Rebecca Ridings currently lives in sunny Queensland, Australia, and works as a Virtual Capability Coach for Australian Red Cross. She recently took part in a virtual gamification event organised by the Humanitarian Leadership Academy and kindly agreed to share her experience.

So Rebecca, what made you want to work in the humanitarian sector?

Working in the humanitarian sector was something I always wanted to do, and was extremely excited for the opportunity to ‘get my start’ in the not-for-profit within the Human Resources team. I always thought it would be a rewarding place to work – and I was definitely right on that! I am very fortunate to work where I do.

How did you hear about the virtual gamification event, and why did you decide to take part in it?

I was fortunate to hear about this event through our colleagues in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Admittedly, I really had no idea what gamification even meant, so I was extremely interested to learn about the concepts and how we could potentially apply the principles here.

Could you tell us about the event and what it consisted of, what you learnt, what you created?

We started off with some pre-work on the Kaya platform, which introduced the team, explained how the program was going to run, as well as started us thinking about gamification and how this could work in our own situations. This helped to really set the scene and start us thinking about what it was we were hoping to achieve from this event.

We had two webinar sessions with the team, which were a fantastic initiative and a great opportunity to meet our global participants (I think I was the only Aussie rep!). It was interesting to hear about how others were either implementing, or wished to implement gamification within the organisations they worked, and helped sparked some ideas on what we could possibly do here as well. We had the opportunity as part of this event, to start to co-create a game as well – which was probably the highlight of the experience.

What did you most enjoy during the event? What could have been improved?

It was fantastic from start to finish – and I just can’t fault the support provided by the facilitators and team! It would be great to have a longer course option as well, so we could spend a good amount of time learning about how gamification works, really delving into how other organisations are utilising this in their work, before moving on to the game design.

Have you started using some of the skills that you acquired during the event?

We have started really thinking about how we could implement some of the principles here – especially with the Gamoteca app.

What would you say are the benefits of a virtual gamification event such as the one you attended? How can these types of innovative ways of learning benefit the humanitarian sector?

For someone like me who was completely new to this concept, it’s been extremely worthwhile to hear about the mechanism of gamification, as well as how others are using these elements in their own work. It’s also been a great networking opportunity where I’ve been fortunate to meet and connect with a number of other colleagues in the same field.

Gamification is not something you would typically think of when you think of the humanitarian sector – but I’ve realised after this that it applies even more than you would think!

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