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The Connections North 2023 professional wargaming conference was held at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa on June 9th. This conference included serious gamers, wargamers and anyone interested in how games can reinforce learning or be used for planning or to develop policy. Serious games are all about testing concepts and assumptions in a collaborative and multi-disciplinary environment.

During this conference, Calian affirmed support for the Derby House Principles. This initiative is about inclusion and diversity in wargaming. Having different perspectives and ideas represented in wargaming is essential to challenging existing ideas and concepts, and viewing large, complex challenges in new ways. Supporting these principles aligns with Calian’s view of the world and is the right thing to do.

The Derby House Principles also provide a competitive edge for serious games and wargaming. In the words of the organizers, “Experience and social science have shown that diversity can generate better results in analysis, insight and professional decision-making.” The Derby House Principles advocate:

  1. Promoting inclusion and diversity in professional wargaming, through the standards we set, the opportunities we offer, and access to activities we organise.
  2. Making clear our opposition to sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination across the board, as well as in wargaming.
  3. Encouraging a greater role and higher profile for colleagues from underrepresented groups in our professional activities.
  4. Seeking out and listening to the concerns and suggestions of our colleagues as to how our commitment to diversity and inclusion could be enhanced.
  5. Demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion through ongoing assessment of progress made and discussion of future steps.

Our attendance highlights the commitment we have made to expanding our wargaming expertise and broadening our impact on the art and science of serious gaming. Calian’s wargaming experts in Kingston, Ontario and Stavanger, Norway are currently designing, developing and delivering complex games to help refine military planning and to reinforce learning objectives for the Canadian Armed Forces, NATO and other international engagement partners. In addition to expertise, we are committed to improving the technology to support high-end, serious gaming.

In February of this year, we demonstrated the integration of structured serious gaming, 2D/3D visualization and artificial intelligence-driven operational analysis to NATO leadership in Naples, Italy. This successful demonstration is being built upon for future capabilities.

In addition to the wargaming support we have provided to military customers in Canada and Europe, we have produced serious games to support governmental agencies. These games were used to refine policy and procedures for topics as diverse as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, national security, financial fraud, cyber policy, food security, and major event security like the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and G7 Summits.

Calian is proud of our team who attended the Connections North conference, pleased to be the most recent supporters of the Derby House Principles and excited to continue expanding our serious gaming involvement.