Deep Dive Breakout 1

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

11:30am – 12:30pm

Sarah Nordstrom (Novo Nordisk) and Matthew Zablud (Beekeeper Group)

Can you gain enough votes on Capitol Hill to defeat a bill that threatens your industry? Play against other teams to see who can best deploy an array of advocacy resources to secure victory. The winning team will have bragging rights for the rest of the Summit!

Have feedback on this session? We’d love to hear it! Submit it here.


A introduction to a game created by Beekeeper Group and Novo Nordisk to use as a tool to really educate people that don’t necessarily understand the political process or the importance on strategically playing organizational resources to have a policy win. The idea came when Novo Nordisk was looking for a different way for people coming in for fly-ins or supporting the grassroots process to understand how the process works as a whole. The game has been as a training exercise or a tool for a fly-ins, at events for up to 120 people.

How Does it Work?

The game goes through four rounds (or however many you choose) and will be customized to focus on issues that are important to educate people about in your field or organization. This game is a bit more complicated upfront but more efficient as the game continues, where as there are other games that are a bit easier up front and more complicated and time consuming throughout. This game is really to help new people to the political process understand how it works and how weighing the options of how you go about getting a new bill passed.

For the most part the game is more challenging for those who work in the industry because you move towards how your organization would do it and how agile your organization is. Novo Nordisk for example includes the game towards the end of their training. They educate people first on the PAC, Grassroots program and talk about the issues they are focused on and then they play the game and then go into messaging.


  • “Can we play again! ”
  • From experience most people after playing the game understand the political process a bit more and can really put it all together after their trip to the Hill.
  • How do you use it with senior leaders who are not as familiar about the policy?
  • Microsoft uses a similar game (they do 6 rounds) and they really focus it to their grassroots audience.
  • Many requests have been made to make the game digital but we have found it is greatly important to have the interaction between people for learning.
  • An opportunity for improvement is to make a more “grown up” version that would incorporate more complex issues and options.
  • The game has been even played by an Australia based group who didn’t understand the U.S. political system. But the game creates an atmosphere where people can ask questions, share knowledge and really learn and understand the process through interaction.
  • Is there a way to create a game that is more geared toward more “common or basic” people who don’t necessarily have a positive view of the political process? Absolutely, the game can be customized to what the organization is striving to achieve. You can partner someone from the organization who can explain information to each team as they go along and really have a personal touch to helping people learn and understand the process.
  • This game is great to really show the policy victories are associated with the expenditure of resources.
  • Our goal is for people to walk away after the game to really understand that their resources and involvement is really important to policy success to organizations.