Reflections 2021: Winning the Jenga

Jenga is a game created by Leslie Scott more than three decades ago. In Swahili, it means “to build”. It is played with 54 hard wood blocks. The idea is to stack a tower with the blocks, and take turns to remove the blocks from below and put them on top till the tower becomes unstable and falls. The one who makes the tower fall loses. As we navigate the successive difficult waves of the pandemic, the cycles feel like rounds of Jenga with COVID-19.

We enter the New Year with a resolve that going forward we must never let the tower fall by our hands. We can win this Jenga. Thinking about winning strategies, Leslie Scott has a few that we can learn from:

1. Be Patient: 2022 will see us applying Societal Thinking with a steady hand. We will focus on reference use-cases in education, healthcare, livelihoods, equity and climate across India, LATAM, Africa and Southeast Asia.

2. Explore: 2022 will see us immerse in the journey of audacious entrepreneurs, generous mentors, visionary funders and progressive consultants. In Jenga, each block is different, so is every tower, and every game.

3. Think Beyond: 2022 will see us induce exponential change with Societal Thinking. We will develop actionable opportunities and prototype scalable innovations that improve the odds of achieving the SDGs by 2030.

Finally, Jenga rules say that we may use only one hand at a time. Let us improvise. We may use only one hand, but that hand does not need to belong to the same person every time. Together, we can win this Jenga.