At 6’6”, Edgard Gouveia, Jr. towers over most people. An early career in professional volleyball in Brazil, his native country, was soon exchanged for training at the University of Santos in Architecture and Urban Planning. Upon graduation, he and his colleagues co-founded the Elos Foundation, an architectural firm dedicated to community activism. Pursuing their social mandate, they founded the Warriors Without Weapons program in 2000, a bi-annual five week training for young entrepreneurs to learn the tools of effective collaboration through supporting communities to identify and implement their own dreams, resources and powers without relying on outside sources of funding.
The strength of this methodology soon led Edgard and his colleagues to develop the Oasis Games, a three- to ten-day activism model that uses the same tools in short term projects, including catastrophic situations. Edgard has been active internationally in teaching this process of this playful social methodology for the past fifteen years, giving presentations at schools and universities and leading seminars on the streets world wide. Hundreds of Oasis games have now been played on four continents.
For the past two years, Edgard has been actively engaged in the creation of a new project, PlayTheCall, a Global Game that aims to activate and connect over two billion people in global activism projects through the creation of a new game. PlayTheCall will tap into the passion of youth to use computer technology and social networking by challenging them to create an online avatar who can “save the planet” through finding and developing personal inborn “superpowers.” Avatars will advance through the game by playing not in the virtual, but in the real world, taking on projects that serve the community, the region and the world, building ever-larger networks of collaboration across the globe.
An international team of experts is already designing the game, which will be launched in 2012. The Beta test will begin with the Brazilian Boy Scouts Association in March 2012, to be soon followed by dozens of other projects that have already signaled their commitment to use this technology for education and service projects with their students, clients and employees.
Edgard continues to travel and lecture widely to spread the awareness of the Global Game “PlayTheCall” and teach the tools of “playing to save the world” in a way that is fast, free, fun, friendly —- and fantastic. He is both an Ashoka Fellow and a Berkana Fellow. In addition to teaching at schools and universities around the world, Edgard’s scheduled speaking engagements in North America 2012 include Harvard University and MIT.