Gissele: Welcome to another episode of the Love and Compassion podcast with Gissele.
Today, we’re going to be chatting about dreaming and making the seemingly impossible possible. If you’re someone who’s interested in changing the world but feel like you don’t have enough money or resources or unsure where to start this podcast is for you.
Gissele: Our guest is bio architect, social entrepreneur, Ashoka fellow, gaming experience designer master of no ceremonies, facilitator and focus or on group processes, BEM Tiffy and Coca Cola Institute adviser, visionary, dreamer. He’s also the witness of beautiful transformation stories by using the power scavenger hunts, playing in the desire for collective adventure.
He has been able to mobilize individuals and groups, which together transform themselves communities and physical environment, promoting the care and the celebration. Every life on the planet. Please join me in welcoming all the way from beautiful Brazil Edgar Gouveia Jr. Did I say your last name, right?
Can you say,
Edgar: Well, done, well done. In Portuguese accent is Edgard Gouveia Jr.
Gissele: Thank you so much. you’re joining us from a beautiful Brazil. What’s the weather like there right now?
we have a one, one weather all the time here. Most of the time. Oh, it’s beautiful. Nowadays in both sense.
we have like 29 Celsius degree.
Gissele: Oh, that’s beautiful. I was actually born in Peru, and I came here when I was 10.
And I remember the weather, I guess I was so traumatized by the snow that I remember the weather.
Edgar: Is beautiful on TV right. But when you get there, it’s still beautiful but it’s cold.
Gissele: Yeah. You know, I’m making it my friend more and more. Because before I used to really dread winter and now I’m to there’s things I find beautiful about it, so.
Edgar: And I know you’re living in one of the most beautiful countries ever Canada quite famous for that.
Gissele: Well, likewise, Brazil. I mean, it’s absolutely gorgeous. I’m looking forward to visiting in the future.
Edgar: You should come. So nice, nice to meet you. And let’s be here sharing and chatting with you guys.
Thank you. I love your story.
Gissele: I came across it in an article about how you managed to mobilize whole groups of people through the love of play to actually help communities. and so, you know, that got me kind of very curious as to what got you interested, sort of in playing games.
Edgar: So as a kid, we always love to play games. Like human beings is totally into games.
And then somehow in, especially in some societies of men’s society, we stopped playing, playing, playing because you know, the address start to say like, you have to get serious and they write things about being serious and stop and stop, stop being creative. Start to be crazy. Stop to be curious. But when your kids, like we are totally into play and actually some, some experts, they say that we are all in to play human beings.
As one of my favorite books is called Homo Ludens. So not homosapiens, the homo ludens. So we are Ludic people. And I totally agree with that. So, but especially what, brought me into play, as adults growing up was about was when, when things start getting, get
boring in school at school specially. So there’s some of the classes were too boring or The schools could offer me much less than my own world, even my inner world. So I started to create games inside myself, a quick stories, narratives. I invent games to be, to have good grades. Cause if I didn’t like the, the, the classes or the disciplines, I said, okay, let’s invent something.
That’s going to make like physics incredible. Let’s, let’s something they’re going to be like math. Math is incredible because I need to have good grades. Right. I had scholarships. I was in a low-income family as a black person in Brazil, but then I, I used to have like scholarships in the best schools in my town first and then my states, but I have to have a good grades.
So it was boring. I was a smart kid, but I say like, teachers didn’t challenge me in. especially more than teacher’s environment, the school environment, they didn’t challenge me too much. So I start to create games and then I use it to create games, to fulfill, wishes or games, including my friends that at first, like, let’s, let’s the way more exciting games adventures.
So it’s good to put this frame here. So people, people who say it’s not just about little games or kids games, but about adventures, epic journeys. So when I, when I watch movies, I say like, oh, this is so much more exciting movies. Why my life’s not that exciting. So I used to create narratives, invite my friends and then their families, and then the neighborhood.
So let’s play more exciting games, like for example, building a park. all together, you know or like, like creating a big party, a festival, but in very short periods of time, like how can I do, like in just two weeks as a kid, I couldn’t wait for a whole year for the next festival. Okay. Why you don’t do like four festivals in a year?
So I have to invent to be creative in banking with patients to make people excited to do that. And I have to invent two ways of doing that quick, quite fast, because people don’t have that much time or with a amount of money because people say, okay, I pay to run one festival. How can we pay for 4? So it’s not like that.
It’s like, how can we increase the joy of life to make things more exciting? It’s all connected with community. Like how make life way more excited. So inviting more people in other beings as well, inviting nature animals. It’s all about what makes human beings in general, be we have feel happy
Gissele: mmhmm, mmhmm and it’s such a great story.
It’s so funny. I could relate as you were talking, as a kid, I used to be very bored at school. and like when I was very young, I didn’t do that well. and it was for that reason, I found it so, so boring and so kudos to you that you found a way to kind of ignite that passion for yourself.
And I wish we could inject more play into, you know, high school, university. Absolutely. I absolutely.
Edgar: In relationships in our neighborhood, you know, families, it’s, it’s all about like, how can we be more playful, especially nowadays in the hard time.
Gissele: Yeah, exactly. if you don’t mind me quoting you, I read that you said that while playing everyone’s an entrepreneur. While playing, we can all show the best versions of ourselves and that we need to do and be the best in order to change the world. how do you feel that play shifts us from that state of seriousness and that it can’t be done to being more open
Edgar: look, when, so human beings, we are mammals primates, right?
Like monkeys, especially mammals, but all beings, especially mammals. We learn a lot. If you look at cats and dogs and tigers and cows, baby cows, they play a lot. You grow, you learn by playing. Even their moms, they play with them. They play fighting, they play climbing, they play chasing each other to get strong, right.
To get ready. So the whole idea of playfulness, we didn’t have a playful environment or playful partnerships. We feel free. I think I started to, to instead marquee, why what’s, what’s, what’s going on here into the field of play that we become so nice are so creative. So there’s a matter from so many people say like, oh, I’m not creative.
