Thursday, April 1, 2021

SDSN Canada has launched a unique training program for members to host the World’s Future, a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) educational simulation.

The World’s Future is an interactive simulation designed to teach participants new ways to learn about and act on the SDGs. The simulation represents a ground-breaking teaching method that differs from other in-class methods by offering the opportunity to take on a variety of ​governmental roles and perspectives to experience the interconnected nature of the SDGs and the tradeoffs required to achieve them. It helps teach how to navigate the complex issues surrounding implementation of the SDGs, skills for effective communication and collaboration across different stakeholder interests, ​and strategic planning for action. Together, participants creatively experiment, tinker, and test new ideas, while receiving instant feedback on their decisions.

Ten members from across Canada are being trained as moderators to run the simulation on their campus over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year, with a total engagement target of up to 1,000 students, faculty, and staff to participate.

A photo illustrating the SDG Simulation in action.

The main screen users interact with within the simulation showing the map of the world. This screen highlights the user interface for a participant representing the fictional country of Laurentia in the role of Dept. of Economy. Tiles show a snapshot between agricultural (red), energy (yellow), and consumer goods (purple) resources, and the resulting pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, budget, and other implications for that country.

The SDGs represent complex and critically important issues for our world. Teaching this complexity is challenging. Simulation games offer a compelling way to distill complexity in an engaging and informative way. As a result, we hope the World’s Future simulation can help participants develop an increased familiarity of the SDGs, ​and the interdisciplinary skills ​needed to help advance ​them, with the ultimate goal of motivating further involvement towards action for the SDGs.

We are excited to launch this innovative initiative across Canada! Stay tuned for more information on the simulation being hosted on your campus over the coming year.

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The World’s Future simulation is a collaborative creation by two European institutions - the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the Centre for Systems Solutions (CRS). The simulation is designed to integrate proven scientific evidence and state-of-the-art systems modeling with accessible problem representation and stakeholder engagement.

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