Guest BlogsStrategies Tested, Lessons Learned: Wargame to Gameday DC with James Green

Introducing our exciting new guest blog series, “Cultivating Capability: Resilience in Risky Times.”

The importance of cultivating capability cannot be overstated in our dynamic and unpredictable world. It is the foundation upon which we build their resilience, adaptability, and, yes, even our competitive edge. By investing in the development of skills, knowledge, and expertise, we not only enhance our ability to overcome challenges and seize opportunities but also foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

Cultivating capability empowers us to confidently navigate uncharted waters, respond effectively to change, and reach new heights of success. It’s a journey of testing, responding, and learning that leads to a brighter, more empowered future for us all.

Stay tuned for a wealth of knowledge, inspiration, and practical advice from leaders on the front lines of leading their organizations and communities through unprecedented change through cultivating capability. In our first-in-a-series, our longtime strategic advisor James Green reflects on his experience cultivating capability while attending iluminr’s November Wargame to Gameday, DC event.


About the Guest

James Green is an advocate of intelligent risk taking, driven by the belief that risk can be a powerful tool to help organizations reach their maximum potential. James uses the breadth of his experience to help C-Suite figures and their organizations to address the rapidly evolving risks that shape the world today.

James is the co-founder of Illuminate Advisory, a global co-founder of the Resilience Think Tank, and a strategic advisor to iluminr.


The Antidote to Bad Coffee and Stale Pastries

I have attended and spoken at risk and resilience workshops all over the world.

The bad ones follow a predictable format:

Bad coffee? Check.

Extremely long vendor sales pitch? Check.

Stale pastries? Check.

A bland conference room featuring gray and beige, preferably with no windows? Check and Check.

But what makes a good workshop, or even a great one? The one where you’re not on your phone doom-scrolling on social media, regretting your life choices. The formula is elusive and complicated, but the outcome is simple: At the end of the day, you’re glad that you attended, you were given the opportunity to meet and network with interesting people, and you leave the event excited for the future.

I was fortunate to attend iluminr’s recent “Wargame to Gameday, D.C,” in Washington, D.C. in November and I am happy to say it was a great event. Based on their Wargame to Gameday series that launched earlier this year, the workshop was an interesting mix of panel discussions, microsimulations, and collaborative decision making among attendees.


Panel Discussions

At their best, Panel Discussions bring together a group of experts who give us “aha” moments to write down. This workshop was governed by the Chatham House Rule, which allowed the panelists to really open up and dig into some challenging topics facing our profession these days including climate change, Third AND Fourth Party risks, and what’s really going with AI these days. There were many aha moments at this workshop, but as I am not a risk taker and always follow the rules, I can’t share them with you. You will just have to attend the next Wargame to Gameday event to uncover your own ‘aha’ moment.



It’s no secret that I am an unabashed fanboy of iluminr’s microsimulations, but I have never participated in one with 50 sharp resilience professionals before this workshop. Throughout the day, Marcus Vaughan led us through 4 fiendish microsimulations. I use the word fiendish, because each microsimulation took only 3-5 minutes, with a premise that was thoughtful and elegant in design. But the ramifications of each microsimulation! And the decisions we had to make! The outcomes were beyond challenging.




You can sit in a room with people you’ve just met all day, but do you get a chance to get to know them? We were assigned to small groups, and after each microsimulation, we were required to work a specific problem. This allowed for fascinating conversations. The challenges we were asked to resolve were unique, so we hadn’t seen them before. People had to rely on their personal resilience, which enabled the groups to come up with some truly innovative solutions. This was no check the box exercise! This created an additional benefit of getting to know each other, which led to:



My favorite part of traveling is meeting new people and learning about them. Learning from them. Networking isn’t just about connecting with people on LinkedIn.  The collaboration required from this workshop’s microsimulations and discussions enabled me to not only meet, but connect, with lots of great people.


Despite the lack of stale pastries, this was one of my favorite events of 2023. I look forward to the next one!



James Green


Illuminate Advisory