I’m not brave enough. Oh, I’m not, you know, whatever entrepreneur, every single one is entrepreneur. Is that, that you, you were, we are as much as we create the, the right environment. So into the fields of play, we are naturally collaborative, especially play together, right? Collective play.
Edgar: We are naturally collaborative. You don’t have to put rules to people to collaborate. You don’t have to teach kids how to collaborate, or if human beings just place, environment and invitation, challenging invitation for the collective, they know by heart, how to collaborate, they know by heart, how to give their best, or we know how we, people don’t say like, oh, we’ll give you our best.
No, you know, it’s about the game. Okay guys, let’s go. So you give your best and you know, like your, inner flame ignites. Oh, that’s. If you look kids, adults when they are playing, excited or having an adventure. They shine all of them. It’s not just the leader. And they shift leaders all the time.
And they smile, you know, they, they cross crossing, they get goosebumps, whatever. It’s exciting that the everything around changing, even if you’re just watching them, you, you, you ignite yourself as though you get, you start to laugh and say, look, these can see that those people are having fun, right? In that situation, we’ll have like a, collect a collection of human beings, playing their best version.
Each one of them in all of them together, being creative, open, what makes creative open? You climb down all your beliefs, all the things that you think that, you know, you put down because that new situation needs your full version. Not your prejudice, not your certainty is not your learnings because a new situation, right?
Play is the best way to put people back in those best version of themselves.
When everything falls apart, you’ve climbed down. You put down everything that you know, and your ignites your full version, the best version for this human beings, right? And then we collectively can go to the next level. So it can be for catastrophe. Like we are living now and then had to be creative and collaborative. So now you have all the institutions like collaborating and the accountants collaborating you. They are not fight because we have a common goal
Edgar: So we increase this collaboration, play. The future of play brings us to that situation, in an easy way, you know, as safe with four f’s, fast, free fun and fantastic. Right. So how to invite people especially when you don’t know what to do, how to deal with the situation, or you don’t know the persons, the people around you, you don’t know how you can trust them or not place a field of playfulness.
You’re going to see people from all nations and enemies, nations, or black and white fat and thin. It doesn’t matter. The kids and elders, if place a playful situation, everyone knows exactly how to be with each other and have fun. So for me, especially what you deal with what, you’re dealing right now in the world and the planet.
We need to create a playful situation. If you want to bring the best version of the whole, humanity. To do that. Our governors, our companies, our wise people, our leaders will not be enough to restore, to regenerate the biosphere that we need. you’re not doing well. If you want to do that, we need the whole humanity to do that.
The whole man in the best version of themselves. So instead of calling people for, sacrifice, subserviency or hard work or conflict or war against the enemies, instead if invite people invite me for those words, somehow my body constraints
Edgar: and closes. But if I invite you to play to a party, to a festival, to an epic journey Then. Your eyes and your brains and everything opens your heart opens, and then it can go together.
Gissele: Wow. That was really well. Thank you. Can you share with the audience, the story of Santa Catalina and how you were able to mobilize that community just so that they can get a sense of that you’ve lived. This w what you’re talking about, you’ve actually lived it. You’ve done it. You, you started with my understanding was like five people and your desire to want to help this community during a flood.
So can you share a little bit of the story.
Edgar: Sure, sure. We have a, you know, in Brazil we are so lucky or we have been so luck. We probably not anymore. We don’t have like natural disasters of big natural disasters. We have social disasters, but not natural. So we don’t have hurricanes. We don’t have earthquakes. We don’t have like, whatever tsunamis.
We’re not used to that. So our, our culture don’t know how to do that. But in Santa Catalina in, in 2009, at the end of 2008, we have a big, big flood in the south of Brazil. And you have 60 cities under water. like what you have in new Orleans, in the United States, something like that, but in the whole region.
Right. And so wealthy regions actually. So that made make people even more scared to experience that. So of course the whole nation mobilized, we send food and water, you know, because that support. So we have, we have a very collaborative in this way, but after two weeks, you know, we stop it. As citizens, right? So we wait for the government going to do something or the powerful people will do something.
So I did my best. Like I sent you clothes, I sent you water, some money, but then after two weeks, nobody was doing anything, even governments, you know, they are not organized for that. And people were suffering. So I say, how can we do this situation? it was myself and four friends, that started, because they know that I liked, I like to play in the hard situations and then they start to call me, you always saying in that, you’re going to change the world by playing.
So how can we play with that? You know, how can we make the situation 60 cities under water, our government is stuck, all the companies are starting to work while the wealth management is stuck, it, how are we going to deal with that? So I said, okay, it’s a provocation. So yes. So I say come onto my, my house in one weekend.
And I have, I have already, there’s this quote, let’s say, Hey, so if you want to change the world or change, the situation has to be fast, free, fun, fantastic. Those are the principles to design, you know, a solution. So those are the principles, so, okay. If it’s has to be fast. So we have one weekend to create a plan.
So we start from the beginning, create a game for ourselves. we don’t know how going to do with that. We don’t have money enough, 60 cities under water how do we get the whole county don’t know what to do. how are we going to do something? So you’re going to find a way I have to find a way in one weekend and this weekend we start to design that.
Edgar: So what we did, we designed, we designed something like it may be different for you for your culture. We call, we call it in Brazil Gincana (scavenger hunt) but I probably, I, I know that in Peru you have Gincanas, but in Canada, I don’t think so. I’m sure that Ecuador in Paraguay has Gincana and I heard that Ireland used to have Gincana , but they don’t have anymore.
Gincana is a kind of, escape, danger, hunter escape,
Edgar: it’s like community game basically. So it’s a community, community challenge, but for fun things in Brazil, we used to play that with a whole town, like 500, people . You know, or 10,000 people what ever,in small towns and big towns and everyone like they create teams and we give them impossible missions.
Right? For example, we have two hours to bring a real pink elephant. So we don’t have elephants in Brazil, if you don’t know, and there’s no pink elephant anywhere, but people find a way in two hours to bring real elephants. So they go to circles at first. You don’t know, have no idea. No, it’s impossible. Is it possible that some people start to be creative into that?
