Our Mission
Build a Better World through Play

GameChangers creates games and workshops that inspire participants to explore economic connections, balance diverse interests, steward resources, and grapple together with complex challenges like climate change, scarcity, and social unrest. As an education nonprofit, we aim to offer hands-on experiences that naturally develop long-term systems thinking, cooperative learning, economic innovation, and STEM skills. All GameChangers’ programs are easy to access, integrate, and scale within school standards and ESG frameworks.

Our Team

Stefanie B. Overbeck

Co-Founder and board member. Stefanie is a green architect, urban strategist, and researcher of sustainable economies. As the inventor of our first game, PolyMoney, Stefanie envisions a world of creativity, collaboration, and abundance. “When we can all see money and our market economy as a tool, we can build a society where everyone wins.”  She also believes that knowledge should be accessible to all people, a central tenet of the GameChangers enterprise.

Mel Wymore

Co-Founder and board member. Mel is a seasoned systems engineer and impact strategist. As a long-time community activist and social innovator, Mel sees a future in which all people are included, empowered, and appreciated for their contributions. According to Mel, humans will thrive when societal systems are designed to reflect universal values and our magical interdependence.

Patrick Zumwald

Co-Founder and board member. Patrick is a green architect, educator, and dedicated father. He is deeply committed to creating new and engaging pathways for learning. He sees all children growing up in communities that support wholehearted pursuit of their dreams. Patrick has a nose for everything tasty and fun, and he always keeps our projects on track.

Riley Paul

Designer, Writer, Producer, Performer, and Advisor. Riley is a consummate team player, producing, and organizing our work for maximum impact. Riley brings imagination and texture that make even complex concepts interesting and fun to learn. His creative magic is present in all GameChanger programs, from the production/direction of Pod of Gold to the intricate game dynamics of World Pieces to the smooth operations of our entire team.

Ashley Garrett

Advisor. A photographer, teacher and parent, Ashley knows the importance of working with others to solve a challenge – ask questions, gather research, encourage discussion, and allow time for creative thought. We always rely on Ashley’s extraordinary insight to keep us on track.

Polly Spain

Advisor. Polly is an educator and policy maker. Having worked for 25 years across New York City’s public education system, Polly has a nuanced understanding of how people learn to become good citizens. A long-standing community leader, Polly brings over two decades of service in public safety, health, education, and community development.

Catherine DeLazzero

Advisor. Catherine DeLazzero is a writer and researcher with experience teaching in high schools and universities across NYC and outside the U.S. Catherine also serves as a writing mentor for PEN America’s Prison Writing Program. She loves playing World Pieces and imagining all the ways in which we can sustain and grow life on earth!

Donna Reitano

Advisor. Donna is internationally recognized for her expertise in building the capacity of nonprofits and NGO’s to optimize their impact on a global scale. As one of GameChangers first advisors, we couldn’t imagine surviving without Donna’s invaluable support.

Tanja Aertebjerg

Advisor. A community organizer and sustainability expert, Tanja believes in the power of collaborative creativity to make our world a better place. Having co-created and lived in green, cooperative communities, Tanja has hands-on experience that we can and must build a regenerative existence for human society.

Yara Zgheib

A writer and economist, Yara wants to provide everyone with opportunities to learn and become part of the common good.

Ryan Su

Digital Developer. Ryan has been instrumental in working through the dynamics and  essential civics and economics learnings of the Crystal Island Game.

Kazmuir Long

A new media developer, Kaz is driven to create accessible and transformative user experiences across the digital space.

Josh Cole

A musician and sound expert, Josh loves making people happy through sound.  We’re grateful for his ability to boil hours of material into a few minutes of gold.

In Memorium

Many of the ideas behind GameChangers were pioneered by economists Margrit Kennedy and Bernard Lietaer.  We are eternally grateful for their inspiration, enthusiasm, and support.

Margrit Kennedy
(1939 – 2013)

An architect, ecologist, and money expert, Margrit wrote the global best-seller “Interest and Inflation Free Money.” She was a renowned advocate of regional currencies to support local economies.

Bernard Lietaer
(1942 – 2019)

A monetary economist, Bernard conducted ground-breaking research on regenerative local economies through the introduction of complementary currencies.

Our Strategy

We believe global well-being starts with education. GameChangers creates immersive, bias-free, and scalable learning experiences that inspire people of all ages to see themselves as environmental, civic, and economic innovators rather than disempowered bystanders.•For youth, we develop learning games that illuminate connections and build our collaborative capacity.

