Gamifying Innovation with BossUP!

Creating a Serious Game To Cut Through the Noise for Innovation




Design Thinking


Innovation Capability

Business Process Re-engineering

Workshop Facilitations & Training

The Birth of BossUP!

Working across a wide range of industries and organisations over the past 20 years has uniquely positioned us to uncover the challenges businesses face with innovation. 

Speaking to many of our clients about their internal innovation processes, we began to see a wall between ideas and how organisations operate. We consistently found that a major barrier to overcome was not a lack of ideas but the need to change entrenched organisational mindsets and behaviours. 

As a strategic design consultancy, we sought to use gamification to help our clients break through these barriers and inspire innovation readiness. 

Using insights from their experiences, we distilled the common challenges into a rich collection of Challenge Cards. 

Players solve the challenges using Trigger Cards inspired by societal trends, pop culture, technology, management consulting methods and best practices. 

After adding a ruleset, we play-tested the game with hundreds of players in Asia and Europe to great reception. And thus, BossUP! was born!

Innovation at the Ready

The gameplay mechanics and rules were designed to confront players with real-life situations that people and organisations face daily. 

The extensive testing allowed us to arrive at a game that is challenging, collaborative, confrontational, competitive and, most of all, fun.

Gameplay creates a safe space to stimulate ideas and conversations that may otherwise never take place.

BossUP! is a tool designed to engage your teams creatively and works across all organisational functions. 

On a base level, it is an excellent icebreaker for any networking event, can help sense different team approaches to innovation, or even be used as a problem-solving tool.

BossUP! has been played in creative brainstorming sessions, design thinking workshops, and even job interviews to gauge how candidates approach and navigate challenges.

To date, we've developed a Covid-19 Edition in response to the global pandemic and a Circular Edition in collaboration with Circle Economy after seeing businesses struggle with taking the first step towards circular transformation. 

Currently, we're working to develop a Healthcare Edition more geared towards organisational challenges in Healthcare.

How to Play

In a round, each player takes turns to be the Innovation Director (think Card Czar in Cards Against Humanity). 

They select a Challenge Card that the remaining players solve using Trigger Cards drawn in their hands. 

Their selected Trigger Cards are pitched to the Innovation Director, who picks the winning solution in each turn. 

The remaining players get to fund the winning solution in each round with their Funding Cards

The goal is to have the highest-funded solution, and the highest investor for that solution wins too!


"I really like that this game brought out some serious and important conversations all while having fun and lots of laughs." — Attendee at Dutch Design Week 2022
"BossUP! is an excellent game to spark curiosity and raise awareness for complex topics like the circular economy. The Circular Edition of this serious game allows us to shift the conversation, putting circularity front and centre in a fun and engaging way for individuals, teams, and organisations." — Nicolas Raspail, Head of Design, Circle Economy Foundation
"The game really helps to talk about circularity with our biggest customers" — Attendee at Dutch Design Week 2022

BossUP! was featured in a published peer-reviewed paper in International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics 2021.

  • Teo, K., Koh, J.T.K.V., Wong, K., Aue, K., Chan, J., Jabry, B. (2021). BossUP! Assessing Potential Hiring Candidates During the Interview Process via an Innovation Diagnostics Card Game. In: Markopoulos, E., Goonetilleke, R.S., Ho, A.G., Luximon, Y. (eds) Advances in Creativity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Communication of Design. AHFE 2021. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 276. Springer, Cham.

BossUP! Circular Edition was launched in Europe at the screening of Going Circular in Amsterdam on 4th April 2022.

BossUP! has been exhibited at: 

  • Barcelona Design Week 2019
  • Singapore Design Week 2019
  • Singapore Design Week 2022
  • Dutch Design Week 2022

For more on BossUP! and use cases visit 

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