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Center for Innovation in Ministry Launch
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“We do not want to try to predict the future. What we want to do is make the future.” 

– Jane McGonigal, keynote speaker

Join San Francisco Theological Seminary’s new Center for Innovation in Ministry for a two-day symposium that will lead us to explore the following question: How can we leverage the power of games to tackle the issues of hunger and violence?

Cultivate creativity while moving through a variety of presentation and interaction models that will:

1. Give church and ministry leaders new ways to think about ministry, and new tools to explore innovation in their ministry context(s);

2. Provide dedicated community organizers and non-profit professionals new ways to think about and solve seemingly intractable social issues; and

3. Allow participants to gain new, and possibly unexpected, conversation and future collaboration partners.

The two-day symposium will feature the following: 

A keynote speech by Jane McGonigal, a game designer and researcher for the Institute for the Future.

A world-café style discussion, incorporating audience participation, and featuring Mary Hess, Derrick Kikuchi, Sarah Moore-Nokes, and Jane McGonigal on the topic of hunger.

A world-café style discussion, incorporating audience participation, and featuring Rev. Byron Bland, Rev. Ernie Jackson, Daniel "Nane" Alejandrez, and Jane McGonigal on the topic of violence.

A Rapid Innovation Lab led by Smallify, which will help participants discover issue-area specific innovation challenges and immediately actionable solutions.

Thursday, October 16, 2014



Check-in Opens


Worship with Dr. Marcia McFee


ColLab Café 1 – Dr. Mary Hess, Derrick Kikuchi, Rev. Sarah Moore-Nokes, Jane McGonigal


ColLab Café 2 – Rev. Byron Bland, Nane Alejandrez, Rev. Ernie Jackson, Jane McGonigal


Dinner and Conversation


Keynote speech by Jane McGonigal


Theological Response by Dr. Mary Hess



Friday, October 17, 2014



Embodied Prayer



8:30am – 12:30pm

Smallify Rapid Innovation Lab that builds on ColLabs, keynote, and theological reflections from Day 1

Closing Prayer

Jane McGonigal speaking about the power of gaming at a TED talk

Worship Leader Dr. Marcia McFee

Dr. Mary Hess, Derrick Kikuchi, and Rev. Sarah-Moore Nokes

Rev. Byron Bland, Rev. Ernest Jackson, and Daniel "Nane" Alejandrez

Jane McGonigal:

Reality needs better game design.

Jane McGonigal is a visionary game designer and futurist, and she is harnessing the power of the Internet games in new ways to help solve some of the biggest challenges facing our world today and tomorrow.

Jane McGonigal is today’s leading speaker on the engage­ment economy and the application of game-design to the real world. Referencing lessons learned through her work creating games for organizations such as the World Bank, the Olympic Games, the American Heart Associa­tion, the New York Public Library, and many more. Her book, Reality Is Broken: How Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World, is a New York Times bestseller.

In this engaging, forward-thinking book, Jane makes the case that the gamer spirit — an attitude of fun, dedicated, collective problem-solving — is our greatest asset as we face the social, economic, and environmen­tal problems of the 21st century. She argues that game designers are effectively happiness engineers, experts in making difficult tasks engaging, and that we should draw on their smarts as we frame the challenges of our time.

Jane herself is a specialist in this field, a designer of alternate reality games, where a real-life activity is re-framed as a game. Players of Jane’s games face challenges as serious as surviving peak oil or establish­ing local sustainable businesses. And they face them with courage and creativity, inspired by their gameful state of mind. Persistence, energy, collaborative creativity, a sense of purpose in hard work — games unlock all of these powerful attitudes. And, most importantly of all, it restores to contemporary life the kind of heroism and communal striving that most of us struggle so hard to find.

Jane is notable for bringing gaming to the health­care space. Her best-known project is SuperBetter, a mobile app and web-based game that helps individuals challenge personal health challenges (depression, anxiety, chronic pain, stress reduction), and get support from their “allies” — real-life friends and family. With more than 125,000 players, it is currently under study at OSU Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania. Jane’s other healthcare games include collaborations with the American Heart Association and the Myelin Repair Founda­tion.

She is currently an advisor and affiliate researcher with the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California, where she served for four years as the Director of Game Research and Development. Her recent projects include a Games for Healthcare initiative with IFTF and the White House as well as Paths Out Of Poverty, a crowdsourcing game by IFTF for the Rockefeller Foundation.

Dr. Marcia McPhee:

Drawing on a first career in professional dance and musical theater, and equipped with a Masters in Theology and a Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies, McFee understands the role of any ritual artist in the church as that of creating extraordinary portals through which communities journey with the Spirit. The task is at once deeply theological and wildly artistic. Connecting worship professionals and volunteers to their passion and depth of spiritual leadership is her aim in teaching and consulting as well as equipping them with skills to carry this out. Dr. McFee has designed and led worship for regional, national and international gatherings of several denominations for the last 20 years. She is the creator and visionary of the Worship Design Studio (www.worshipdesignstudio.com), an online experience of coaching, education, inspiration and a design application.

Dr. Mary Hess:

Hess is Professor of Educational Leadership and the Chair of Leadership Division at Luther Seminary. In her current research project, Hess seeks to understand the ways in which religious educators might constructively meet the challenges posed by media culture. Hess holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, an M.T.S from Harvard, and a B.A. in American Studies from Yale.

Derrick Kikuchi:

Kikuchi is the owner of Reach and Teach, a peace and social justice learning company dedicated to transforming the world through teachable moments.

Rev. Sarah Moore-Nokes:

Moore-Nokes is the General Presbyter of Winnebago Presbytery in Michigan and Wisconsin. She is the catalyst behind Just.Good.Food., a new gardening mission that seeks to create and strengthen partnerships between community gardens and organizations that provide food for those who are hungry.

Rev. Byron Bland:

Bland is associate director of the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiations. An ordained Presbyterian minister and former Stanford chaplain, his more recent work concerns the politics of reconciliation in divided societies, including Northern Ireland and countries in the Middle East.

Rev. Ernie Jackson:

Jackson earned his Masters of Arts in Theological Studies from San Francisco Theological Seminary and is currently working towards his Doctor of Ministry. He is the pastor of Grace Tabernacle Community Church in the Bayview-Hunter's Point community in San Francisco, where he has served for 18 years, a church that has long been active in social justice issues that impact the local community.

Daniel "Nane" Alejandrez:

Alejandrez is the founder and Executive Director of Barrios Unidos, a nation-wide coalition based in Santa Cruz, California that focuses on youth violence prevention and re-entry opportunities to former prisoners. Both he and Rev. Byron Bland have worked extensively in the fields of conflict mediation.


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