Except Integrated Sustainability
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Multi-disciplinary consulting, innovation and development organization working on advanced sustainability projects around the globe.

Sustainable Water Innovation Game

Project > A social cardgame to connect stakeholders in a fun setting

SWIG is a social cardgame with a sustainable wastewater processing theme. Players get to know each other, learn from each other, and discover as a group to invest in the opportunities that make wastewater processing more sustainable.

We developed the game mechanics in close collaboration with Det Norske Veritas (DNV) as part of their Wastewater Chain Roadmap (Routekaart Afvalwaterketen). The game is played with much enthousiasm in DNV's workshops today.

Jeroen and Arjan playing a game of SWIG An overview of the cards in the Sustainable Water Innovation Game A close view on some of the cards The  logo Sustainable Water Innovation Game on the back of the cards

The Game

The game is a workshop game that consists of 57 colorful illustrated cards in categories such as solutions, requirements, innovations and actors. It can be played with 2 to 8 players, usually with a workshop coach present.

All players in the game are both innovators and investors: they have a set of innovations in their hands and a set of investment assets to spend. The trick of the game is to advertise your innovations to the other players with enthousiasm and conviction, because the more innovations you put on the market, the more investment assets you posess to acquire your own innovations.

Under supervision of a workshop host, players discover the opportunities in the field of waste water management and get to know more about the other players: what knowledge do they bring to the table, and what opportunities do they believe in?

The game itself also throws some random developments into the mix, and the reactions and ideas of the players create a foundation for topics that can be discussed in the workshop.


We designed the rules of the game together with DNV by having quick iterations of sketching, design, creation and evaluation. The artwork is created by Yulia Ink, who captured the essence of innovations in simple but very expressive drawings. The game was tested in workshops and results were integrated to fine-tune the flow and quality of the game.

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Except Integrated Sustainability

Tom Bosschaert

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