So use the same mindset. Let’s say like, if we invited the whole country, according to our principles, right? the whole country to sacrifice, to help with support people will do what they do. Like say they give 10, $10, you know, they give some water. So whatever self care I give my part, I made my part, but we need more when the best version of the whole nation.
So if you want to deal with the whole thing, we need the whole nation to support this region, sixty cities under water. let me know that they cannot, there is that everyone that can come. So we create different teams, water team, fire team, and earth team. So the fire team or people that, okay, I want to go there and helping people to rebuild those things.
And we know the fire thing, usually as people that are very excited, are strong enough. so young people. So we invited universities from the whole country to create teams and to be prepared, to go to the region and helping the local community to rebuild their own environment, their own schools and bridges or whatever, because everything was stopping.
So we started like that. So we create a big Gincana or a big scavenger hunt you know for our community. And we challenged the whole country to create all the towns in the county to support their own young people, university of college people to create teams and to train, to be prepared, to come back and building anything.
That those communities, fragile communities or traumatized communities. They, they asked us to build in order to bring back the joy of life was that to how to use the not money. So it was not allowed to use money, so it has to be free. Right. And of course, we use it as a twister, because we know that people have no money or they think they have no money.
If they have money, they say, oh, but this is my money. You’re going to need this money. So I say something, say like, okay, don’t get, get free of that. You’re not allowed to use money. And when people heard that for the first time that I was like, what, how can it go down there with no money? I say, I don’t care.
You’re going to find a way, if you don’t find a way to come here, come here. You don’t deserve it. Right.
Edgar: So it’s not you, that we are looking for. So we used to say those kinds of things, like in TV, on internet and they create teams. And because they are together, they invent ways to find free gas, free buses, free cars, and free resource and free, like shovels and whatever materials.
And they came it was about that point there were 80 teams all around the country. We are looking for just for 12, so many people were ready to coming, ready to help You had to say yes for 24 teams. Right. So basically what we did, like we say, like, we were like for very key things, we believe that. So there’s an African quote that says no matter the, challenge, the problem, the issues answer is community. And I forgot about that. And there other quote, they say in South Africa, they say, what if the help never comes And what if the leaders that they were looking for are already here?
So below those principles, we were able to design to understand that, okay, we don’t need money. We don’t need to resource because they have resource right there. They automatize it. But in those communities, they have leaders natural leaders, they have a lots of resource that play, have a bricks. They have materials, whatever wood.
So we’re going to find ways to get there. So we don’t need the whole government or big institution to fund us. People are generous, of course, in all the towns of the those kids, what town will not be proud of? A group of 40 people, what young people willing to support someone in need? So they made all their towns proud.
So the gas stations donate them gases university will donate them buses, families was will donate them food, like a local party to send our heroes, to support our friends, our brothers and sisters the other day.
Edgar: So of course, TVs, radios, journals. It became for us was just a, was this a game, epic journey for myself and my four friends, but suddenly it took the whole country and of course we had the internet at that point.
We didn’t, we barely use Facebook at that point was right at the beginning in Brazil, like 2009. Right. But suddenly Our guess that actually everyone’s loved to play. Everyone’s an entrepreneur in the fields of play. Every single one is creative in the fields of play.
Each one of us is collaborative. We know how to collaborate by heart. So if you free us from our fears. So basically in the fields of play, our main fears disappear. Collective plays. So we are afraid of someone stealing us our money, our resource. So we S we, we embrace it. We have fear of someone, betraying us, our goodwill, our hope, whatever.
So we stopped from collaborating, stop from forming relationship with someone that we don’t know, strangers, you know, we are afraid of failing. Right, Because If we fail, you’re not, not good enough. not lovable enough. not deserving enough.
And if you fail, you pretend you don’t, you lie because failing is not being loved. In the fields of play. That’s the best thing failing is funny. We laugh from each other, you know, playing is, is desirable because we need obstacles. We need difficulties in order to have fun.
Edgar: So how to bring back the same narrative, where we are. naturally the best version of ourselves. We, in the hard situation, in a, in a collapsed situation, we invite everyone to play. And when you say like, well, how are you going to invite the whole town to play? It’s impossible. And then I say, when we are designed to say, okay, we cannot invite the whole town.
I will be able to go there. Even myself in space, besides the games, I cannot make the whole downplay. But if 40 people, young people who lives two, four days away by bus, they drive to come here to support, to help me that I never, the people, they don’t know who they are.
So, they are so happy. And then everyone’s had to be happy. Everyone’s it’s contagious. Right? And then send them the after three days for the whole town playing together by building, rebuilding everything that they were waiting for three months for the government doing that. And just because of the young people came with so much energy, they always start to do together.
And because of that, because they were together, they were able to do it in three, four or five days. So that was what happened there. It was a biggie more than what we viewed actually. And, and, and that was important. We didn’t ask people. So, do you have to create an epic invitation? We didn’t invite people.
That’s the most important thing you’re going to be playful has to be a promise of a, some epic experience, Wasn’t a game of volunteering. It’s not a game of helping people that were suffering, it was a game that the invitation was let’s bring back the joy of life.
Those people deserve to bring back that back to them. And we know that if we are able to bring back the joy of life, the traumas go away and people are able themselves to review the places in their lives. So, we knew that just staying there for six days, bring it back the joy of life would be enough for them to rebuild stuff, bring a new narrative, the narrative of suffering for the narrative, you know, happy being happy, you know?
Gissele: Mmhmm, wow! and that was one of the things I had read that you didn’t go to the group and say, okay, let’s rebuild a city. one of the things you had said is asking about their dreams, right. And what do they dream about and how do they bring that joy into life? Which I thought was really of moving.
Edgar: Yeah. So, we have, we have been learning from all those years, what actually ignites people.
So, we learning like very simple steps that ignites people. For example, when you talk about your dreams or what, when it gets connected with your own dreams, you naturally, naturally ignites just that a connection, a memory connection with, you know, oh, I always dreamed about like traveling around the world or sailing.
