The Co-Intelligence Institute // CII home // Y2K home

Teleplay, with Y2K Connections


Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999

Teleplay, with Y2K Connections

We're taking the telephone to new realms of connecting - by introducing teleplay, with Y2K Connections, the scenario game building community, not crises, around Y2K.

Every other Thursday night, starting April 8, players from anywhere in the world (we expect North Americans) can play Y2K Connections on a teleconference call, at 9PM Eastern time. Just dial in to 702-821-1785, the bridge call number, and you'll automatically be patched into the call with dozens of others.

We're sending this announcement out to everyone we think might be interested, including everyone who has bought the game. If you would like me to invite others you know who have played the game, or would like to try it on, you're welcome to pass on this announcement. If you've received this announcement from a friend, and aren't sure what Y2K Connections is, you can read the overview below, and more at our website, In an hour's play, you'll see people shift from "Y2K's not my problem" to "Ohhhh, I never thought about that" to "What can I do" to "Let's work together on this."

If you can't attend, but you have an experience with Y2K Connections you'd like to share, please write it up and send it to We've been inspired by the stories we're hearing, and want to share them with others on a new webpage at

You've received this message from because you have purchased a game or are on my Y2K Activist list. Please let me know if you do not want to receive future notices of this teleplay. And I hope you will join our teleplay. Mark your calendars for every other Thursday, starting this April 8, at 9 PM Eastern Time. (I like to put the 702-821-1785 right in my calendar at the same time, so I can find it when I need it).


Jan Nickerson Y2K Connections - building community not crises - the only Y2K game in town 508-358-7002

Mahalo from Maui.

Will Wilkinson Council on Y2K Preparedness

Ready or not, the Y2K challenge is coming, perhaps sooner than we think. Whether Y2K prompts a series of crises, emergencies, or mere inconveniences OR yields attractive opportunities, one thing is certain: no one really knows how it will affect us " our families, our organizations and our communities.

The Y2K Context: What would we do without computers? We count on them for traffic flow, financial records, communications, transportation and even sports scores. Many computer programs abbreviated the year to two digits - so 1999 is written as 99 and 2003 is written as 03. You and I know '03 occurs after '99. The computer doesn't. And it may compute incorrectly any time based calculations, like financial yields, insurance claims, payroll, school records or rate of water flow. Software which hasn't been corrected may malfunction when it reads the year 2000 or higher. So might time-sensitive microchips embedded in equipment like traffic lights, security systems, water valves, ventilation ducts, and manufacturing equipment, to name just a few. Even Y2K compliant programs may fail, if they receive incorrect data from non-compliant programs.

Those involved in solving the problem are concerned: "There is very little realization that there will be a disruption. As you start getting out into the population, I think most people are again assuming that things are going to operate the way they always have. That is not going to be the case." Sherry Burns, Director of Year 2000 Office, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) "There are "catastrophic problems" in every GM plant". Ralph Szgenda, Chief Information Officer, General Motors, Fortune, April 27, 1998. "You wouldn't want to be in an airplane, you wouldn't want to be in an elevator, and you wouldn't want to be in a hospital... (government and business leaders) are not thinking about the contingency plans that they out to be thinking about today, not waiting a year from now.. (these) need to be put into place to minimize the harm from widespread failures." Senator Dodd, Year 2000 Tech Committee Senate Hearings into Y2K, June 12, 1998. "Let's stop pretending that the Y2K isn't a major threat to our way of life. There is too much at stake for such uninformed wishful thinking.... If we prepare for plausible worst-case Y2K scenarios, then perhaps we can avoid at least some of them." Ed Yardeni, international bank economist, addressing Bank for International Settlements, April, 1998.

There aren't enough technological resources to solve all the problems, nor can we expect the government or other experts to solve all the problems. What breakdowns might result? And with what consequences to the services and distribution of goods we've come to rely upon? What breakdowns will actually occur is unpredictable. Breakdowns inevitably will occur, however, with unexpected consequences as we learn first hand just how interdependent our networked relationships have become -- at work, within communities, nation-wide, even globally.

