Worldwide network for innovative social solutions.
A PLAYFUL METHOD FOR COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION
In the 90s, Rodrigo Alonso was a passionate activist in the student movements of São Paulo, as many of his friends. But in 1999, he realized that it might be better if he stopped focusing on fighting the system.
We should focus instead on inviting people to live change in a positive way.
BIRTH OF THE ELOS INSTITUTE
Following this vision, they created the ELOS institute and started working on Warriors Without Weapons, an experiential educational program to empower citizens who want to change their communities.
The project was a success, with people from an increasing number of countries coming to attend the courses. And as empowered activists returned home, they started demanding some kind of tool or method to transform their communities fast and powerfully.
It can’t be boring or depressing, it has to be something fun...
Let’s invent a tool to transform our communities.
We should find way to engage more people to make a change in the world
Something… like a game.
Wow, it really works!
THE OASIS GAME
The resulting tool was the Oasis Game, a playful method for community transformation.
The Oasis Game involves both community members and volunteers in discovering, developing and realizing a community’s shared dream (the Oasis).
In 2003, the first Oasis Game was held in Santos Paquetá. It was a huge success, with people continuing to work in transforming their community way after the “game” ended.
THE 7 STEPS OF OASIS GAME
Observe the area and look for possibilities. Look for the beauty.
Meet and talk with local people. Truly connect with people. Look for the person behind the beauty.
Express ideas, share dreams, build images of what you and they would like to accomplish. Prepare, find the connections and similarities.
Prepare. Plan, seek and put together resources (materials available around you, in the neighbourhood) building the model.
The collective action: building ‘an oasis’ together. Neighbours, professionals and volunteers working together to make it happen.
Share the joy of your accomplishment, of carrying out the action together.
Create visions of the future. Launch a new challenge. After playing the game the people are encouraged to keep working together and initiating new projects.
MEANWHILE IN THE NETHERLANDS
Niels had finished studying Marketing and Media in Holland. He had always loved travelling. But regular tourism wasn’t enough for him, he wanted to really connect with the local people he met. So he started organizing volunteers on social tourism trips with his friends, connecting with grassroots organizations in the visited countries.
And then he met Carin from Emotive program.
I see our trips to Uganda as experiences of mutual cultural exchange.
Mutual learning trips are great. But we are from the reverse development work paradigm. I think we can learn from their solutions.
Mmmm… learning from them, yeah… that’s cool!
It was an incredible experience, with a surprising amount of energy involved: like thinking this is never going to work and then it just suddenly worked.
And it sounds like something we could implement in Holland…
NIELS MEETS RODRIGO
Shifting his mind to the new reverse development paradigm, Niels and his team went to Brazil In early 2010 and met Rodrigo and the ELOS team. They participated in their first Oasis Training, learning about its methodology and the Elos philosophy.
TAKING IT TO HOLLAND
Will it work here?
We dutch are too rational.
“Dreams” sounds a bit naive
You need too many permits to do that here…
All right, but… Let’s do it!
OASIS GAME AMSTERDAM
The Oasis Game in Amsterdam proved that although there were important cultural differences between the dutch and the Brazilians, the methodology works and produces unexpected positive results.
Some people initially didn’t want to contact the mosque because they thought the muslims wanted to be left alone, but they turned out to be very open and participative.
This breaking of pre-conceptions was a big eye-opener.
It’s empowering to do things differently. The majority of people who participated in the exchanges became active part of community of people that are working with the Elos philosophy afterwards.
They are equipped with a tool that they are able to replicate, and that they are executing in their lives.
Every time an Oasis is played in a community it changes the point of view and foundations of the community for good, regarding to not be stuck in thinking only about problems and stimulating people to make a fresh start…
THE ELOS NETWORK
Oasis Game started spreading more and more.
The Elos Foundation was created, and in coordination with Elos Institute, they tested the method in diverse rural and urban communities and improved it to share it with the rest of the world.
The official Manual was created in dutch and portuguese, for any community to be able to implement its own Oasis Game.
There were many Oasis Games after this in The Netherlands, UK, Curacao, Montenegro, Spain, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
An impressive global network is established.
MAKING THE WORLD A GLOBAL PLAYGROUND
The E-mpulse game uses the Elos philosophy steps to help social entrepreneurs create international collaborative projects.
In 2015 the Brazilian, Dutch and Spanish partners ran the first edition of this project incubation process bringing together 30 participants from 15 countries across 4 continents, creating 14 collaborative projects based on the E-motive principles. This included (amongst others) a project for women-empowerment between participants from 3 continents, Oasis Game in schools between Curação and Spain, to collaborations around community eco-construction.
The E-mpulse game gave the participants the opportunity to build similar E-motive relationships as Rodrigo and Niels build over time.
+ INFO: empulsegame.emotiveprogram.org
After years of shifting our perspective of south-north collaboration we realized we were learning a lot from eachother, in all directions, north, south, east, west.
And we took it a step further with the E-mpulse game.
BACK TO THE ESSENCE
The international growth of the project was very welcomed but also brought new challenges. The main one now is how to maintain the original philosophy behind the game, with so many different variations being made worldwide.
The Oasis Game is not just getting together to do something for the community. We need to go back to the essence: the Elos philosophy.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR:
With the Emotive network you will find partners, methodology, and new ways of working and thinking that you previously weren’t able to see or have.
The emotive network has already proven the potential of finding solutions and methodology around the world for our toughest problems, because we reverse the way of thinking of who has the solutions.”
Help us make a project like this come true.