So, if I’m able, if I start to ask you any one of you that are listening what’s your dream. Try out yourself. So, some somehow your heart start to warm up. Or for example, if I ask about your story does need to be something like beautiful. Tell me your story.
Edgar: You’re going to look at my eyes, especially if I’m a stranger, but when you see that I’m generally interested. And when you start to share your story, you shine It doesn’t matter for, for good, or for bad, you’re going to shine, and you make myself shine as well.
So usual when you go to those emotional times, both of us cry for those bring our humanity back, like being connected with your personal stories, your dreams, you know, or when you presence, miracles, Some beautiful act of generosity, or when you yourself collect, connect it, make miracles. What I call miracles, something unexpected, you know powerful and unexpected, human beings shine.
So, we collect like six to seven. those as very simple keys that ignites people and play is one of them, right?
Edgar: Building together building together, let’s build together a church. Let’s build together, park a playground for our kids. This is contagious. Like you can start to build with three neighbors and suddenly, or the neighbors comes and brings some orange juice or lemonade and then somebody will have in cake and then it start, can help as well.
So suddenly become, a party in your town, in your street. So those very primal, likes in human beings, we need to invite them. And it’s, it’s amazing. it was incredible when I saw and understood that all of that. Is included in the collective game and community games.
All of that happens even when I don’t invite it with neighbors, start to play with each other, or to build together, naturally they’re going to talk with each other. I said, oh, okay. Neighbor, I never talk with you where do you come from then the human beings do that, so how to bring this environment to where we can be human beings, free of fear, again, at least for a little amount of time.
Gissele: Yeah. Wow. I, can I ask how many people have you, been able to mobilize with this movement in what was your goal? Because I had heard something that your goal was like 2 billion people. So I’m just wondering how close to your goal you want.
Edgar: I lose account. I’ve been, especially this last 15 years, I’m doing all around the world the last 15 years.
Not including the last one. Of course, they’re very quiet at home, but it was many, many hundred, thousands people, like many. We do like big games, for example, this one that we did in Santa Catalina there. We had like around 3000 young people that went there.
Edgar: 800,000 from the whole country and 2000 and a half from the local region. But you have all the, the university, the parents, the families and support was incredible. But my goal, so actually my goal, since I was kid. So, if you, if you, because you asked me, I’m going to tell you right, you are, my goal is actually, since I was a kid I was in love with nature.
And when I was nine years old and I realize that human beings, we were destroying natural systems. And when I heard the first time that in your 150 years, we would destroy all nature in the planet. I got shocked and traumatized. So, I decided to put my life in service by making sure that my kids and my grandkids would see an Amazon Forest yeah.
And swimming in the river and the waterfall, my kids am I getting kids would dive in Australian, coral reef coast, which is amazing. I mean, I would visit New Zealand, whatever, swimming in beautiful beaches. So, I made this promise like, hey, how can I do that since I was kid? I’m going to be a leader, you know, and I say, right, right away, say, okay, you have Martin Luther king, John Lennon you know whatever. I was so many heroes when they are actually able to mobilize many, many people, people kill them. Right.
Edgar: The biggest, the biggest hearing they were shot, I say I’m not going to die. I know I want to save the planet. Not die. But now I, now that I know how I’m going to do that, you know that you’re going to save and I want to save the planet and enjoy the planet, right? I was, I was a professional athlete. I was a volleyball player. And in volleyball, especially professional level taught me a lot of things about how to play together with the team where, where the magic starts.
There’s some moment that all athletes. know that we are not playing the normal thing. We are not even playing our best. Some teams, they get to their best. We know that you are in the best. And then you go to climb to another position that may many artists they know that. The stars, they know that some, sometimes they are in the stage, but something, some shows something different.
Another level is that, is, that is that third octave So it’s magic. We all have those moments in our lives. If it feels that we say, like, we just say, like, it seems not real, but you know, you’re there. So for me, when I realized that experiencing my body, those situations in a volleyball, in a trip to the Brazilian jungles in nature or in a, in a group of friends, playing guitar, whatever,
And I was always collecting those magical moments. Some people they just live the moment. And then they forget it because they’re always not real. It was something magic. I say, no, no, no. How can I bring it back? I wanted that. I wanted that because if it, those situations, black people and white people, they are connecting in harmony.
Why in those festivals, we don’t have like races and right after the festival, when you go out, it starts again, why in those situations, we are agreeing. We are common sense. You know, we all love whatever the smell of food, and then you love, we celebrate each other. But when you go to another thing, we become enemies right away, you know, because the narrative is different.
So, I was always looking for that. So, I realized that, if we design correct state narratives, the ones, the ones that invite us to become together, I could put the whole humanity in another level. And that level, the level where I call games or whatever, the third octave people they know already what to do.
And they naturally behave regenerating things. When you hope, when you go in this moment, if a dog is stray, and they walk pass to you, you care about them. Say, oh, you know because it’s so happy that everyone around you must be happy. If you see a homeless, you’re going to help you give you your, your, your jacket to them, right?
Because you just left that beautiful festival that if you start floating. So, my goal is to mobilize 2 billion people. One third of humanity. My goal is regenerate the natural resource of the planet and save it for our kids, how to, to give, to them. how I say is this treasure. Like we, we have to give to them, right.
The right to, experience that. So, this my goal and know in order to do that, I’m not gonna be enough. Our governance is not going to be enough. Our companies are not going to be enough, but if the whole humanity decides to do that When you have like a world cup soccer, world cup or Olympic games, or we have a big tragedy in Haiti, the whole planet, send them funds, whatever support them.
So how can we create this wave of connection as human beings to decide Ok, now we are going to restore that for our kids. So, this my goal 2 billion people. And in order to do that, of course I, it has to be through a game. So, it has to be a global game. So how are you going to mobilize the whole humanity? Because we are not Olympic games. We are not the world cup, and they don’t want to do that. They not big on peace, but they don’t have to have this goal. So for us, we’ll realize that one of the most powerful things to ignite community’s generosity, our kids or innocence.