Y2K is NOT a computer problem. It's a problem of unpredictable disruption to our infrastructure and the unpredictable social unrest that could follow. And unlike an isolated hurricane or earthquake, these disruptions could occur in every community simultaneously.

Please take a moment to consider: What do organizations and communities have to gain if the Y2K challenge is well-managed? What might they lose if it is poorly handled?

Here's another question that goes beyond Y2K. What would it be worth to companies, cities, states, and even countries, if all of us would more routinely apply the kind of selfless cooperation and ingenuity that often appears during unexpected crises such as natural disasters?

Oklahoma City personnel credit a mock disaster weeks before the bombing with providing the relationships and trust that enabled them to handle effectively that tragic and unpredictable crisis. We don't need to wait for a crisis, or even a mock emergency, to build lasting partnerships and to become prepared for unpredictable consequences of Y2K breakdowns.

Y2K Connections: A learning tool that will outlast the Y2K challenge: There is now an interactive, learning tool - a simple easy to play two hour scenario game called Y2K Connections. Y2K Connections develops people's capacity to explore different perspectives, to think outside the box and to build trust - all aspects of adaptive self-organizing systems which increase productivity by 35%. Y2K Connections crosses the boundaries of age, gender, culture and education by focusing on issues that matter to humanity as a whole at the threshold of the 21st century. And because people have fun playing the game, they let down their defenses and resistance and learn faster. Game Overview: Spending an hour or two with Y2K Connections, you'll have an opportunity to discover: the kinds of breakdowns that might occur, your own inner wisdom and community resources in addressing those breakdowns, what you have in common with your neighbors, and what different strengths you each bring to the conversation and to becoming prepared. Sample scenarios are: Your elderly mother lives on the 20th floor of a high rise apartment. You just found out the elevators failed the Y2K compliance test. How might you provide for your mother's safety and mobility? How many candles and flashlight batteries do you need, if you lose electric power for 4 days? "In a crisis, tell the truth and tell It fast": Your town politicians seem more interested in being re-elected than in hearing the truth, especially if it is bad news. How might you encourage them to dig deeper and assure the citizens that the emergency medical system will operate effectively in 2000? "I am only one; but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do." (Helen Keller) What could you and your church, synagogue or other spiritual group do to help your community prepare for unpredictable consequences possible from Y2K breakdowns?

Testimonials for Y2K Connections: Players find value in the game, whether this is the first time they hear about Y2K or not: Y2K Connections is a terrific way to dive into Y2K and come up with an insight in each hand... Charles Cameron, Systems Analyst, Arlington Institute Year 2000 Project "Y2K Connections drew plenty of new ideas for preparation both personally and for our town." Michael Cecil, Y2K Task Force, Oregon and Canada "The single most powerful tool I've found to start the dialogue...Y2K Connections will help erase mass fears that will occur, and have already started." Rick Tobin, Emergency Management Consultant Y2K Connections: it's the perfect way to get the right conversation started" Meg Wheatley, author and business consultant "I learned playing Y2K Connections that I could do something about it. My voice can be heard as well as anyone else's." Shrewsbury High School student Players build trust and community, the most important elements to becoming prepared for the unpredictable consequences of possible Y2K breakdowns. Players enjoy playing again and again, experiencing new scenarios, new ideas from new players, and game variations (e.g. role play the Mayor, a child, a minister or a police officer!)

If you've been trying to get people's attention on preparing for Y2K, buy Y2K Connections - in less than an hour, you'll see people shift from "Y2K's not my problem" to "Ohhhh, I never thought about that" to "What can I do" to "Let's work together on this."

How to Order: You can order games for your home, neighborhood, work and community online at or at (the unit cost is $40 for corporations; $30 for individuals and non-profits). Contact Jan Nickerson at 508-358-7002 or at for quantity discounts or further inquiries. For kits, cases and facilitator kits, fax your order to 508-358-7247. Visa and Mastercard accepted. Games are shipped immediately upon receiving your paid order. Note: a portion of proceeds are donated to non-profit organizations building community for Y2K preparedness.