Congrès Inc. is holding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) workshops for all employees who work at headquarters, branch offices, and facilities that it operates nationwide. On September 5th and 8th, 2022, we held workshops for our employees in the Tokyo area at our MICE facility “Congrès Square Nihonbashi.” We are planning to have all employees attend the workshop by January next year, combining onsite and online formats.
Congrès has identified 4 materiality themes (priority issues or key challenges) to promote the sustainable growth of our business and employees, toward contributing to solving society’s issues through the creation and advancement of sustainable fora for MICE, and to realizing a society in line with the UN SDGs that “Leaves No One Behind.” We designed the workshop to enable each employee to understand the essence of the SDGs, think about them as an integral part of their own work, and to act as an opportunity to change their behavior through experiencing the world of the SDGs through a game.
For the workshop, we use a card game, the “2030 SDGs Game,” designed in Japan in 2016. It simulates taking the “real world” into the year 2030 and gives participants a hands-on experience of getting involved in co-creating a sustainable world (leading to; “I can do it;” “My actions can make a difference.”)
The game has been played not only by Japanese companies and organizations, but also by more than 300,000 people around the world including the United Nations Headquarters in New York in 2019.
On September 5th and 8th, Mr. TERASHIMA Yoshitomo (Representative, Future Creation Support / Representative Director of Japan Anshin Seikatsu Association) was invited as the facilitator for the workshop. The first half began with a basic lecture on SDGs, and then the game finally started.
In this game, participants work together to create a world in which the economy, environment, and society are well-balanced. Participants implement various projects with the aim of achieving goals given to each team (making money, securing leisure time, reducing poverty, protecting the environment, etc.). However, all projects come with trade-offs that cause “+-.” For example, when participants can earn money by working on a development project, the “economy” in the world will develop and become “+,” but the “environment” will be destroyed and become “-,” and the “society” could become unstable and cause a “-” impact on the world.
Participants progress through the game while paying attention to the “World Condition Meter,” which shows the economic, environmental, and social situation on a whiteboard. They learn that there are various dilemmas in order to create a well-balanced world that will be sustainable.
At the review session after the game, employees who participated commented that they realized the importance of listening to opinions of other teams, understanding needs, and visualizing the situation through means such as the “World Condition Meter” in order to make the world a better place.
For the second half of the workshop, the participants juxtaposed the 17 SDGs with Congrès’ business activities, and discussed in groups what they can and what they should do. They presented some examples related to the SDGs in each business domain, how much impact they have on the world, and strengths & weaknesses of our business, etc. Some said that by learning the essence of the SDGs, they were able to look at our business objectively from a different perspective, and it gave them an opportunity to think about what they can do on their own.
In a survey conducted after the workshop, participants’ impressions included: “I could see the potential for connecting the SDGs to our business,” “One person or one company may not be able to do much toward making a better world, but if they gather together and form a larger group, it can be a force for change,” “I realized anew that there are issues I can tackle close at hand. Starting today, I will try to eliminate waste.” There were also other comments related to internal communication: “Playing a game with other employees who we don’t usually have opportunities to interact with led to more active internal communication,” “It was a good opportunity to interact with people without regard for affiliation.”
For Congrès’ employees, this SDGs-themed workshop was certainly an opportunity to see the connection with society and our business, and think about/act on what we can do as individuals and as a company.