So now I’m going to, I’m going to give you, you and everyone, that’s listening to us, our, our secret, right? I told you already if you want to mobilize a crowd or just your friends or just a family, make sure that you’re design something to be fast, free fun and fantastic. For example, is not a dinner for in three months ahead.
So, you just call your, your family says, okay. I’m so, I say, I so much miss you. Okay.
Gissele: Yeah, Yeah, I miss you.
Edgar: Yeah. I challenge you to come home in two days and throw the best party ever three days go. And just that the challenge, the persona, I don’t care. Like if really, if you really love me, you gotta be in three days and then start, stop to see what your family going to do.
Each one brings one food. So, the rules are, bring one food, bring joy and be here three it’s just three steps. Bring a delicious food, come with, with a smile and stay here. And then people they know what to do. You don’t need to tell them all the recipes or no, they want to call you say, I don’t care, but what are the recipes?
I don’t care. Right? And then it becomes like something playful, those kinds of games. So, we realized that the ones that are able to do invitation are kids. 10 years ago, I told everyone the ones that are going to lead society, lead humanity, to shift our behavior will be kids.
That was a dream that I have. And then now you see like Greta or see all your there’s enough American kids like teenagers going millions and millions, all the, the capitals like marching against, against, guns kids, teenagers, kids, not college people, teenagers, high schoolers, marching, Hong Kong against China.
Edgar: Nobody’s brave enough. The teenager doing that in Chile, the same Colombia, the same, you know, I’ve heard Canada as well. Like in standing rock, protecting indigenous were teenager. that were the first one. So, I know that the first, the next wave the transformational wave, are going to be teenagers. We were already, females, the feminist movement, black movement, the hippies, you know, the, the peace and love movement.
now going to be kids. It’s started. Yeah. So, my game is about, training, you know, is stimulating young people to lead, to stimulate, mobilize their society, to engage. There’re societies. So, kids calling out adults and politicians and companies around them to actually go there and restoring, regenerating rivers, regenerating parks, transforming a life or consumerism behavior.
So basically, that like, so what’s behind it. We are trying to transform not for us adults. So, we all, most of humanity more than 95% wants a better world.
Edgar: Wants to protect nature to deliver more way more than 90, 95% of, of us. But We are running for a different situation. Now, if it’s a different goal because you are immersed in a narrative. In a narrative that if I don’t find my own resource, I going to die. Nobody going to help me So simple narrative. If you look back, we behave and we act with it. We act because we are sure that if I don’t play hard by myself, I’m going to die. Nobody gonna, gonna help me. So, I understand that the other, th th the different black, white, the other country, whatever is potentially an enemy, not potentially a friend.
Otherwise, I’m not going to be so afraid, so we need to transform this narrative or the fourth one, we believe that changing the world is a, is a promise of sacrifice suffering, you know, whatever, a battle, whatever.
So, what we do is three things. We create games which run now is, is in three things. One, we transform innocence into leadership. So the ones are going to lead us the whole humanity through this change. The ones that are ready for that are charismatic enough for that. They, the ones that care enough for nature and for all of us, it’s a matter how different you are kids.
We were born projecting this way. kids until five years old, they care about everyone. Every single being, not just human beings. So they are the ones that have to lead us. And they are the ones that if they do that, we can cannot say, no. We know by heart; every student should protect them.
So transforming innocence in leadership, transforming scarcity in abundance. So when you’re looking someplace and you see like you see scarcity transform your gaze into how can I find abundance there? And the third one very important one. Is the same piece of, of life is beautiful. That movie Italian movie,
Gissele: It’s such a good movie Yah.
Edgar: That movie is
Gissele: Roberto Benigni
Edgar: exactly. I love that you knew that. So that movie, what they teach us, transform the idea of suffering, of sacrifice of working hard to restore everything into play. Into an epic journey is the same thing.
So it’s time to invite all of us as humanity to play our best epic journey. If you’re not able to do that as an adult, it doesn’t matter. Your kids, your kids are ready. Our kids are ready.
Gissele: I love that. You said that my goal versus my dream, because it puts it into kind of movement. And what you said about kids is so spot on and that’s kind of what we feel, at our center, that the kids really are the leaders We tend to think as kid as helpless, and we tend to think of kids as not able to, but. We’re only some of the best leadership come from young people in the know they, their insights are amazing. As you were talking. one of my passions, and one of my dreams is really to change systems that really disempower people.
And one of them is, the child protection system, that is there to prevent kids from being harmed. but the system itself can also feel very disempowering for children. I was trying to think of how could we actually bring play to some of these very challenging topics like child abuse, and like you mentioned racism and so on.
How can we actually start to open up our minds? Even if it’s not something we can solve, how can we start kind of bringing communities together to solve such challenging.
Edgar: Thank you for, for this question, thank-you Gissele. Incredible question so let’s start from, from the big scale, and then you go to one medium and small scale.
when I start to share this idea of kids leading humanity, many parents, many adults, they love the idea. They know that their kids, they can see, they can picture the kids doing that. You know, this is like, oh, well, they, they have the power. So we knew the kids. We know that, right. They can see the picture,
we create a collective game. Does it go? Not just by themselves because it crowds. So, when you put human beings together, they all gain that superpower. And they look for superheroes, whatever.
Edgar: So basically, we create this environment collective, environment playful, environment impossible mission. And then suddenly, your kids, they grow some things on power that they deal with situations that you cannot, you don’t know how right, but this is a way, so that’s why, when you’ve had kids to save the biosphere, we don’t tell them to save themselves.
You like, it’s not, it’s not going to be you. They’re going to save the biosphere. You have to mobilize your neighborhood, which means adults, you know, and their resource to put everyone. So neutral, say like, go great and save the forest. No better. You have to mobilize everyone, including adults, especially others to do together.
And guess what? They know how to mobilize adults by crying or by telling beautiful stories, you know, they know by heart, kids are made for that, right? so what we are doing with that. by creating this collected game, which kids are just so let’s say like, if it was a game board with them that we tell them your game board save the planet, it’s your whole neighborhood.
