18th December 2012

Companies urged to support game that will teach children about business and supply chain issues

Posted in: Education

Two former school teachers are seeking business partners from the logistics and retail communities to help develop an innovative board game that has been devised to teach young people about the global supply chain while they play.

Andy Page and Pat Smedley hope that their game – Business on the Move – will also excite and inspire young people to develop their understanding of broader business and enterprise issues and environmental matters.

“The game is unique in that it combines the essence of succeeding in business with acting responsibly towards the environment,” says Andy Page.

“Players must make the same decisions businesses make every day. How do I best deliver? Will I make a profit? How should I grow? How can I cut my carbon footprint?” he explains.

Andy and Pat are looking for support from partners from the logistics and retail communities to enable them to provide schools across the UK with free copies of the board game.

It is hoped that enough money will be raised to fund production of 2,800 copies of the board game. Nearly half of the initial production run will be distributed to schools at no cost, with the remainder sold at a subsidised price.

“Our plan is for the game to become self-financing as it rolls out across the UK”, says Pat Smedley. “We will reinvest surpluses in further production runs and seek to sustain the flow of free games into schools without any further cost to business partners.”

In return for their support partner companies will be able to feature their corporate branding as an actual part of the game.

Andy Page comments: “By being featured in Business on the Move, our partners will be aligning their business with the education of our young people and highlighting their concern for the environment.”

He continues: “The game offers a novel way to demonstrate corporate social responsibility, reinforcing business reputation with key partners and networks. By featuring our sponsors on the game board, will enhance their corporate identity in 400 schools and reach 12,000 pupils within 12 months and, we estimate, over 100,000 young people over five years.

As part of their plan to bring Business on the Move to market, Andy Page and Pat Smedley, have formed a social enterprise which means that any profits from the game will automatically be ‘locked in’ for the benefit of the community.

The game has been exhaustively trialled and refined with the help of over 30 schools, teachers and 530 young learners aged 9 to 19.

In trials of the game 91% of young people said that they found the game fun to play, while 86% preferred the traditional board version to a computer-based alternative. 83% considered it a good way to learn about business.

“The trials have proved that this is a resource that teachers and learners want!” says Andy Page.

Roger Williams, Chief Executive Officer of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA), a trade body representing the interests of some 700 logistics services companies, commented: “Business on the Move is a product that will broaden young people’s understanding of global supply chains and raise their career aspirations. I am sure the industry will give this excellent project the support it deserves.”

Steve Agg, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport – the the independent professional body for individuals associated with logistics, supply chains and all transport, commented: “Children will learn a lot from playing this game. Things like the different ways of transporting freight and business words like profit, assets, balance sheet, logistics and globalization. It also emphasizes the importance of reducing CO2 emissions – and environmental issues are certain to play an ever more important role in the business of our young people as they embark on their careers.”

Peter Harvey, Chief Executive Officer of the Fork Lift Truck Association, said: “The earlier in their educational process that children can begin to understand some of the issues associated with supply and demand and the mechanics that are in place to make things happen, the better.  If this can be achieved in a method that children enjoy then all the more likely that they will understand and remember and then be able to apply this to their learning process.”

Geoff Dunning, Chief Executive, Road Haulage Association, commented: “This new game is a great way to introduce students to the business world in general and the logistics industry in particular. Many people are conscious of the fact that the supermarket shelves would be empty without freight services, but this will encourage them to understand the complexities of supply chains, whilst at the same time making a positive contribution to their education.”

If you would like to learn more about the opportunities available to business partners, visit the game’s website www.businessonthemove.org

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