Skip to content

Episode 042

January 8, 2020

042 – How to use gamestorming to design better workshops – with Dave Mastronardi

Sign up to download the free 1-page summary.



    On episode 042, I speak with Dave Mastronardi, the CEO of the Gamestorming group. Dave is a business-focused strategist and facilitator who sees business challenges through the lens of game design. In our conversation, we speak about the structure and nature of games and the difference between gamestorming and gamification. In that line, we touch on topics such as experimentation to avoid repetition in the workshops that we deliver and improvisation, and, how professional facilitators turn into magicians of co-creation. As Dave emphasizes the importance of scheduling sufficient time for the closing, he also provides all kinds of examples of how to close workshops in a creative way that doesn’t cut off the conversation flow.

    Don’t miss the part when Dave and I discuss the pros and cons of using an extreme stereotype versus a real stakeholder for the design of an empathy map.

    Don’t miss the next show: sign up to my newsletter and subscribe to the show through your podcast player.

    Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.

    A huge thank you must go to SessionLab, the sponsor of Workshops Work. Claim your free two months of SessionLab Pro now – this deal is exclusive to Workshops Work listeners!

    Questions and Answers

    1:30 What’s your story? What brought you to Gamestorming?

    5:02 What is the magic behind Gamestorming?

    13:44 What does it take to flatten the room? What is it a game can do that a normal meeting cannot? 

    17:27 What is the best room set up for Gamestorming?

    22:32 What are you doing to avoid being bored with your own workshops?

    32:12 What is for you the biggest mistake a facilitator can make?

    33:52 How much time would you plan for the closing?

    35:37 Would this be your closing? It sounds like a part of the “storming” phase to me.

    38:07 Would you walk us through the “empathy map” exercise that you mentioned before?   

    42:54 To what extent would you use a real person or make one up?   

    48:18 What shall someone take away from the show?


    Gamestorming website:

    Gamestorming book on Amazon

    Finite and infinite games by James Carse

    Medium post on empathy map or game storming 

    Big head canvas on  

    Our sponsor Session Lab – An online agenda builder and exercise library

    Rein Sevenstern (Episode 020) from Experiential Learning – This episode’s featured SessionLab user

    Connect to Dave