to participate in a class. 

From this thought came the idea, why not see we the learning could be incorporated into a role-playing game? In role-playing games there is an imaginary world, the players have different roles, and the players belong to teams that confront those challenges. In this case, the imaginary world became a village in Medieval times. The roles were based on inhabitants of medieval villages, and the challenges or opportunities came from threats that existed at the time, dragons attacking townspeople, pestilences of uncertain origin, and greedy lords taking advantage of commoners. Participants are directed to use specific problem-solving strategies that are commonly used today in order to jointly devise solutions to the problems, and then the different teams debrief about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the different strategies and when or where they would deploy them to the situations they face today.

Biography and links 

Mitch helps organizations succeed in the US K-12 education sector. Mitch co-founded Academic Business Advisors in 2005, which helps organizations develop business strategies to align their products and services with the ways purchasing decisions are made and technology is used in schools and districts so that they can scale and make a difference to kids and educators. In 2014, Mitch co-founded Edchat Interactive with Tom Whitby and Steve Anderson, a service to share best practices among educators through live online interactive events. In January 2015, Mitch cofounded the nonprofit Games4Ed with Larry Cocco, to facilitate collaborations between educators, researchers, game developers, publishers, and policymakers to further the use of games and other immersive strategies in schools. Mitch served on the Board of the Ed-Tech Industry Network (ETIN) of the SIIA from 2012-2019, was co-chair from 2015-2016, and was chair in 2019. If you are at all interested in what Mitch did before 2005, buy him a glass of wine and ask.

Exhibition / Gallery