Welcome to the World Trade Game

What’s it about?

The World Trade Game is developed in coöperation with Professor Tinbergen of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. The game is centred around world trade where the world is represented by 12 countries. Twelve teams control these countries. In three to five rounds, each round represents one year, the world trade is simulated. Every team has the task to get their workers to produce end-products with which it feeds, clothes their citizens and provides cars, energy and tourism. These end-products can be produced by a finite amount of raw materials each country is provided with at the beginning of each round. Countries can also invest. These investments can lead to more raw materials each round thereafter, which can lead to more end-products produced if the country has or finds enough labour.

A Short video

Some questions

The world trade of course varies amongst the lines of economic power, the type of raw materials one has and size of your country. So how is this reflected in the game? Some questions you might have:

  • What happens with “poor countries”, can they also win?
  • What happens with countries that produce only oil?
  • Can big markets like Europe fulfil its quest of consumption?
  • Do countries with a large labour force have an edge?
  • What happens with my investment in raw materials if I don’t have enough labour?

Playing the game will give you answers to these questions but they are most of all food for thought and discussion.  We believe you will have fun and gain new insights!

Game structure

The game is played in 3 to 5 rounds (years). After each round a computer model calculates the progress and start values for the next round.

The evening/afternoon has the following buildup:

  • We start with an outline of the evening/afternoon, explain the goal of the game and it’s rules.
  • The first round gives everyone the time to get to know the game and see what drives the trade.
  • Usually after the first round it becomes clear that not everyone achieved their goals and we will give some explanation on how this could be solved.
  • In the next rounds the gameleader(s) will increase the pressure on the teams and the big question is: can all the teams still achieve their goals!?
  • Between the rounds the gameleader(s) will need some time to reset the game for the next round and calculate the outcome of the previous round. In this time you can have a drink or it can also be combined with eating the various courses of a dinner. Clever teams of course will come up with a strategy for the next round!
  • After the last round has been played a winner will be announced and the time arrives to discuss the outcome and lessons learned.

Target audience

The game is an active, fun and educational experience for:

  • Management training
  • Relationship management
  • Team building
  • Network meeting

The game is also extremely useful for training the following skills:

  • Coöperation
  • Working under pressure (and taking charge)
  • Negotiation skills
  • Communication abilities

Especially in the case of mergers / take-overs the World Trade Game can help your employees to get to know each other quickly in an informal setting.

Our chapter can organise the World Trade Game for your company / organisation. Our recommendation is that you try to play this game with around 30 people. If you need to we can put your employees in pre-defined groups or give special attention to certain skills. Of course we organise this game completely in English & Dutch.

We will provide the game and all it’s contents. Usually the company provides a location, if you need us to arrange a location that is possible too. These costs will be added to the total expenses at cost with a small organisational fee.

The proceeds of the Game will go to a good cause, at the moment our chapter supports the victims of the horrible earthquake in Nepal and JCI also supports Nothing but Nets. So your donation wil go to a good place.


5 rounds