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Breakout session on finance during the Future of Food Simulation, Chatham House, October 2022. Photo: Chris Aylett

Strategic simulations and serious game

Policy Simulations

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In the CASCADES project, we applied an innovative approach to engage stakeholders – a policy simulation exercise coordinated by the Center for Systems Solutions. Project-specific Policy Simulations allowed participants to explore plausible, research-based stories of the future  with realistic effects of several cross-border cascading climate impacts.

Policy simulation in brief

Policy simulation enables stakeholders to explore real policy issues, using design elements from serious games to structure communication between them and to include feedback that participants receive based on their decisions. 

The experience involves real-world stakeholders: experts and practitioners concerned about the future of a region or an organization. The simulation allows them to develop strategic insights by building on selected, fictionalized representations of real-world structures and processes. Conceived as a learning and creative opportunity, it offers a safe space for experimentation, and gives participants novel tools to confront natural-human systems complexities. The Policy Simulations involved roleplaying, with participants taking on fictional roles based on real organizations and representing a diversity of worldviews and political discourses.

The policy simulation sessions were concluded with a debriefing that bridges the simulated experience with the real world and leads to stakeholder dialogue about required changes that can bring them closer to their desired futures.

Why policy simulations?

Employing policy simulations fosters collaboration between stakeholders and scientists, supporting the analysis of how problems emerge in complex systems and where points of policy intervention may lie. Because policy simulations are experienced as something that feels real, more information is retained, learning is faster, and intuition is gained about how to make real decisions and improve policies. Their immersive and interactive nature creates a safe environment for meaningfully addressing the challenges of complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity.

Participants collaborate and discuss the problems in a unique setting that leads to a free exchange of ideas and bridges communication gaps.

CASCADES partner the Centre for Systems Solutions worked with the project consortium to develop several policy simulations based on three potential scenarios: food crisis, raw materials crisis, and ice-free Arctic scenario.

Click on the photo for more information about each scenario:

Serious Game

The CASCADES Multiplayer Game is an interactive educational tool introducing the concept of cascading climate impacts and policy responses to address and tackle them.

It was created for policy and climate educators and university teachers searching for an interactive introduction to the topics connected with cascading climate risks.

More information