So, you have all the neighborhood as, as your resource, which means you, your family or neighbors, the expert, the engineer, all the engineers around you, that you can reach all the material source you can reach, go and ask them. And they love they smile really my whole neighborhoods. yes, it’s all yours.
But when you do that, every single one that they talk, become a protector. Everyone is fully touches it. Like really? I should be doing that by myself. How far our kids are 10 years old to resolve our being the one that is initiating that, we should have done it before.
Edgar: Right? So, people start to touch it and everyone. And then of course they call, they comment with their neighbors and then they see on tv the journalist. they want to interview the kids. So when you do that, the whole neighborhood become aware of what’s going on. And then
We go back to that thing, that idea of community that we should never left that as again, is not because I’m a black person, but as well, a lot of African sayings, so these amazing African saying, we’d say is like, we need the whole village to raise a child.
They know that African people know that we need a whole, there’s not parents one set of, parents, parents, or school, they say we need the whole village. And they actually do that in the village. Have many parents in the village, everything always watching you and watching you, you know, and they give permission to each other.
to embrace you, to feed you. They all do that. So, if by the way, your parents fail, you have 200 parents more. If your mom, your mom, they’re not at home, you go, they, they go to the breasts of other women to milk right in the village.
Edgar: Right. So, kids, they know they’d have a whole system of community looking into them. more than that, when they do that, the people that weren’t to harm a kid the thing that they are most afraid of is being visible, being seen, right?
The idea that you had the whole village watching them, you don’t try it. When you play a Gincana, an epic journey, when he place the whole town or the whole neighborhood playing together again, they naturally start to care about all kids. It’s about our kids, our park, our region. It’s not about myself.
Gissele: thank you so much. I realized that in our Canadian culture and I’m guilty of this as well is we rely on systems to fix problems, and, and I was trying to think to myself, how you make that shift.
Edgar: Yeah, we were taught about that. So we are, we are growing, we had to create systems in order to grow way more. So, we came from clans from families and villages, we all in Europe, in Africa, whatever we came from that. Is the way that natural, natural way of human beings to self-organize, right. You say from 12 to 120 individuals, Yuval Harari this Israeli guy, incredible guy, philosopher.
You say those, those are so we have monkeys, right? We have primates the gorillas, chimpanzees, baboons. They have crowds of from 12, 220, because in 220, even as human beings, you can recall all the names you can follow what’s going on with them. We can have time to embrace. To share food, whatever. So, it creates kind of sense of belonging as a community.
So, we all have those 120 people that you care about, you looking for what’s going on in your life. Doesn’t matter if you’re in the other side of the ocean, you’re you, you care about them. You care about if they ask you something, you’re going to get it right more than that. It starts to be hard. So usually, primates will have more than that.
They divide into groups, and they start to grow again in three groups. Right? So, we human beings where there’s first primates that start to call the organizing more things.
So, we invent things. We need to whole collective things. So, systems are needed, but what happens when systems collapse as you’re doing right now, what happens when systems are not enough to protect our kids. What happens when systems are, not enough to protect our nature or the planet or house,
And it’s not our house is the collective house, the home, that house, because who, who told us just from, uh, for, for us the primates, you know, what are the rights that have below more than whales, more than pandas, more this next? Why? When we decide that we are the owners here, right? So home our house. So, when the, our system fail for that, or worse than that, our system are the one that is destroying that. Our belief system, our organizing system, consumer system are destroying what happened there.
So, when it’s failing, I said support in order to create the system, we lose belonging connection. Because we give it to machines, to processes, to schools. So, your kid, who is it, get your kids at school because you’re not you, you’re not like you are 10 hours out of home. You cannot educate your system to day life.
So, you give it to a teacher or professor or institution, whatever. So now that’s everything’s collapsing or many things collapsing. We need to go back or to just evaluate what are the things that we actually wants to give to our systems, which means in large-scale governance, you know, a schools, educational system we say educational system, prison system, whatever, or your system, your computer, what about your life? You’re going to keep your computer. So other things not to yourself or to someone, some other human beings. So, this, I think for the first question is about that. It’s like now it’s time for us to come back.
You know, you can think about maybe small groups with more heart. Out of the system that are still calling us our idea that’s because of the border. you’re not going to have that. Right. But if you would have a war with United States, you would kill each other just because this line says that you are Canadian, and the others are Americans.
That line is agreement that say like, here is us and there is you for good and for bad. And usually, we use it for bad. Oh, our resource. Oh, our culture. Oh, our thoughts, our whatever. Right. And that’s separate human beings that could be collaborating more and more to fix everything that you need to fix now.
Edgar: So, because we still even being developed, it’s so long. Our systems is still like few thousands of years. But we have way more thousands of years of collaboration ourselves knows how to collaborate ourselves, knows how to connect with someone that you think that they thought there was an enemy.
We hug each other, support each other. We feed each other. So now it’s time to go to the biggest power of human beings beyond machines, beyond system, beyond intelligence, the biggest power of human beings. our power of collaborating, sharing intelligence, connecting intelligence.
So why to get back to these small communities, beyond your, your family, because together we can agree, okay, how together we’re going to stop using consuming so much.
Edgar: The whole thing is community.
Gissele: Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s so funny cause you were talking about, you know, surviving war and I was reading, Victor Frankel’s man’s search for meaning that he was a Holocaust survivor. what he found was that people that kind of overcame those obstacles were people that actually first actually had dreams, dreams of getting out their dreams of, a better future and the people that didn’t do so well,
were the people that were depressed and didn’t see any hope. And to me like this whole movement begins with dreams. It begins with a dream. About something better or something, bigger. and it’s not limited, and I love how you, you, you say the four F’s because I think it shifts us out of our limiting beliefs of like, oh, how are we going to do this?
And I can’t do that. And it opens you up to the potentialities, which are infinite. And so, this is why I think your work is so, so powerful. It’s so so powerful. I know you weren’t sabbatical for about four years, and you travel to 42 countries. Is that right?
Edgar: Yeah 52.
Gissele: Oh 52. I was just wondering if you could share what you learned about people in the nature of human beings from all those different, countries?
