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VR Serious Game Allows Leaders To Test Themselves In Formidable Situations

Image credit: Earth to Mars VR Serious Game by Headspring 

Earth-to-Mars, a Virtual Reality Serious Game co-created by eLearning Studios and Headspring, the executive development joint venture of Financial Times and IE Business School, has won silver honors in the 2019 International Serious Play Awards competition in the Company Training category.

Earth-to-Mars claims to be the first of its kind in the executive learning space, allowing leaders to test themselves in formidable situations. 

Departing from the background presumption that leaders work in challenging circumstances — staying focused under pressure, dealing with complex and conflicting priorities, and pivoting when needs require, the game uses Virtual Reality to simulate such pressures in a learning experience. 

Image credit: Earth to Mars VR Serious Game by Headspring 

Earth-to-Mars is designed for two-players connected wirelessly. One player experiences the Mars basecamp in virtual reality, the other runs Earth’s Mission Control using an interactive tablet. Gameplay is estimated to take 30-45 minutes.

“Together, players navigate a number of incidents requiring them to lead, collaborate and negotiate. As with life, things are not always straightforward; and they must cope with problems, twists and surprises along the way,” says Nitin Thakrar, CEO of eLearning Studios.

 “Depending on how the facilitator wants to use it, the game’s learning outcomes include perseverance, keeping focused under pressure, evidence-based decision-making, negotiating in the moment, and dealing with the unknown,” he adds. 

Image credit: Earth to Mars VR Serious Game by Headspring 

Headspring’s Learning Architect, Ian Shakeshaft says, “Serious Games take on different meanings when used across different groups. That’s why Earth-to-Mars is designed to be flexible. Learning doesn’t depend on winning the game, rather in how the players deal with challenges. We don’t learn from experiences per-se, but from reflecting on those experiences.”

Headspring Identity Launch – June 2019
Headspring, the new identity of the joint venture between the Financial Times and IE Business School, was officially launched at an exclusive event held in the walkways of London’s iconic Tower Bridge on 12th June.

Since the organization’s formation some five years ago, Headspring has been redefining the ethos of executive education. Now officially assuming a new brand and identity, Headspring aims to be a future-focused, client-centric source of inspiration in executive education, constantly challenging the status quo.

Speaking at the Tower Bridge launch event, Headspring’s CEO, Gustaf Nordb├Ąck, said, “Our goal is to create a new model of executive education that will be useful for the 21st century. That involves change and, to change something, you need to build a new model that fundamentally makes the old model obsolete.

Nordb├Ąck explained, “Headspring isn’t a business school. It’s not a traditional executive education provider. Nor is it a bureau of distinguished journalists. Rather, we’re a learning partner which empowers organizations’ people and harnesses change to transform businesses. We provide the diversity of thought that’s needed to overcome today’s business challenges. Headspring combines an academic foundation, an inquisitive mindset – driven by 60 FT journalists – and all this is grounded in a real business context.”

The event enabled the 150 or so guests at the launch to experience the Serious Game, Earth-to-Mars.

About Headspring
Headspring, the executive development joint venture of the Financial Times and IE Business School, empowers organizations to embrace change and inspire a culture of continuous learning. It achieves transformational results by working in partnership with organizations globally to co-create bespoke, future-focused learning designs that empower people, develop leaders and enhance the strengths of businesses. It designs and delivers customized education and leadership programs, taking the business acumen, academic rigor and innovative approach of IE Business School and a global network of expert educators, adding the perspectives and skills of the most influential Financial Times journalists.

Headspring Executive Development was originally formed in 2015 by the Financial Times and IE Business School as the Corporate Learning Alliance.