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Skill Building Workshop: Zombies at I/ITSEC 2023

IITSEC 2023 Skill Building Workshop-From the Last of Us to the First of Us: Rebuilding after Zombie Crisis

We Need Brains!

Health Communications Consultants, Inc. is pleased to cohost an I/ITSEC 2023 Workshop with the DEVCOM Solider Center Stimulation and Training Technology Center. The conference is held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from November 27 through December 1, 2023. Our workshop will be on December 1, 2023, from 8:00a.m.-12:00p.m. in Room W207C.

We survived the apocalypse!!!…Now What?

Join us at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, Florida for our workshop: From the Last of Us to the First of Us: Rebuilding after a Zombie Crisis. .

About the Workshop

This workshop is a collaborative, serious game for crisis management that takes participants through a post-crisis timeline in which the decisions and actions taken today will impact scenarios tomorrow. This is an interdisciplinary exploration of how a civilized society might thrive, or fail, to survive after a potential infrastructure collapse. While the scenario uses metaphor for engagement (the zombies), it is inspired by a combination of real-world events involving public health, national security, and public resources (e.g., transportation, supply chain, cyber/information). Nested in this fictional storyline, participants will establish needed resources, skills, and new social norms, and by doing so, the participants will create the world that next year’s I/ITSEC participants inherit. Participant groups will represent various perspectives as they try to transition from “survival” to recovery and (hopefully) “thriving”. While the storyline is fantastic, the scenarios pose challenges that call for real decision-making strategies, negotiation skills, and short- and long-term planning; the scenarios demand the same types of skills as actual recovery requires.  This is intended to be a multi-year exploration with the results of the previous year feeding a paper for the next year, and a workshop that starts where the previous year’s workshop ends pursuing a stable and sustainable future. The immediate and longitudinal data from this format will provide insights into tacit knowledge involved in complex team problem solving. Come for the fun, learn from the insights!

You may have outlived the initial onslaught of zombies, but can you thrive with whatever unfolds next?

At the end of the workshop participants should understand the 4 dimensions of teamwork and how team self-correction during an after-action review can improve teamwork.

Intended Audience and Outcomes

While designed as an engaging interactive apocalyptic experience, the outcomes are immediately and longitudinally relevant to participants from defense, public policy, academia, public health, and essential infrastructure domains.

The workshop will:

(1) demonstrate the value of low-fidelity simulations in capturing complex collective/team/group thought processes;

(2) identify patterns in collective decision-making behaviors by decision category, and

(3) provide a novel gamification method for perspective taking to optimize desired outcomes.

Health Communications Consultants, Inc. builds competency-based workshops designed to develop knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes on various topics for health, management, and leadership. Attendees will walk away with information they can immediately incorporate into their work scopes and practices.  

Register for I/ITSEC at the link below. Purchase of a exhibit hall only pass will allow participants into the hall from Monday through Friday of the conference. Tutorials and Professional Development Workshops are open to all conference registrants and exhibitors. There is no charge to attend.

Zombie images were created by Slidego, Flaticon and Freepik

This workshop is the result of collaboration with experts in health management, research psychology, military training, serious games… and was sponsored in part by Health Communications Consultants, Inc. and the US Army DEVCOM Soldier Center Simulation & Training Technology Center. 

I/ITSEC 2023 Workshop was a Success!

Conference Workshop Authors

Dr. Patricia Bockelman, Ph.D., SAIC; Dr. Tamara Griffith, Ph.D., DEVCOM Soldier Center Simulation and Training Technology Center; Dr. Joan H. Johnston, Ph.D., DEVCOM Soldier Center Simulation and Training Technology Center (Retired); Lisa Townsend, M.S., DEVCOM Soldier Center Simulation and Training Technology Center; Dr. Sarah Matthews, Ph.D., Health Communications Consultants, Inc.; Grant Johnston, Subject Matter Expert, Intern.

Conference Workshop Game Masters, Volunteers & Support

  • Jerry R. Mize, DEVCOM Soldier Center Simulation and Training Technology Center
  • Simone Matthews, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
  • Preston Billion-Polak, Florida Atlantic University
  • Jake Engel, University of Central Florida
Zombie Workshop 12/1/23 Setup for I/ITSEC
Participants play Zombie game and try to survive.
Participant Zombies roll the dice to break down fences and walls.