Article published in the BVI Beacon :

Wednesday, 16 January 2008 John Tattersall, a six-time Emmy nominated cinematographer, picked up a microphone instead of a camera and in 10 minutes he gave the audience at the Rotary of Tortola meeting newfound hope in the world. His message was simple: Yes, there is civil strife, hunger, and poverty, but problems have always been the way to solutions. “About 150,000 ‘service above self’ types banded together, back in the seventies with a single aim: To eradicate forever one of the three greatest killers of our civilization … smallpox,” Mr. Tattersall said, adding that the disease has killed more people than all wars, violence, natural disasters, and AIDS together. But in 1976, the team of volunteers eradicated smallpox by inoculating more than a billion households, he said.

“If we view problems as isolated from their solutions, it’s scary, because what if we never stumble across the solution? This paralyses us into inaction. My talk is about being inspired into action by problems,” he said.

His way towards a solution came through what he calls the most valuable resource in our planet: Children, and their creative power.

Mr. Tattersall plans to distribute a game in 2010 to every 10-year-old living in the 10 most influential mega-cities of the future, “to inspire them to create a 10-year plan for redesigning their world into one that would be sustainable” by 2020.


“What is this game going to be, and how on Earth am I going to get it distributed to every single 10-year-old living in Lagos, Mumbai, Karachi, Dhaka, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Jakarta, Tokyo, Shanghai, and New York?” he asked, almost out of breath. “Well, scale is going to be the key. This game has to excite its players by empowering them as a connected global network. And I think it’s possible.”

On New Year’s Eve, Mr Tattersall e-mailed a brochure for The Ten Project, describing the idea to 500 people on his contact list. Within hours they started signing up. The list could reach thousands, according to the cinematographer. “This will happen,” he said. “So just as Monopoly prepared previous generations for capitalism, this game aims to make lucrative sustainability second nature to the children of a new world, the parents of our future.”

Mr Tattersall said he will spend the next two years designing a game “that operates above literacy, possibly works through SMS cell phone texting”, and the Internet.

Sony and other large corporate could be offered corporate sponsorship “in exchange for knowledge about how to captivate children’s imaginations”, he said.

‘A lot of fun’

Most importantly, he said, “this game has got to be alot of fun’, to laughs from the Rotary crowd.

But what about the game’s distribution? “There is a global resource of people who are looking for small ways in which they can make a big difference”. Mr Tattersall said, “You can network very easily on the internet these days. If they could do it in 1975 to eradicate smallpox, we can go further.”

Anyone interested in the project can email Mr Tattersall at thetenproject@gmail.com

“We have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Another world isn’t just possible – its here, but we need to collaborate and rework it. H.G. Wells said ‘better things are under way’ I say yes, but these next ten years are crucial.”


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