Edgar: The amazing questions Gissele you should have more. You go you go direct to the point; you went do it direct to the key question.
When say people say, what was the best thing to happen happened in this trip. I say the first one that start to answer your question is a vulnerability, the best learning the best, tool or talent, whatever, skill. The best skill that I got from this trip was the ability to be vulnerable.
Why? Uh, the first thing that I learned is that every single being human being, not just human being , let’s say humanity is generous. Humanity is, is, uh, has hospitality. I don’t know (something in Portuguese).
Gissele: That’s perfect.
Edgar: So yeah. Hospitality is a humanity quality, not just human hospitality is inner humanity quality.
Which was totally surprising for me? I was for me the way there was a trained or educated. Of course, moms and grandmas. They’re all generous. They say like, trust people, support people, grandmas. They still say that. Mommas they become a confused, be careful. Don’t trust everyone, now to protect the kids, but grandma’s they are more, wise they say no no no trust people.
Go, go ahead nothing is going to happen. A few things will happen, but most I think are going to be good. Right. So, we live in a fearful society. I know Canada, you are way more peaceful. I live in a society that we assume that you, that the other is a potentially a danger or potentially a problem you know, not potentially a friend some people don’t do that.
So they, they assume that you are like, uh, approachable, you know, that they are a source of smiling stories, whatever. So, when I was traveling, I was totally surprised how every single people wants to support you with when you need. And, and while it was traveling, I look back and say, but even my countries the same but how I never saw that.
I was using a lens, a cultural lens, you know that someone put me because kids as well gives us that trust. And then I start to use that. So I saw that people are just in podcasts, but I get to do it for you that watching me now. So when I saw, when I was like, some countries, the whole architecture, humans is totally different. So we, my country or Western countries, I know there’s oh, there’s a pharmacy or there is a bakery.
I can tell there’s some sign, but some counties, bakery is nothing about that. Or pharmacy or nothing, a hostel no. So you got lost. Some, some, some counties don’t even have like cards, right to some regions. And so how are you gonna find it? I was to tell you lost. So sometimes I don’t know how to find things, but then I used, I would just stop and stop wherever I was.
Edgar: Even with maps in my hands. I couldn’t find things. I was stopping. look to a side, other outside, like showing people that I was lost. I’m lost. And I was training to never look like, as I was lost. I don’t know. Now I was like, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m a mess. I don’t know. And so every single time that I did that, I was even mimic, like doing more than needed.
Right. So people would see this, this is a human being loss. Every time that I did it, the first, first person that crossed me stopped to help me. And I started, I started doing more and more to see everyone at first. I didn’t know. I’m lucky. Right. Exactly. Now that I did that, the best person of the world’s top here to support me right.
Gissele: Hahahaha for sure.
Edgar: The only reason right, I assume my glasses, then I start doing more.
I started everyone, even a grumpy people they’ll come grumpy, but grab my hand. My hand and say come, come and bring me right there into the hostel, right there into the bakery and sometimes paying the breads for me they knew that I’m foreign. Right? And we all do that. Anyone that they listen to me, we’ve had the situation.
You find someone that is a foreigner, someone that’s really lost unless you think, oh, he’s a homeless. It’s asking money for everyone. And I’m going to be the one. If you bring those fears, then we don’t do, you know, do that. But every time they see someone in need, the first impulse is support. The first one support.
And then I say, oh, but I cannot stop because I’m late, but I cannot do because of maybe they have, but the first inner thing in hospitality. So I start to travel way more easy and trustful. I realized that everyone around me was taking care of me. If I got sick, someone is going to take care of me. I was sure.
now travel more easy in the, in the world, in my, my own place, whatever. So, and in order to get this gift, this gift of generosity is not available for everyone. So in order to all this generosity comes to you, you have to become vulnerable.
Edgar: So, if I have a kid, I don’t have it yet. the most important thing that I would try to teach them or him or her is to be vulnerable, genuinely vulnerable. And the second thing that I like most, or what I learned most from humanity, hospitality, and maybe the second one most important one that I use is connected with game.
I learn it doesn’t matter how many centuries of culture of oppression, how many times have pain, that inner source is pure. So, you can be a killer, serial killer. You can be a very damaged people. You can be miserable, whatever, financially, whatever.
Inner truth, is it just a scheme that hundred and hundred years of using guns, celebrating guns or celebrating violence or being war in hating other people? It can be shifted in just one, meeting a few minutes. If you create the right environmental, like few hours, doesn’t matter. your people, your parents, your educational system, your whole heritage, it doesn’t matter.
Palestinians. and Israeli people, people they’re living there would play soccer together if you create it for the right environment. So it gives me a lot of faith that my, my dream and my goal of, saving the planet is quite, I used to say, like, what if, what if. Building the world of our dreams will be fast, free, fun and fantastic.
And I believe if you got the right stimulus, We can regenerate the whole planet. In three years. If humanity says,okay, let’s regenerate. We’re going to restore the ecosystems, our house, our home, the whole planet in three years, because we will not be alone. So I have, I have real experiences.
Like I just had to bring 40 people, young people in the right mood for a whole town to mobilize themselves and restore their own joy of life. So when I say that, and I’m not shy of, uh, afraid of saying that if one third of humanity. Which means one third of your neighborhood, one third of your street, people in your street one third of your family decides to do that.
I’m sure that whales you’re going to come to support us bees. They’re going to fertilize more flowers to support us. Trees you’re going to grow faster, like animals that are almost disappearing. You’re going to have more kids. You know. If we shift that ourselves, the whole planet, the whole mother earth, she going to celebrate and say, well done, finally wake up, come, come to join
Now you deserve this garden. Then let’s do it together.
Gissele: Yah for sure, Mmm, that was so beautifully said, I did have a question about COVID in, has that impacted your ability to be able to play games and mobilize, um, people for social movement?
we never stop myself and my team. So when he did that, so there are, my more games are going to send to you that you don’t know.
Edgar: Like there’s some games. When I say about kids who are doing it already, so we have, we call it X, spring, where we challenge kids from the whole country. We use internet a lot better now. We challenge kids from the whole county. So it’s a kind of a six weeks game, six weeks Gincana or treasure hunt, and each week we give them a mission.
