'SERIOUS Game' Berlin

'SERIOUS Game' Berlin

by Dipta Majumder, Bangladesh (PPRE 2016/18)

On 26 May, 2017, four PPRE students -Sonia Rueda (Colombia), Adriana C. González (Costa Rica), Dipta Majumder (Bangladesh), Alma Lucia Villarreal Castillo (Mexico), along with Michael Golba, Director, PPRE, attended a conference titled “Beyond Paris - What Future for International Climate Policy” in Berlin, Germany. The conference was arranged by AGEP, the German Association of Postgraduate Programs with special relevance to developing countries, and its partner Planpolitik.  A special game was played by the conference participants based on a learning project developed by AGEP and Planpolitik.

The key idea of the game was to simulate a Conference of the Parties (COP) conference. Alongside PPRE, students from four other master programs across Germany i.e. Master Landscape Ecology and Natural Conservation (University of Greifswald), Master Environmental Governance (University of Freiburg), Master Engineering in Energy and Environmental Management in Developing Countries (University of Flensburg), Master International Development Economics (HTW Berlin), also joined.

Participants in AGEP Serious Game, Berlin (Photo Courtesy: AGEP)

Before the conference in Berlin, PPRE students participated in an online phase of the game. During the online phase, the participants were randomly given roles of different country representatives. The idea was to work on making proposals for the draft resolution and negotiating with fellow participants.

On the day of the conference, basic negotiation techniques were presented at first, which later the participants applied in the simulated climate conference. PPRE students actively took part in the negotiation procedure. Participants argued and negotiated on issues like causes and mitigation of climate change, national contributions to GHG mitigation, climate financing, technological measures, aviation and maritime travel. At the end of the conference, students somehow understood how difficult it is for the parties to come in terms.   For PPRE students, it was an opportunity to get out of their comfort zone and work on non-technical issues in a very interdisciplinary environment. Participants from PPRE also did some networking with the students from all over Germany.

Simulated COP in Berlin (Photo courtesy: AGEP)

All in all, it was a great learning experience for the attendees. Simulating real world problems served as a platform for the students to understand the climate related issues closely. Such simulation platforms can be integrated into course works of PPRE as well. The participants would like to thank the organizers for this successful event, DAAD for providing financial support and Michael Golba, PPRE, for coordinating the participation from University of Oldenburg.

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