For adults, we provide workshops and coaching that supports hands-on application of core learnings.

For communities, we provide support and guidance to strengthen resilience, inclusion, and shared prosperity.

Our programs are aligned with educational standards related to holistic and long-term thinking, cooperative learning, social-emotional acuity, language and STEM skills.

Current Projects:

Crystal Island Game: a digital game in which players develop economic and civic literacy while exploring different types of trade, taxation, and stewardship while vanquishing encroaching darkness.

WorldPieces Game: a role-playing board game that illustrates the often hidden effects of everyday commerce while challenging players to negotiate conflicting goals as they restore the world’s resources together.

Community Workshops: co-creating projects in communities around the world to create equitable and eco-friendly local economies.

Pod of Gold Podcast: a podcast that highlights the work of activists, practitioners, and thinkers focused on understanding and resolving global challenges like climate change.

FairyDust*: a block chain-based social currency designed to catalyze altruism and stewardship within a caring economy (in development).

Our Values

Inclusion: Effective solutions to global problems require full participation. Our programs are accessible, affordable, and available to everyone, especially to people in underserved communities.

Interdependence: No living being survives in a bubble. Our programs are designed to  account for the interconnected interests of all beings on earth.

Stewardship: Each of us is responsible for our role in enhancing or diminishing our common resources. GameChangers promotes a balanced perspective, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between individual and communal prosperity.

Innovation: We believe radical transformation is necessary to reverse climate change and economic disparity. Our programs enable participants to see destructive patterns, develop holistic perspectives, and invent healthy new ways to thrive together.

Our Motivation

Fundamentally, GameChangers is a catalyst for social innovation. We believe the successful evolution of human society will require a profound transformation of the systems and structures that shape our behavior, especially our economic structures, public policies, and means of participation.

In a world of finite and diminishing resources, systems rooted in extraction or exploitation of resources are no longer sustainable.  Additionally, growing disparity prevents underserved communities from gaining access to the tools that enable social and economic success.

GameChangers not only offers new ways to think about these systems, we develop vital and practical skills in personal finance, critical thinking, collaborative problem-solving, and civic engagement. Our games are designed to transcend barriers of class, race, gender, geography, and other biases that can inhibit learning.

Finally, GameChangers seeks to explore both the risk and promise of technical advances — like blockchain, bioenergy, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence — as we endeavor to foster learning through play.

Our History

As architects, engineers, and activists, we set out to better our world – to make it more beautiful, harmonious, eco-friendly, and fair. It didn’t take long to realize that, no matter the project, the pursuit of individual and corporate success often overshadowed nobler goals.

In fact, many of the problems we sought to solve seemed directly linked to the endless race for personal wealth. Stefanie Overbeck, co-founder of GameChangers, embarked on a quest to learn why. Through years of exploration with urban planners, developers, and economists, she discovered that local communities can be designed to foster collaboration over competition, renewal instead of waste, and contribution instead of greed. In struggling to communicate the transformations she witnessed, Stefanie invented her very first learning game, PolyMoney.

Since 2015, GameChangers has grown from a single game into an organization that empowers participants and practitioners of all ages to learn about the relationship between personal action and global well-being, see patterns of cause and effect, and invent new ways to ensure long-term prosperity for people and planet.

FAQs

Why Learning Games? “Games make complex learning easy and fun!”Countless organizations work tirelessly to heal our environment, overcome poverty, secure human rights, and address thousands of other vital issues. When it comes to giving, there is no wrong choice.

We also believe it’s time to focus on root causes, especially those related to the everyday behaviors so many of us take for granted.  GameChangers provides a platform that empowers people to discover unhealthy patterns and transform personal and commercial practices to promote and sustain universal well-being.

What’s the payback? “A healthier, happier  future for all.”We are committed to making every investment in GameChangers a win for our future. For us, that means offering easy ways for people (especially children) to develop awareness, build skills, and access the imagination necessary to create inclusive and sustainable communities.

Our products and programs are designed to inspire exploration of how society works, and also what’s missing. By highlighting the often “hidden” systemic connections between humans, resources, and nature, we create a platform for deep-rooted change. Our games require players to balance interests, account for “externalized costs,” and serve our “larger selves” as members of families, communities, cultures, and habitats.

An investment in GameChangers is a commitment to peace and prosperity for people and planet.