Toolbox for Education and Social Action Developing New—and Almost Entirely Worker Co-op Made—Board Game


From the Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA), the creators of Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, comes a new game designed to inspire dialogue about the changes needed to create a more just, sustainable economic system. In Rise Up: The Game of People and Power, players harness cooperation, creativity and strategic thinking to build social movements and beat unjust systems—even when the cards are stacked against them.

Currently in its fundraising stage, Rise Up backers have (as of October 4) pledged $8,982 of the game’s $35,000 Kickstarter goal, which must be met by November 3, according to TESA, a worker-owned cooperative specializing in educational programs, social justice games and movement-building tools.

TESA’s previous game, Co-opoly, is featured in “In the Spirit of Cooperation,” a documentary produced for public television by the Visionaries Series and presented by NCBA CLUSA. The documentary is set to air on PBS this Fall and is available in advance for local screenings.

Like Co-opoloy, Rise Up provides an alternative to mainstream board games that feature themes of conquest, exploitation and warfare. The game weaves a story about your movement, which can either be reality-based (like stopping an oil pipeline) or fictional (like fighting for dragon rights). But “the System” is hard at work too, maneuvering to crush your movement through tactics like setting up surveillance, making arrests, or causing infighting. Rise Up also has an innovative design. Flip the board over, and you’ll be able to play Rise Up Simplified, a version that’s quicker to learn and has more streamlined rules. Rise Up Simplified is appropriate for younger kids and people who have less experience with games. It can be played with co-workers, in workshops, after hours at conferences or retreats and in community organizing settings.

In both versions, players come up with a movement and take creative actions to fight for victory. Rise Up is a cooperative game—everyone wins or loses together.

Rise Up is being developed, designed and manufactured by a team of activists, artists, game designers and cooperators dedicated to manufacturing Rise Up in an ethical, environmentally friendly way. TESA partnered with Design Action Collective and Community Printers for the game’s art and printing, ensuring that Rise Up is almost entirely worker co-op made.

Click here to view pledge levels and support this project (backing levels start at $10). If you would like to help promote Rise Up on you or your organization’s social media channels, email and request a social media toolkit.

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