Right. We send them like, they play like impossible missions, like Tom Cruise or uh 007. Right. We challenged them we are looking for superheroes, right? So find your friends. So you say like it’s not allowed to just one superhero because the situation is so hard that even we don’t have more Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, The situation is so hard that they have all come together, you know, X-men, you know, Avengers, like you need all the heroes together.
So, they come together right, and say, you have six weeks to save the water waters in around you. So they know that by the end of six weeks, they have to restore a river, a lake or some Springs while they’re Springs. And they, and they do that. And in order to do that, have to mobilize in April.
So, some kids are 13 years old, 12 years old. We mobilized the whole town in every story, a whole river across the town. You know, the sand banks, whatever No. And they go to TV, they go to radio, they become famous. So, your question. So does COVID uh, stop us? No, a compromise of course, because most of the games about go out there and do tasks do start and now, you’re all trepid. So, what we did, we challenged them to do the same, but without leaving home, Okay guys, you are trapped at home, right.
But you have the generation. Yeah. We are. You are the generation that knows most how to use that. So that thirteens at the teenagers, they know the parents ask them, how can I use that? They say, okay, pet pen. Nope. That, okay, grandpa, wherever they know how to do that. So, I say, okay, but no bad is invite you to combat, to confront COVID.
So, we are inviting you, you know, use your superpowers in your friends to, to confront or to stop or to, to I say, to, uh,
degree solve the impact, not COVID, but the impact of COVID
Gissele: like loneliness.
Edgar: Exactly who are the people around you that are needing you most, who are the, the underprivileged community that needs you?
So we, we, we, we challenge them on internet. We call it antivirus X, operation and Anti-Virus X. And we did, we created, so, we challenge our team on create this game in seven days because, you know, say like, okay, the game for ourselves usually take like three months to create a game a month. So now it’s COVID you have 3, 7, 7 weeks and they have like 70 volunteers.
Developers’ designers, everyone supporting us. They’re going to speak to us. Our team is just 12 people, so it’s more 70 people coming. So, we created launch, a game, the journalists and TV start to spread things. And in just two months have 1,800 teams of kids all around the country, playing the game. And actually, without leaving home, supporting shelters, homeless or, elderly people or one, one team, they, they, they collect like 40 big gallons of water for a big, a big slum that you have here.
They didn’t have no water for a week. without leaving home, they organized the whole system. Uber to bring things. They collect donations, just using telephone, internet, donations and make things being there. So those are what things are during Covid right now. And we just launched as well.
a game anti depression. And anxiety because you know that the United Nations say that the next Pandemic me is emotional health.
again, we transform the pain in an epic journey. So, the best thing for those teenagers playing the game was they were in pain.
they were suffering their anxiety, but by challenging them to support someone else, that way more than we needed them, make them be like, you should see like the videos in Tik TOK. They love to talk, right. Because video is incredible and Tik TOK playing together, so it’s incredible. So yeah, I hope it’s not going to stop us because the whole thing, the whole thing about us, about how can we play survive and, and how say you can purchase that to remember transcend from the fear of, from the collapse.
Edgar: To transcend to a paradise and you’re right. You know, that people that are able to dream when I say dream is not the desire. When you say like people that have dreams, they have vision, concrete vision. You need to have a concrete vision of a paradise of another situation and embraces this vision. So, I going to get there, oh, there are people that are ready.
They are so, so powerful. They are able to say, I am there. Then those survive even more. Even faster.
Gissele: Yup. Yup. It’s the belief that no matter what happens that that’s possible. And I think that’s what stops us the most
Right. But it’s dreamers like you who, can see beyond, and I loved how you guys shifted that. Okay. So now you’re stuck in your homes. How are you still going to do your tasks? It may be a little bit more challenging, but I think that’s brilliant. Can people suggest, ideas for games?
for example, if we were interested in doing something to increase love and compassion, you know, within our communities,
Edgar: they do it, they do it all the time. as you create this amazing game, could you create this one? I’ve done many games for companies and for movements.
So now for example, international exhibition asked us to create a game anti-racism.
a game that helps young black guys to, to train, to protect themselves, to survive, you know. And so yeah, as possible, everything, all of that is possible. it’s just, not doable for me to do all of that, that’s why we are sharing, you know, that’s why I tell all the secrets as fast, as much as it creates something that’s fast, free, fun, fantastic, that’s going to work.
And then of course, you’re going to learn more and more and more and more, no, but how to transform all the three things that I told you, it’s all about narrative. if you want to create a powerful game, create a game that helps to set a new narrative.
Yeah. Like the life is beautiful. He creates a new narrative. The whole things were there. The nurses’ camps, the war, the, the missing of his mother, whatever. But the father was able to create a narrative that transformed all of that in an exciting game.
Gissele: Yeah. how do people join your games? Are they available for people outside specific regions?
Edgar: I actually, actually, actually, actually they are the, the, the, antiviral X, is good because even in Portuguese is it the same way that you see in English?
Edgar: Not in French. So, but yeah, you can go and you have like several languages because many volunteer volunteers from many parts of the world, there are many, many translations there’s the French, the English and Spanish.
Gissele: Can you actually just give us your website, like the www, can you, can you share
Edgar: Okay. I got it. So, you’re going to find it on, jornada X, jornadax.com.br You’re going to get
Gissele: there. Okay. Well, we’ll definitely be sharing the link for sure.
Uh, wherever we posted.
So maybe this one is what is the safest one to play, but it is as good as this one is good because you can play at home.
Edgar: If you, by the way, your place is already safe, you can play, you can go out as well.
Gissele: That’s fabulous. Thank you so, so much for sharing your story with us. I could literally listen to you all day. I feel like I could just ask you a whole bunch of questions, but we are so, so grateful that you were with us today and we look forward to, for people going on the website and checking out the games, and thank you everyone for tuning into the Love and Compassion podcast Be well, everyone. Thank you.
Edgar: Thank you. Gissele it was amazing.