Games without Frontiers


Tim attended Stowe School between 1985 – 1990 and was a keen member of the 1st XV Rugby team, Waterpolo Captain and Head Boy. He then moved up to Scotland to complete a BA in Brewing and Business at Heriot-Watt University. Whilst he’s not averse to the partaking of a beverage or two that was not to be his future calling. It was the business side of his degree that fascinated him and set him on his path.

Who are Games Without Frontiers and what do they do?

Games Without Frontiers (GWOF) have built a platform for driving transformation in organisations using game technology and behavioural dynamics. It rapidly accelerates learning and removes the need for traditional training aids. It’s been designed to drive change from within so that ownership of the change comes from participants.

Applications of the platform include: leadership identification and development, building commercial awareness, cross-generational engagement and  team-building, graduate recruitment, development and assessment, transformation e.g. process automation, ERP consumption, building empathy and client development and risk training.

It’s an immersive and engaging training experience that makes it memorable and allows participants to start effecting positive change within their own organisations.

Why did you decide to plunge into the world of business simulation?

After several years of helping businesses with strategic planning and growth as well as helping management teams buy and sell their businesses he found that he was getting increasingly frustrated with traditional methods of training which were, at best, incredibly slow and at worst, completely ineffective.

Duncan van Praet said in his book Unconscious Branding that, “the only way to get someone to believe in your idea is to get them to believe it was their idea in the first place.” That, coupled with the knowledge that we, as humans, learn best by doing (did you learn to drive a car by reading a manual?) he began to explore emerging technologies and methodologies.

It was around this time that he met GWOF co-Director Stuart Laing who had spent the previous 15 years in the development and delivery of high-level IT management simulations. Once the pair of them got their heads together things got exciting as they realised that this technology could be used to help upskill people in almost all organisations and facilitate more rapid business growth by improving productivity.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

Ignoring the standard investment route Tim built an SEIS (seed enterprise investment scheme) package with his accountant, raising £100,000 from business friends and family within a matter of weeks.

What do you enjoy most about GWOF?

“I’m lucky to have built an amazingly talented and loyal team around me and we’re all passionate about effecting business change through the use of simulation. You only have to see the smiles and fist pumping at the end of one of our sessions to know that it’s the future of education which has enormous potential not just within the workplace.”

Tim Dew (Chandos 90)